Ask Jules: Dorm Room Redo

I haven’t lived in a dorm room, but I have lived on location while filming a movie and on a tour bus while on the road, so I know the importance of making the place you spend time in feel warm and personal.

Hals’ email hit a chord with me — plus it was so funny it made me LOL. I especially loved that she included lots of pictures. I gave her my best advice, but I think it would be awesome if you would jump in and add your own thoughts in the comments!


Hi Jules,

I NEED YOUR HELP!! I attend Nipissing University in North Bay, Canada. I love the school because it’s small and has amazing trails around campus. We even have our own waterfall!

But I have to admit, I sometimes feel like Bella Swan living in Forks. It’s grey, cold and damp. (Still waiting for a cute vampire to show up!) I have attached pictures of my dorm room and I just want some tips on how to make it feel warmer and more like home.



I love boho, plants, fluffy blankets, etc. Your collaboration with Joss and Main was my favourite! I love those kinds of looks but never know how to achieve it. I am super passionate about art; I’ve started to collect one piece every time I travel somewhere new.

Obviously being a student I’m on a tight budget, but I’m in this room constantly studying and reading, and I’m so tired of feeling like I live in a prison cell. Personally, I think the white brick gives off the perfect jail cell vibe. One of the photos includes my beautiful view (the grey skies match the grey buildings… how cute). Also I included a picture of my DIY lamp, where I put all my old tickets, of course it’s a picture of my favourite ones, MOVE LIVE TOUR and a Leafs vs Capitals hockey game where I saw your boy Brooks.

Your Biggest Fan,
Hals xoxo

PS: I love DIYs! I always do the ones you put on your website. I love the lip scrub made out of coffee grounds and the bath bombs were super fun to make! Anyways, hopefully you can help a girl out! Thanks for everything, Jules!


Honestly, you hardly need any help! Your dorm looks pretty great to me — that DIY lamp is amazing and such a cool idea! But, I can definitely see how you’d like to warm up your space and make it your own. The first step is recognizing the styles and textures you like, which you’ve done really well.

Here are my suggestions on how you can make your dorm room less prison-like and more of a cozy study haven!

1. The Perfect Ambiance
Let’s start with that white brick wall that you’re not so much into. Have you considered peel-and-stick wallpaper? It’s an inexpensive and cool way to warm up a wall or two, and since you love a good DIY it could be right up your alley! I’d steer away from anything too loud or busy, because that will detract from the calm vibe you’re going for. I like a nature-inspired texture, and from what I know about you it sounds like you would, too. (My very favorite, though, is the nod to your Bella vibes… swans!)

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2118952″] Swansy Wallpaper | Reclaimed Wood Wallpaper
| Celestial Wallpaper

2. See the Light
The florescent lighting seems pretty harsh and cold. How about bringing in a different light source, like a floor or table lamp? Something with a dimmer might do wonders. Funny you should mention Joss & Main, because they’re having a huge lighting sale! Here are a few great lamps I love that won’t take up too much space in your dorm or break the bank.

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2118956″] Jillian Floor Lamp | Andie Table Lamp
| Jolene Floor Lamp

3. Get Cozy
You mentioned plants in your email, and I think they make any space feel more like home. You can even pop over to someplace like Whole Foods and grab some pre-potted succulents and you’ll see an immediate warmth in your room! Plus they’re so easy to keep alive, which makes them the best kind of plants!

I’m all about the fluffy blankets and boho vibes, too. These pieces are artsy, cozy and cool. In other words, they’re just like you! And if you haven’t gotten enough of the swan vibe — which, by the way, I think is such a fun and quirky theme — you must grab this pillow.

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2118960″] Faux Fur Throw | Hanging Twigs + Air Plants | Swan Pillow Cover

You have to promise to send pics after you’ve worked on your room upgrade. I can’t wait to see what you do with everything. I know it will be amazing!

Thanks for stopping by!
If you'd like to hear more from me, subscribe to my email list and I'll send you notes of motivation, and updates on what I'm working on.
I'll never send spam or sell your info!

Comments 4

  1. The first thing I noticed were all the “cool” colors in her room – her bed, her lamp, some accessories. I would suggest warming things up with some “warm” colors – jewel tones, deep burgundy, earthy tones. I love purple, green, and brown paired together. I would avoid colors like gray, steel, certain shades of blue, silver – those can make a room feel cold. I agree that lighting is important. Use lamps instead of florescent lights! Also, agree with adding texture via textiles… drape a comfy throw over the foot of the bed, hang a tapestry on the wall, drape something over the dresser…I personally hate real candles (I’m allergic to the scents), but I love using faux candles that look like they have a real flame. It makes the house feel cozy.

  2. It’s such a struggle living in the first it’s fine, but after a while it gets old and boring. Love your tips Jules!

  3. Try adding some lights! I have plain ole Christmas lights all around my room, and it totally completes the look!! Also, don’t underestimate the power of a great rug!! try finding one that fits the look of your room while bringing in some fun colors (bonus if it matches your bed spread!) I have found that wall decor totally makes it feel homey! (THANK U COMMAND STRIPS!)

  4. Hey! This dorm room already looks so cute. I agree with Julianne and the comments; lights, succulents, and some pictures of friends and family from back home! There are tons of cute lights at target or menards for cheap, and printing photos is also super inexpensive from Walgreens! Maybe try hanging them with string on your wall?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *