Sign up for the TODAY newsletter

You have successfully subscribed to the TODAY newsletter.

Subscribe now and get trending stories, celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.

Get the look: 9 ways to create a stylish dorm room on a budget

by Christina Poletto / / Source: TODAY

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter

Back-to-school season is here, and dorm room decorating is in full swing.

And students like Abby Bozeman and Lindy Goodson — who gained international attention for pictures of their ultra-chic dorm room last week — are not alone in spending extra time on dorm decor.

According to a press release by online furniture and decor site Wayfair.com, more and more students across the country are investing time and money into creating comfortable but stylish spaces for the coming school year.

We tapped interior decorator and expert dorm designer Selena Thomas of After Five Designs for her pro tips on how to transform a student's school room without spending a lot of money. Her biggest piece of advice? Invest in pieces that can be used after you leave the dorm.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter

Here are her favorite tips for achieving a stylish look with little investment:

1. "Price shop," says Thomas. She says it pays to start early and look in various places for furniture and accessories, including retail stores, antique shops and consignment boutiques. One way to save money is by picking up carpet remnants or scraps, which are cheaper because they're smaller pieces, and their unfinished ends can be easily disguised in a dorm room.

"On the rugs I buy closeouts and only bind [professionally finish] one side — the other sides are under the bed and desk so you don't see them and it saves money."

RELATED: What you need — and what you don't — for your kid's dorm room

2. Don't feel dictated by that "extra long" dorm room bed; purchase items that can live long past the residence hall. "I buy only queen quilts that can be used again," says Thomas. An added bonus: a longer bedspread hangs down to hide under-bed storage.

3. If you're going to get a new headboard for your bed, Thomas advises clients to purchase queen-sized headboards so they can be used again in subsequent living spaces.

 Queen-sized quilts and headboards can be used post-college. After Five Designs

4. Window treatments have an amazing impact in rooms this size. "I order drapery that's longer and wider than needed to be used in apartments later," says Thomas.

5. Strategic storage and the right kind of cabinets make all the difference in a tiny space. "Cabinets in between the beds hold the refrigerator," says Thomas. "Printer cabinets on the desk hold microwaves, hair dryers and more."

 Stylish cabinets are a great way to bring extra storage into a small dorm space. After Five Designs

RELATED: Removable wallpaper is everywhere: How to use it on dorm walls and mini fridges

6. Lamps can make a room, and Thomas loves buying them in pairs for stylish symmetry. Floor lamps can get pricey but don't despair. "I get mine at IKEA," she says.

 Pro tip: Lamps make a room! After Five Designs

7. Mirrors open up space and reflect light. Thomas, who obtains many of her mirrors at HomeGoods, prefers to place mirrors over the desk area.

8. Use artwork to dress up the space — and pick pieces you love enough to hang onto for the future. "Then it can be used later in an apartment," Thomas says.

 Use art as a focal point in a dorm room. After Five Designs

RELATED: 7 easy tips to keep your college freshman from living in squalor

9. If she had to choose one place to start, Bed Bath & Beyond is Thomas' favorite place to shop for basics from mattress pads to hangers and organizing items. "Extension cords are another must-have," says Thomas.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
MORE FROM today

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend today.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making today.com a better place.