21 Stylish Dorm Room Essentials That Look More Expensive Than They Are

Moving into a dorm room is exciting for a number of reasons. It's the first time you've lived on your own, which means no more curfew to abide by and no arbitrary rules to cramp your style—now you have a space to decorate from scratch. But the fact that it's also a small shared space with a stranger introduces some tricky challenges as well, like how to create a home away home with such little square footage to work with. Not to mention the sad, outdated staples you'll inherit (itchy upholstered desk chair, we're looking at you). Sure, a poster or two may help, but there's only so much one little piece of paper can do.

So yes, it's challenging, but it's not as difficult as it is to register for a class you actually want to take as an incoming freshman. The key is to maximize storage space with clever multipurpose pieces and to take advantage of every little opportunity to make a style statement that elevates the aesthetic. So parents, first-time dorm dwellers, or anyone else living in a tiny space, we came up with 21 dorm room ideas to help you prepare for the big move ahead. Read on for a shopping guide of dorm room essentials that will make it feel grown-up, homey, and as spacious as possible.