It’s that time of year again, back to school season! With my son moving away and setting off to University, I was inspired to create a practical yet pretty space to make you home away from home a little more like home.

When your children leave home, or you are planning on leaving home yourself for school, you know how difficult it can be to make this tiny little space personal, practical and affordable! This is your space for the next eight months, and it is important for it to be a relaxing and enjoyable place for you to come home to at the end of a long day.

I decided to focus on one very important (and often overlooked) area of the college dorm room – the desk space! Starting school, you will probably be spending a lot of time studying at your desk, so it’s important for it to be a comfortable place that motivates you to make it through those long nights and exam weeks.


The focal point of this space will be, of course, your desk. Going back to school is the perfect time to give your current desk a quick refresh with a little paint, or, if you don’t already have a desk that you can bring to school, it’s a great time to search for one at auctions and thrift stores for an affordable option. Once you have your desk, it’s time to get out the paintbrushes and crack open the paint cans!

Since your walls are probably a neutral colour, you have lots of options for your desk colour depending on your décor. Choose a colour that reflects your personality and brightens your mood to make an enjoyable and relaxing study space. I’ve always been a big fan of soft neutrals, and have a soft spot for anything green. I chose Fusion’s “Bedford” for a cozy, calming feel (you can view the rest of our paint colours here). This grey-green softens up any space, and adds a little bit of depth while still staying very neutral.

As much as I love paint and repurposing old furniture and giving it a new life, my favourite part has to be the accessorizing. Accessories are what really make your space your own and can be a great way to add some personal flair.

I am all about staying motivated and inspired while working at your desk, and adding lots and lots of quotes is the perfect way to do just that! Pinterest is my go-to source for inspirational quotes to get me through the day (I have an entire board dedicated to my favourite quotes at! I simply printed out these quotes and cut them to the size of these little frames (you can find them just about anywhere).

Quote and Flowers


Next to my quotes, I like to have a few things set out on the desk like a fresh bouquet of flowers to brighten my mood. Flowers always make me happy, and can bring some life into your space during the colder months. You can never have too many flowers! Buying a small bouquet of flowers or picking some wildflowers for yourself can really lift your spirits, and give your desk a pretty feminine touch. Once I set my flowers on my desk, I added this shabby chic clock to keep track of time in style. There’s something so pretty & practical about having an old-fashioned clock on your desk. For a little something lighthearted and funny, I added this chalkboard-style quote. I think everybody could use a day between Saturday and Sunday!

Clock and Quotes

While you want your desk space to be personal and pretty, it also needs to be practical! You can never go wrong with a chalkboard to get organized & write down important dates and reminders. A classic chalkboard makes the perfect addition to your space, and is a great way to remind yourself about important tests and deadlines. A chalkboard can make meal planning, to-do lists and pretty much everything a little more manageable. We have an entire blogpost up on how to make your own chalkboard, so you can check it out here for a quick & simple back to school DIY.


For the final cozy touch, I added a small oval rug and a magazine rack to hold textbooks and notebooks. I thought this was the perfect addition to the room, especially if you have hardwood or tile floors. A great way to keep cozy during the colder months (even though I wish they’d never come)!

I hope this post inspired you to make your desk a space that you can enjoy. We would love to see pictures of your dorm spaces to see what you’ve done to make it your own, so tag us in your pictures on Instagram or post them right to our Facebook page.

We look forward to seeing your creativity shine through this upcoming semester! Study hard & stay happy.