I Love Lamp: DIY Lighting for Your Dorm Room

I Love Lamp: DIY Lighting for Your Dorm Room

congreve single ugh

One thing that I really wanted to bring into my dorm this year was a homey feel. To me this meant using soft lighting, tons of seating and carefully placed memorabilia. There are a few simple tricks I used to achieve this look without breaking the bank. This Post – Lighting.

I’m a big fan of soft lighting. It creates a relaxing environment. Pacing lamps around your room and using low-wattage light bulbs are a great ways to create that homey feel, and also add a touch of style. Nothing says “that girl knows how to decorate” better than well placed lighting.

DIY Lamps for Your Dorm Room

Buying multiples of the same lamp is a really easy way to tie a space together. They can also be used to create symmetry. I have two of the exact same lamp at either end of my bed.

unh dorm room


You don’t have to get multiples of the same lamp. You can mix them up as well! Maybe buying brand new matching lamps isn’t your style, or isn’t in the budget. That’s cool, we’re in college, and I get it. Some rooms look awesome with mismatched lamps, usually ones that don’t have a lot of symmetry or a real color scheme (if you currently have a tapestry hanging in your room, this probably means you. If you have multiple tapestries hanging in your room, this DEFINITELY  means you) Mismatching lamps can be an art form, but have no fear! Here’s are some totally awesome DIYs that will get you so many likes on Instagram! (Curtains Please!)



1. Go to a thrift shop, tag sale, yard sale, really any place that you can find cheap lamps. Oh, and make sure they work!

Here are some tips:

  • UNH Suggestion: Savers
  • More lamps = more light. I would suggest three for a single dorm, and you can add for bigger rooms.
  • I would also make sure that the room can hold the weight of your lamp. Lamps that are too big with take up much-needed space and lamps that are too small don’t get the job done.
  • One thing that I think looks cool is combining table lamps with floor lamps! Floor lamps are really an underdog. Place them next to a chair, add a small table and voila! Reading corner!

2. Purchase aforementioned lamps

Side Note: If you have a tapestry, then this is where you skip to step 4, or read on.

3. Now comes the fun part: tying them together! There are a few simple ways of doing this:

  • Match the lamp shades
  • Match the bases
  • Match the shades and the bases with color!

Matching the shades:

  • You can do this by buying brand new matching shades (again, budget, college, I get it).
  • Or you can make them not only match, but also reflect your own style. Bam! Individuality!

Due to the wonder that is the World Wide Web and because I’m such a nice person, here is the link to the website featuring fabulous DIY lamp shades. You’re welcome

Matching the bases:

  • Another way you can tie the lamps together in by matching your bases, and having different shades. This isn’t one of my favorite ways, but hey, the option is out there for you.

Matching the Shades and the Bases with Color:

  • The last, probably most fun way to bring together different lamps is to have the same shade with different bases that are the same color. That sounds kind of confusing, so let me explain. This means that you take the lamps you bought, and you use glossy spray paint and paint them the same color. Then add matching shades, like the ones above, or add some fresh ones, and there you have it!

4. Plug those babies in and let your personality shine! (pun intended)

Make it Easy for Yourself

Probably the smartest decision I made while shopping for my dorm room was to get battery light switches. These magical little babies are just outlets you plug into the wall that have their own remote button or wall switch. The buttons are portable, and the switches can easily be hung by your door with command strips.

These are awesome because you can plug all of the lamps into this one outlet (don’t overcrowd the outlet though) and easily power all of the lights on and off at once. Genius.

Watts Up?

Did you know the wattage of your light-bulb affects how bright the light is and what color it emits? Lower wattage bulbs provide softer light, more of that “yellowy” color, where the higher watts are brighter and appear more “blue.” If you are looking for that homey feel I had mentioned earlier than the 60 watts is your guy.


Who is ready to get started? Your UNH dorm will be perfectly lit in no time!