Color is one of the most important interior design choices you can make, and dorm rooms are no exception to this rule. Based on the same principle that mirrors expand a room because they reflect light, bright colors can, too.
Of course, you'll probably inherit drab, off-white walls in your dorm room. This might be a relatively bright color, but probably not vibrant or inviting (not to mention that many dorm walls are simply painted concrete block, which is cold and uninspiring). If you're allowed to do so, painting your walls a bright color can cheer it up and maximize the light. Don't be afraid to be bold with a bright yellow, green, pink or blue. Some interior designers say cool colors work best for expanding a room, but bright is what's most important.
Check the handbook before you go out to buy the paint, though: Not all colleges permit students to paint their walls. Those that do might require that you simply paint it back before moving out. If your college doesn't allow you to paint the dorm room walls, get some large posters, paintings or tapestry that use predominantly bright colors. Another option is to cover your walls with removable fabric "wallpaper."
Some interior designers recommend getting a few pieces of furniture that are the same color as (or as close as possible to) your bright walls. A low contrast of colors in the room opens it up and allows the furnishings to disappear into the surroundings [source: Holt].