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Dorm Room Decorating Ideas and Inspiration

Moving away for college is an intimidating experience on its own and the minimal dorm room space you will be sharing with a stranger may not be the most appealing. However, we want to help you decorate your dorm room to make you feel at home and create a fun space you cannot wait to share! We have rounded up some dorm room decorating ideas and inspiration to help you design a stylish space to get you ready for the school year.

Glam dorm room decor with two beds filled with pillows, mirrored furniture, and hanging wall decor


Rearrange furniture to create the best layout

When you search through dorm room inspiration photos, you will find that there are a variety of room shapes, sizes, and layouts and unique ways to decorate them. When you first arrive at school, analyze your space with your roommate and rearrange your room so that the furniture rests in areas that make the minimal space you are working with appear larger. This is also a great bonding opportunity for you and your new roommate! You may be surprised by how many different ways you can rearrange multiple dorm room layouts and take advantage of the space you are given by testing out different placements of two beds, desks, and dressers.

Dorm room decor with bed filled with pillows and a velvet throw and a photo wall of images under hanging string lights


Bring nostalgic items from home

The first few weeks of college can be tough for some as it’s a period of transition and adjustment to a new normal. Bringing nostalgic items from home can decrease the feeling of being homesick and make the transition easier. Integrating sentimental pieces from your old bedroom to your new one will remind you of the comfort of home, whether it’s through photographs, keepsakes, or a stuffed animal.

Dorm room decor with tall white bedding, a photo wall of polaroid images, and a diy flower and leaf wall


Dorm room decor with decorative pillows on the bed and fun posters and images taped onto the wall


Decorate your walls

Although you cannot decorate dorm room walls with anything permanent, there are endless damage-free and paint-free decor options and budget-friendly dorm room wall decor DIYs that can quickly transform your wall space. Wall decals are the easiest way to cover up large wall spaces and to apply and remove seamlessly. If repeated throughout the wall, wall decals can have the same effect and look of wallpaper! Command Hooks and Command Strips are go-to hanging options that will leave your walls damage-free. These are perfect for hanging up stylish artwork and prints for your dorm room wall decor. A popular dorm room decorating idea is to create a photo wall with images or you can even add photos to your string lights for an extra design element.

Dorm room decor with a tall bed with white bedding and a pink bed skirt and fuzzy throw and geometric photo frame


Cozy bedding

It’s true when they say there’s no place like home, but many of you may find that college will become a second home and one of your most memorable life experiences. One important factor to tackle first to feel comfortable in your new space is to be comfortable in your new bed because that is one of our favorite things about our own homes. If there is anything you are going to invest in for your dorm room, we would suggest bedding pieces that will make you feel cozy and relaxed after a long or stressful day. Since there is not much in a dorm room, the bed is generally the main focus and conversation area. A great dorm room idea is to turn your bed into a daybed during the day to increase seating for friends you have over simply by adding decorative throw pillows against the back wall, which gives your bed the look of a couch.

Dorm room with bed filled with pillows, a black bed skirt and headboard, and posters, photo frames, and a light above bed


Add a rug

A rug makes a huge difference in any space and will make the biggest difference in your college dorm room. Placing a rug beneath your bed will make your space feel cozy and feel great on your feet whenever you step on or off your bed. Rugs also add warmth to a space and tie a room together. We suggest staying away from white rugs because dorm life includes the occasional spills and heavy foot traffic. A neutral colored rug is one of our favorite options to decorate a dorm room because it will brighten up a space and prevent clashing with the colors, decor, and bedding of your roommate’s side of the bedroom.

Dorm room with white bedding and pink pillows beside a desk with desk bookshelf and wall decor


Make the most of your desk space

Every dorm room and college student needs a comfortable desk to encourage a productive study environment. Maintaining a clean and organized workspace is essential as messy and cluttered areas create a stressful work environment. Stylish organizing accessories or drawers can help reduce clutter and provide easy access to all of your necessities. One way to add additional workspace to your desk while increasing organization and storage is to purchase a desktop shelf organizer. Amazon has affordable options for those decorating a dorm room on a budget! This is a great way to get your books, pencil holders, and other study materials out of your way when working while also adding a decorative element. In addition, it opens up more space for you to add decor and plants to your desk area because dorm rooms can often feel cold and dull. Placing greenery around your space can liven up the mood and add bright colors to make you feel warm and happy.

Dorm room with wood bed frame and white and gray bedding under string lights on wall


Love your lighting

The standard lighting in dorm rooms may not be the most inviting and may lack natural light. Creating a bright space can help you feel more positive and productive. Bringing in extra lighting also gives you the opportunity to bring in decor and colors. A bold colored desk lamp is a great way to subtly incorporate color and decor as desk lamps come in unique colors, shapes, and sizes. String lights have grown in popularity in recent years and the trend is very much still alive! It’s a great way to add light while personalizing your space as you can drape them over your headboard, hang them from your ceiling, or wrap them and place them in a mason jar for simple decor touches.

Urban Outfitters Home rose gold over-the-door multi-hooks shaped like a llama


Vertical storage

Let’s face it, moving into a dorm room is not as exciting as moving into your own master bedroom in a new apartment and no matter how little you pack, you may still feel like there is just not enough space in your room for your things. This is where vertical storage will become your best friend. Less items on the floor create a more open and clutter-free space, so creating vertical storage can help achieve that while also remaining stylish. A pocket organizer on the door to your bedroom or closet can hold shoes, toiletries, and other loose items. If you are struggling to find floor space for a standing mirror, consider an over-the-door hanging mirror. You can also hang over-the-door multi-hooks to store coats, jackets, towels, and other accessories. This helps develop a more organized room overall and keep your most-used belongings visible.

It’s normal to be nervous and excited for this new chapter in your life, but one of the simplest ways to make this transition easier is to take your dorm room decorating ideas and inspiration and create a space that makes you feel at home. With the free DecorMatters app, you can design your dream dorm room and freely test out multiple layouts, furniture options, and decor pieces until you have created a space you love.

An image of a small home office space with a wooden desk and a yellow desk chair behind text that reads Visualize Your Dorm Room, Design Now.

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