For many of us, dorm room decorating is the first opportunity we have to style a living space to fit our own personal vibe. Having spent years compromising on color, aesthetic and décor in your bedroom in your family home, it’s no wonder that since you are moving into dorms, you want to fully express yourself. Plus, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your new dorm room, so you might as well make it as comfortable and cozy as possible!

But where do you start? If you haven’t experimented with your true style before, it can be difficult to know what might suit your persona or what sort of design style you’d like. Don’t panic. We have come up with some top tips to help you find your true design style and how to implement it in your very own dorm room.

Creative Ideas for Decorating a Dorm Room

1)  Add Wall Art 

By far the cheapest and easiest creative dorm room idea is to focus on wall art, wall hangings, tapestries and photos. Dorm rooms are often painted a shabby shade of gray or white, so hanging wall art helps cover a wide area with a picture that is personal to you. 

For example, displaying a trio of wall art pictures is playful yet versatile. Or choosing a gallery of personal photos will showcase your love for your friends and family. Framed photos are cost effective and speedy solutions to displaying your personality in your dorm room.

light academia dorm decor style guide

Light Academia Dorm Decor | Wall Scroll - Globe - Leather Journal - Olive Branch

2) Use Home Textiles 

Make your dorm room feel like home by adding some accent furnishings. With classes, meeting new friends, and finding your groove away from home, your dorm can serve as a calm and warm environment to relax and unwind. Adding comfy throw cushions, textured blankets and funky rugs can all create this look.

When experimenting with home textiles, think about the color, design and texture that they will be adding to a room. Where possible, try colors that complement one another and, if you are short on space, use pillows to add pattern and interest to a dorm room design scheme. Floral patterns and geometric patterns work well, but any interesting design or texture will look great too.

3) Style Up Your Furniture

Most dorm rooms will come with a certain amount of furniture which typically includes a bed, wardrobe, drawers and chair. BUT just because they are part of the package doesn’t mean that you can’t swap them out for your own style, or add some statement pieces that pull the room together.

dark academia dorm decor style guide

Dark Academia Dorm Decor | Serpent Mirror - Quote Wall Hanging - Chair - Pillow

Adding elements such as removable vinyl, table coverings and low tack stickers to wooden furniture can add a new layer of design to the room without spending much money.

If your living set-up allows for you to bring your own bed, a proper bed frame can instantly elevate the mood of a room. 

4) Light is Key

We cannot stress this enough, light is a very important part of your dorm room design, particularly as it is a multi-function room. You will be sleeping, relaxing, studying and hanging out with friends in the same space and each of these situations needs a different lighting setup.

For studying, use a table lamp or adjustable desk lamp to help you focus on your work. For resting or chilling, a dimmer and warmer light can create a more relaxing atmosphere. Adding these lighting elements also provides you with an opportunity to personalize the style by choosing a base and lampshade that fits in with your theme.

5) Finishing Touches

Adding those little touches that make the space feel unique, like plastic houseplants, bookends, or decorative items can really help to bring your personality to the room. Whether you love all things vintage or prefer the sleek lines of modern decorative objects, you can adorn your space with all the curiosities that you hold dear and make your dorm room your own.

cottage core dorm decor style guide

Cottage Core Dorm Decor | Embroidery Hoop - Book Ends - Owl Vase - Paperweight - Glass Mister

The Top Dorm Decorating Tips

Keep it Temporary

In most cases, dorm rooms have rules that state you are not allowed to make any permanent changes or mark the walls/floors. For this reason, think about how every element of your design can be temporary. There are lots of creative ways you can decorate your room to your personal style without painting the walls or using nails, you just need to be a bit creative and focus on furnishings and textiles.

Play With the Layout

Just because your dorm room is laid out in a set way, doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. Play around with the layout until you are happy. This could take several weeks of trial and error but is a worthwhile process once you find a layout that you are happy with.

Let Your Personal Style Evolve

As you grow through your college years, so will your personal style, and that is OK! Share this evolution with your design scheme and change up your dorm room design every so often.

Where To Find More Dorm Room Design Ideas

Finding inspiration for your dorm room design scheme is easy thanks to the likes of Pinterest and interior design magazines. However, if you have no idea where to start when planning a scheme, there are companies dedicated to helping you with this process such as City Home.

We hope that these ideas have helped you to decide how to decorate your dorm room and make it personal to you. You are about to embark on an exciting new season of life, and we hope you can create a living space where you will love hanging out.

Have all these ideas got you in the mood for a dorm room makeover? Shop the City Home decor collection, for any aesthetic!