The college dorm room: the home away from home, humble abode, warzone of laundry, whatever you choose to call it…your dorm room is your space for the next year. It’s a fact that these rooms start out extremely boring. When you first walk in and see the gray cinderblock walls, plain bed, desk, and drawers, it’s hard to imagine how you’ll be able to transform this spot into the perfect Instagram worthy backdrop. To help you see the light at the end of the tunnel, here are 20 dorm decor photos to inspire you and make you feel like you did something productive today.
An easy way to spruce up your dorm decor is to add curtains. Most college rooms will include a set of mini blinds, but they aren’t the prettiest. Plus, who knows when they were last cleaned or replaced? Curtains will make your room look more put together and even help elongate the room.
2. Loft Bed
Lofting a dorm bed is a tried and true way to utilize all the available space in the room. The dorm room below used the loft bed space as a way to add extra seating, which is always great when you have your friends come over to watch the away game.
3. Pennant Banners
Pennant banners are available at schools with mascots and school pride on them, but if that isn’t your thing you can make your own to hang in your dorm. From letters to polka dots, these pennants can be made to fit any style.
Fairy/twinkle/Christmas lights are a classic way to add some pizzazz to any boring space. This common dorm decor is popular for a reason – delicate lights make a room feel super cozy and homey.
5. Bright & Clean Color Palettes
Bright and semi-monochromatic color schemes can make a room feel much larger than it actually is, which is a goal of every college student. Science also proves that clean and bright rooms clear our minds, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty.
6. Swap Out Plastic Drawers
Plastic drawers seem to be a college staple. Yes, they are great for tucking things away, but they can be difficult to clean and are not always the cutest. If you’re feeling bored with your space, try swapping them out with little wooden cubbies and baskets. These have the same idea, but can really class up a place. They’re great for inside a closet, too.
Walls are another hidden gem when it comes to space saving. If you have a tight space, a shelf by your bed can be helpful for keeping essentials like an alarm clock and glasses. Find one with a lip on the edge so nothing falls off and so you can prop things like note cards up on it as well!
If you’re a big music fan, let that show in your dorm decor. Use records as wall art, or if you don’t want to risk scratching the records, hang up the album cover art instead.
Tassels are a fun DIY to liven up your dorm room. These can be easily created with yarn and made to be either giant statements or small garlands.
Ever since Tumblr blew up with polaroid photos a few years ago, these little guys have made a huge comeback. While a lot of people just tape them to the wall, if you use the wrong tape it can tear the paint off the wall (a big unwanted hassle for dorms) and the paint-safe tape usually isn’t super sticky, resulting in the photos easily falling down to their doom aka behind a bed or dresser. With some string and a few clothespins, this problem can be solved without breaking the bank.
11. Gallery Wall
Gallery walls are simply walls filled with photographs, which don’t cost much at all, and fill up that blank wall space with memories.
Tapestries instantly brighten up a room and make the room a lot more colorful. These tapestries are totally Instagram and dorm decor worthy!
13. Bar Cart
Revamp a bar cart or little metal caddy as a dorm nightstand or just portable storage. If it has wheels, you can simply roll it around; that’ll mean one less thing that you’ll have to get out of bed for (bonus points)!
14. Temporary Wallpaper
If your dorm allows it, temporary wallpaper is a great way to make a room your own. With renting and apartments becoming more popular, temporary wallpaper can be found in several stores and comes in all different designs! This can also be used on the back of shelves for a pop of color.
15. Wall (Literally) Calendar
Make you own wall calendar out of washi tape! It’ll make a statement and make you look like the organization queen. Variations of this could be with cork board or chalk boards.
Pegboards are a very versatile method of display and storage. There are hundreds of different attachments and accessories that are available for the boards, including regular pegs and even little bins to hook onto it.
Adding life into your space is a great way to freshen up the room. Even if the plants are fake, a little greenery goes a long way for making your space feel more like home!
18. Clipboard Wall Hangings
Who knew clipboards could be so handy? Use command strips to attach an array of clipboards on the wall over your desk. You can break it up into classes, days, months, or anything for your use.
19. Clip On Photo Frames
Picture frames with wire where you can just clothespin on photos have become extremely popular lately, and they’re also pretty practical. Instead of buying specifically sized frames for individual photos, these photo boards of sorts can accommodate all sizes of pictures and other mementos.
Make your dorm room somewhere you love to be. You’re going to be living in this room for the next 6 to 12 months, so don’t be afraid to put your own flare into it. Your room being picturesque or aesthetically pleasing doesn’t even matter if you don’t love it yourself!