Categories: Dorm Room Love

The Best Ways To Decorate Your College Dorm Room This Year

I’m sure there’s some statistic out there that proves a nicely-decorated college dorm room increases your overall well-being. In my experience, having a clean, cute dorm boosts my productivity. And besides, who doesn’t want their room to be the designated hang-out spot for you and your friends? Here are 10 decorating tips to bring your dream dorm to life:

1. Comfy Seats

College dorm rooms aren’t known as being the world’s most comfortable places. Between the brick walls and linoleum floors, you really have to work hard to make your space cozy. So why not throw in some cushy chairs? There are a lot of affordable options out there for small, easy-to-store seats. I recommend floor cushions. Take it from a college senior: it can get very uncomfortable sitting on your cold, hard floors with your friends. Be a good host/hostess and offer them a floor pillow! If you have enough space, you can also buy a beanbag chair. Both options are easy to transfer on moving days, and compact enough to fit under the bed when you need to clear up some room.

2. Ceramics

I know what you’re thinking: did I read that right? Yes, you did. I highly suggest incorporating ceramics in your college dorm room decor. By “ceramics,” I mostly refer to jewelry and catch-all trays. Not only are they adorable, but they also offer a place to store small items. Trays are the perfect size to put claw clips and keys when not in use. Of course, you can get creative with what types of ceramics you decorate with. Maybe this isn’t everyone’s personal style, but I found a massive Greek bust at a Goodwill for only $7. I put it on my desk for a dark academia vibe. I’m not saying you need to buy a bust, necessarily, but if that’s what you want, then go for it! If a bust isn’t what you’re looking for, ceramic mugs are also cute and multifunctional. Urban Outfitters has a huge selection of ceramic cups, but if you want to bond with your friends or roommates, try painting some yourselves! They’re great for either your pre-lecture coffee or to hold pencils and pens.

3. Milk Crates

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: milk crates are a must for college dorm rooms. You can find them for cheap on HAY’s website, with prices ranging from $5-$24. As I mentioned before, you need to get creative with optimizing your space. Milk crates don’t take up too much room; I keep one of mine on top of my mini fridge, and another stowed under my desk. Depending on their size, they can hold almost anything, from textbooks to makeup, food to clothes. They also come in a wide range of colors, so you can use them to highlight your room’s color scheme. Since they’re usually collapsable, it’s so easy to transport them, too. You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle on move-in day.

4. Spruce up your Bedding

Bedding ties the whole room together. I’ve been a longtime stickler for white sheets and comforters, but I have since changed. Now, I love experimenting with different patterns and colors on my bed. I like to stick to a set color scheme (pinks and greens at the moment) and try to find different comforters that align with it. Again, there are a lot to choose from at Urban Outfitters. I love florals in my bedding, and they have so many options in that style. If you don’t want to commit to a pattern but still want something exciting, stick with solid color bedding. White is boring (and can get messy), so I recommend pastel sheets and blankets.

5. Silk Pillowcases

While we’re on the topic of bedding, let’s talk about silk pillow cases. Silk pillowcases have healing benefits for both your skin and hair. They minimize the risk of acne and wrinkles, as well as reduce frizz for many hair types. Plus, they’re beautiful decorations for any college dorm room! I find that my green silk pillowcase makes my space look more refined. I feel like you transition from adolescence to adulthood the moment you buy one of these. If you’re into coquette, soft aesthetics, silk pillowcases are a must-have. You’ll sleep like royalty!

6. Plants

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Whether they’re real or artificial, plants are a great way to enhance your college dorm room. If you don’t think you can handle taking care of actual plants, I recommend checking out Target for a plastic alternative. Though they’re less eco-friendly, fake plants tend to be cheaper and, obviously, easier to maintain. I bought a few faux-succulents from Target for around $5 each. I love to pretend that they’re actual plants by propping them on my windowsill. Real or not, plants liven up any space they’re placed in. Another option is to purchase fake flowers, which can be found at any craft store.

7. Nightlights

I’m sure by now you’re questioning if I’m actually ten-years-old, and not a senior in college. I can assure you that I’m not a child. You don’t only need a nightlight if you’re scared of the dark; they’re useful at any age. Imagine all those times you’ve stumbled your way through the darkness at 3 A.M. to use the bathroom. Now imagine how much easier that trip would’ve been if you had a nightlight to illuminate the way. The main reason why I love nightlights is that they come in cute shapes. I mean, just look at this clamshell. Adorable. I’ve also seen lights on Amazon that are shaped like hearts, stars, and even dumplings. Fairy or neon lights do the trick,  too, but they’re nowhere near as sweet as these.


However you choose to decorate your college dorm room, make sure it reflects who you are. It’s also nice to include sentimental decorations, such as pictures of friends and family. Not to sound like Marie Kondo, but find a place in your room for whatever sparks joy.

Do you have a friend whose planning their dorm room? Share this post with them!

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Jill Schuck

Hi everyone! My name is Jill, and I'm a senior at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. There, I'm studying creative writing and sociology, with plans to work in publishing. Aside from reading and writing, I enjoy traveling and practicing self-care. If you want to connect, follow my Instagram @jillschuck!

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