College 101: 5 Tips on Decorating Your Dorm Room

Going back to school has always been one of my favorite times of the year. There’s something so exciting about a new start, with all the new opportunities it holds. When it comes to college, I’ve discovered this is multiplied by ten, especially because I live on campus.

One of my favorite things to do, come September, is decorate my dorm room. I believe in changing things up, bit by bit, every year. However, there are a few specific ideas I stick to when it comes to making a new space a home. My roommates keep joking that I’ve created an ‘oasis’ but I love having a space that makes me feel relaxed and comfortable. Below I’ve listed my top five tips for decorating your dorm room, to do just this.

I hope some of these help you when it comes to creating your own space. I do have to note, however, that I have been incredibly lucky to have had a single dorm room for all four years of college, which has definitely influenced how I fill my space. For those who aren’t as lucky, these tips might need to be adapted a little.

ONE// Less Is More 

My freshman year of college, I rolled up to school with a minivan packed full to the brim. At the time, I had no clue how small an eight foot by ten foot dorm room could be, but I had a Pinterest board full of dorm decor and an optimistic attitude. Let’s just say, it was a year full of stuff. Since then, I’ve learned to cut down- to minimize how I fill my space. It’s so much nicer to have open space filled with simple items, rather than clutter. I also try to stick to a neutral color pallet, mostly blacks and whites, so that I can add various pops of colors.

TWO// Do a Little DIY 

I love perusing the ‘home’ sections of Urban Outfitters and Anthropology, but their prices often make my head hurt. However, a lot of their products can be copied: DIYs made easily at home, for a fraction of the cost. I also love DIYs because you get to fill your space with something you’ve made, which is a whole lot more interesting than filling it with something you’ve bought.

THREE// Bring In a Little Bit of Home 

I believe that it’s incredibly important to make your dorm room feel like home. There are tons of different ways you can do this, but for me, photos and mementos have the greatest effect. I love being surrounded by the people I love and objects that bring back meaningful memories. Another simple way to make your space feel instantly like home- bring the pillow you use everyday. Chances are, you’re use to the shape and feel. Sleep will come easier when you’re head is somewhere familiar. Finally, burning candles or using the same air freshener from home will trick your senses, making the adjustment to your new space that much easier.

FOUR// Keep It Cozy 

Similar to above, candles, blankets, pillows, and other items can make your space wonderfully comfortable. Having a cozy environment where you can hangout and relax is so important, especially when the stress of the semester sets in. You can use throw pillows to make your bed into a couch or utilize cushions and seating to make a reading nook. I also love having extra throws and blankets around to cuddle up when it gets colder.

FIVE// Go Green 

My final and favorite tip of this post: add plants into the mix. I finally realized last year that having greenery and natural elements in my dorm helps me relax and feel much more at home. This year I’m keeping air freshening-sleep inducing plants like lavender, mint, and gardenia on my window sill. However, I also love decorating with cacti, philodendrons, and succulents. These indoor plants are somewhat easy to care for and add a simple beauty to any space.

Let me know how you use these tips in your own space, or if you have any of your own. And for those of you saying goodbye to summer break- welcome back to school! What are you doing to celebrate? 





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