How to Decorate a Dorm 101

When starting to decorate your dorm, it is important to keep in mind the space requirements, as well as numerous design tenants. It’s really important to keep in mind that with the lack of space, most things have to be multifunctional and serve a lot of different purposes. Desks can double as TV tables, and beds can be stacked so that said bed goes underneath. Another important element is keeping in mind that many things need to be nest-able so that a chair can slide perfectly under a desk. Layout experts at Dormify state that it is best to rearrange your furniture as soon as you get to your dorm, so that you have a clean slate to begin decorating with.


Another thing to keep in mind is possibly coordinating with your roommates so that colors don’t clash. Catherine Langer (12) states that she is “so excited” to coordinate with her roommate and decorate her room so that it all flows. The most popular color for dorms is often grey, because of it’s neutrality and ability to match with many other colors. Decorations on the walls that will work with anything (without clashing) often include printed photographs from years past, and polaroids of memories with old friends. Often, people will simply tape these up, maybe even with Washi tape; however, for a more stylish, boho vibe, you could string them up with twine and small clothespins. Another staple of many dorms is having small lights woven across the walls. Do keep in mind, though, that wall space is limited, so don’t pack too many decorations. If you’re worried about the cost, bloggers all over the world have compiled a lot of DIY tips for decorating, all it takes is a quick Google (or Pintrest) search.


Tapestries are also prevalent in many dorms. Many people will opt for the more traditional tapestry to go with the boho vibe; however, keep in mind that there are many other forms available. For instance, Society6 offers tapestries that are printed with art from various indie artists. You could get tapestries ranging from a cubist interpretation of the California flag to surrealist art that incorporates many different forms. If you really want everything to tie together, incorporate the colors from the tapestry into your bedspread.


Other dorm essentials include a coffee maker, microwave, and mini fridge. Make sure to coordinate the more expensive items with your roommate(s), so that you don’t end up spending too much money!