Dorm Room Decorating Tips

Dorm Room Decorating Tips

Personalize dorm rooms with these easy, fun and non-permanent décor ideas.

By: Bryn Dunn

Add some customized touches like fabric crafts, fun area rugs and collection displays to make dorm rooms feel more like home. Our inexpensive, creative ideas will provide easy ways to make the transition to dorm life more comfortable.

Embrace Neutral Designs
Work with neutrally painted walls to create a space that feels natural, light and open.

  • Keep bedding neutral with light duvet covers and earthy materials like linen.
  • Put down a jute rug to help create an organic look with the white walls.
  • Bring in reflective materials like glass lamps and mirrors to give the room a bright, airy feel.

Create a Gallery Wall

  • Bring a taste of home into the dorm by covering plain walls with framed pictures or convert the room into a movable exhibition with vintage paintings (or prints) or modern prints with removable adhesive strips.

Decorate with Fabric
Use fabric as a non-permanent way to customize the dorm room.


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  • Bring in throw pillows to personalize the bed. Paint them with the school colors to really tie in the college feel.
  • Cover blinds with drapes and valances made out of any fabric that suits your style.
  • Create a functional bulletin board. Spray a corkboard with adhesive, smooth the fabric on then staple it onto the back.

Throw in a New Rug

  • If the dorm has colored carpet, select a rug with similar hues to tie it all in.
  • Select the largest rug you can to absorb sound and make the room feel more finished and cozy.
  • Choose a fun, geometric pattern or go with a neutral, solid rug to match your style.

Personalize the Space

  • Add removable polka dots for a perfect way to add a splash of color.
  • Hang creative mobiles to add personality while saving space on walls.
  • Attach homemade paper butterflies to walls or doors for a crafty design element.

After leaving her day job in 2010 to pursue her lifelong dream of decorating full time, Bryn founded Bryn Alexandra Interiors. She currently decorates homes in Charlotte, N.C., where she lives with her husband, Matt, and writes about her life and love of interior design on her blog,
Bryn Alexandra.

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