How to Decorate your Dorm Room: Top Tips for Students



Moving into a dorm room at university can be an exciting adventure. You have more independence and can style the room exactly the way you want to… but how do you do this? Decorating a place where you will spend a large chunk of your time can be difficult, so below are some helpful tips to follow when considering how to pump up the style in your dorm room.

Rearrange the room for the best layout

One of the first steps to take when decorating your new dorm room is to rearrange it so the room has an optimal layout. This could mean moving the bed into the corner to face a window, placing desks back to back if you have a roommate or placing a dresser in front of a window.

Make sure the layout allows for flow and does not become difficult to navigate. If you would like to arrange the room so each person has their own privacy, make it so the beds face away from each other. You could install curtains on a rail as a divider, but be sure that you have permission to make physical changes to the room before you do so.

Think multifunctional

Storage is often an issue in small dorm rooms, so you should look at multifunctional furniture when shopping for pieces. Ottomans that open up into storage are ideal, as they are small enough to fit into a room and provide a comfortable footrest as well.

If you do not have a bed in your dorm room, a sleeper couch or futon is a clever choice. A sleeper couch can fold back up during the day for a comfortable place to study and fold back out when you need to sleep, as can a futon. Plastic storage drawers can double as nightstands due to their flat surfaces, and they provide easy-to-move storage with affordable price tags.

Colour coordination is key

Your dorm room will most likely not be as large as you expect it to be, which is why coordinating the colours of the room is important. This will avoid making the room appear cluttered and smaller, while also creating symmetry in the room.

If you have a roommate, talk to them before either of you move in so you can both decide on a colour scheme that suits your different tastes. You may prefer electric green while your roommate prefers subtle navy blue. Compromise on your favourite colours and choose a scheme that allows both of you to express yourselves.

Dress up the walls

Plain white walls are not inspiring to young, creative minds. You can change this by putting up photos in colourful frames, using wall vinyls in bright patterns or using strings to hang Polaroid shots above your bed.

If you enjoy being organised but do not have space to store diaries and planners, you can put up a cork noticeboard above your desk to pin up reminders, notes and study schedules. Make it colourful and quirky so it can become a piece of wall art in itself. You could hang up a funky bohemian tapestry on the wall above your bed to inject some visual interest into the room. Always be sure to ask for permission before hanging anything!

Wonderful washi tape

Washi tape is Japanese masking tape that is available in almost any design you can think of. The best part is that it is completely removable and reusable, so you will not damage any walls, drawers or cupboards that you use it on.

Washi tape can be used for so many fun personalisation projects, such as covering photo frames, making homemade wallpaper, covering drawers or even door handles. An interesting way to use washi tape would be: cover a cork board in strips of different designs, frame it without the glass and put nails in to hang jewellery or keys from. This will create extra storage space for items that are often easily lost in the clutter and it will add a pop of colour and personality to the room.

Use the space under your bed

One of the most efficient ways to eliminate clutter is to use the space under your bed for extra storage. You can use clear plastic boxes to store winter clothing out of the way until you need it or use the suitcases you moved with instead as storage.

By using this space, you will have more space in your dorm room to put decorative items, functional furniture and you will free up space to store clothes or shoes. If your bed is not high enough to use large boxes or suitcases, look for thin plastic boxes or even vacuum pack your clothes in durable plastic bags to fit underneath.

Keep it fresh and funky

You will likely spend a large amount of time in your dorm room during your university career, so be sure to decorate in a way that you enjoy seeing your room every day. Avoid using dark colours, as these can make a room appear smaller and put up motivational posters to help with those difficult days. One of the most important things to remember is to have fun and enjoy your newfound independence!

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