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It’s almost college move-in time, which means kids and parents need to decide how to make a dorm room cozy. Given the challenges of limited—and shared—spaces, and the lack of control over room layout or colorways, this is no easy task. Still, with a little vision—and the perfect dorm accessories—this guide will show you how to decorate a dorm room so it truly feels like home.
How to Decorate a Dorm Room: A Step-by-Step Guide
Dorm rooms are notoriously small—especially if one or more roommates will be sharing the same tiny space. In order to make a dorm room feel cozy, not cluttered, it’s very important to save space. If possible, try to loft dorm beds and use the newly exposed floor area for storage purposes. Maximize closets with organizers and multi-piece hangers. And always think vertically, since using wall space will help fit in more storage without adding clutter.
One quick note before diving into specific dorm accessories: unless students are in a single room, future roommates should collaborate on dorm room ideas well ahead of move-in—and before anyone purchased anything. Co-create a mood board, pick a color scheme, and send each other product links before making final decisions. Not only will this set the stage for a tension-free move-in period, it will also result in better coordinated dorm room décor, and a better overall design concept.
Space Saving Dorm Accessories
There are so many ways to save space and beautify even the dullest of college dorm rooms. First, try to tackle that tiny closet situation, using dorm accessories like these Vegan Leather-Trim Canvas Bins to create extra shelf space while keeping clothing tidy and easy to find. For taller closets, consider adding this rolling storage cart beneath hanging items—it can double existing closet space!
Next, add seating for friends—and even more stashing options—with this adorable Round Storage Pouf. Available in five different colors, there’s a style to work with most design concepts, plus it’s a piece of dorm room décor that simultaneously welcomes guests and banishes clutter.
Finally and once again, make sure to maximize vertical space! Since every dorm room comes with a desk, add dorm room accessories like this 71”Bedford Leaning Desk, designed to bracket desk tops and add places to store those bulky textbooks. It also creates an opportunity to display decorative dorm décor like this desk organizer or a LED table lamp. Consider also adding a faux farmhouse plant, perfect for adding greenery without forcing the kids to water something regularly.
Space Saving Dorm Accessories
How to Make a Dorm Room Cozy
Once the space issue has been tackled, it’s time to find a dorm room décor that balances out cinder block walls and linoleum floors. This cozying process begins with bedding. One of the smartest dorm room ideas is to start with a comforter in a neutral color palette, like this Wake in Cloud Beige Boho Comforter Set. Add in lush, coordinating towels with this luxury cotton poly set, then add pops of color with throw pillow covers like these Decorative Velvet Covers. Available in 29 different colors and finished in super soft velvet, they’re perfect for making dorm rooms bright and cozy.
Prefer to keep decorating simple and coordinated? Grab a bundled set. It includes bedding, comforters and towels, and comes in different colors and patterns to suit any style preference. As an added bonus, the set also includes a lovely area rug and extra storage, making this a practical purchase and a very smart dorm room idea.
Cozy Dorm Room Ideas
Dorm Room Ideas to Brighten up a Dull Space
Having tackled some of the biggest dorm room design challenges, it’s time to talk about lighting. While more modern spaces have upgraded overhead lighting, many dorms still come with dim or glaring fluorescent lighting. Adding in customized lighting solutions will make the dorm room more attractive, while creating a better study environment.
Even with limited floor space, placing a strategic table lamp will make late night study sessions easier on the eyes. Try this portable Govee Smart Lamp. Compatible with Alexa and equipped with voice-control recharging capabilities as well as a plug-in option, it’s the perfect dorm accessory to do double duty as a bedside and desk lamp.
Want to add some ambiance to the dorm room? Hang these Govee Smart LED Strip Lights to add a soft glow that lights up a dull space. Even better? The system integrates with Google assistant and offers modes that sync with a playlist, meaning this dorm room is the one everyone on the hall will want to visit.
Finally, for soft lighting that can help fight exam week stressors, try thisdiffuser and salt therapy lamp. Combining the therapeutic powers of salt and aromatherapy with five different ambient light settings, it’s the soothing dorm room décor that every college student will appreciate.
Brighten up a Dull Space Dorm Room Ideas
Dorm Room Ideas: Beautify with Dorm Room Décor
At this point, all the basics are covered. Now it’s time to play and add some fun and beauty to the dorm. Especially in small spaces, this full-length mirror is a must add. Mirrors can make a small space feel larger—especially in low-ceilinged areas—and this one is also decorative, thanks to its lovely gold-tone aluminum alloy frame. Plus, it comes with a supportive stand, so there’s no need to fuss with properly hanging the mirror.
To make the room feel more home-like, and less temporary, try swapping taped up posters for framed pieces like this framed museum poster art. While it doesn’t carry a hefty price tag, it’s one of those dorm room ideas that adds instant sophistication to a young adult’s space.
Got a student who’s more into photo collages? Help them make their creations more polished and decorative with this DIY Frames Collage Set, designed to keep pictures looking purposeful and in good condition.
Dorm Room Décor
Are you looking for dorm room ideas that can make your space cozy and gorgeous? Which items are on your must-have packing list? Share in the comments below!