Awesome Dorm Room Decor: How to Save Space and Plan Colors, Themes & Patterns

From on August 31, 2009 in Tools and Tips

Classes start real soon! Give your dorm room some personality before those all-nighters steal your soul away (not to mention social life)...

dorm-room-decor.jpgHow Cool is Your Roommate?

If your roommate’s willing, you can plan your theme and colors together, tackle the shopping in one trip, and split the costs equally. It’s infinitely more fun this way and your decor won’t clash.


Since the bed is your biggest piece of furniture, you’ll end up using it as a study area, couch, dining room, and coffee table. A bold solid color can serve as a catalyst for the rest of the room’s decor.

Throw pillows

Adorn the bed with comfy, printed pillows that speak to your own personality. If you’re pressed for cash, buy remnants from a fabric store and hand-stitch the seams. Deep jewel tones or soft vintage fabric will complement any theme.


  • Hang decorative curtains to mask the cold metal mini-blinds and add warmth to the room.
  • Pictures, prints, posters and tapestries are a quick and easy way to add personality to the room. Go with stately, larger prints instead of small, scattered collages that clutter your walls.
  • Nature loves you. Plant some leafy, green friends in clay pots that you and your roommate can paint together.
  • Drape strings of colorful bistro lights along the wall (as close to the ceiling as possible).
  • Keep a bright cotton throw at the foot of each bed.
  • Hang a decorative mirror behind the front door.
  • Find a cool bookcase at a garage sale or consignment shop for textbooks and pictures. Or make your own bookcase with cinder blocks and wood planks and paint it any style you’d like.
  • Add a couple of sweet bean bag chairs.
  • Hang a chalkboard and draw fun pictures. Your friends can leave you drunken love notes - always funny to read later.
  • Set a decorative floor lamp in a corner – it’ll bounce light off the ceiling and give your room a beautiful glow.
  • Floor cushions are a fun way to add color and texture and they make a room more inviting for guests to sit down.


  • Keep storage units as discreet as possible. Look for multi-functional items, such as Under Bed boxes, that can be tucked away out of sight. For increased storage, raise your bed with cement blocks.
  • Closet organizers are a life saver. You can never have enough plastic hooks for hanging purses and belts.
  • Plastic storage drawers are just as handy for storing dishes, glasses, utensils, and food.
  • Stackable plastic crates are your new best friends. Use them for almost anything, from standing as a small table to doubling as additional seating. They come in a variety of colors, making it easy to match your color theme.

Creating more space

  • Bunk the beds, if possible.
  • Move the dressers into the closets.
  • Push the desks back-to-back.

If you have any money left… Go crazy and buy a 19” color TV and a new iPod-compatible stereo.

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Typical dorm: