Things To Do

Deck Out Your Dorm

Wanting to spruce up your dorm room come the fall semester? Arrive in style with these tips.



Most dorm beds fit Twin XL bedding, and while this may seem limiting, there are loads of design choices to choose from. Texture and color are key when it comes to your bed in such a small space. Choosing a neutral color for your sheets and bedspread but going wild with the colors, shapes, sizes, and textures of your pillowcases and extra pillows can liven up your space while keeping it cozy. Adding in a funky patterned throw blanket can also enrich the look.



Since you’re likely sharing a bathroom with other students, being able to carry all your toiletries in and out is going to be huge for you. A mesh bag-style shower caddy will keep you organized and can look cute sitting on your desk or tucked away. 

For bathroom-related storage within your dorm, a stationary storage drawer (or one on wheels) will help you store your products and give you easy access. If you’re lucky, sharing an over-door hanging storage shelf with your roomie can be a great compromise in a pinch. 


Plants (AKA Dependents)

Most dorms have at least one window and it’s usually the perfect size for a small plant or two. One of the easiest plants to start with is bamboo, specifically Lucky Bamboo because it’s very forgiving when it comes to watering. If your dorm room doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, a Pothos plant is perfect since it’s resilient and tolerates low-light conditions.

Unfortunately, there are some plants you should be cautious of buying. Cacti and those cute tiny succulents you see at the hardware shop, while touted as good beginner’s plants, are very easy to overwater for first-time plant owners. If you’re willing to take up the challenge, make sure to do your research!


Seating and Comfy Items

Who doesn’t love being comfy and cozy in their own space? Luckily, there are plenty of seating options that can be tucked away beneath your bed or in a corner.

Bean bag chairs have come a long way since the early 2000s, and you’ll be pleased to know that the classic egg-shaped blob you’re used to is no longer the norm. Bean bag chairs can come in armchair and couch shapes as well as elongated, massive pillows. 

Saucer chairs, miniature futons and loveseats, themed cushion sofas, and more offer a variety of colors that can liven up your dorm. If traditional seating isn’t your thing, oversized cushions, poufs, ottomans, and footrests can fulfill your sitting room needs.


Decor and Storage

Decorating your dorm room is where the fun begins, and there are plenty of ways to do this. Stringing up fairy lights or lining the ceiling with LED lights is often the way to go, but floor and desk lamps are also great choices for soft lighting.

For the memory makers, a photo wall is easy to have shipped to you through websites like Shutterfly that can create a collage for you. If you’re really into polaroids, a corkboard organizer or clip photo holder can easily display your photographs. 

For the most part, the walls will give you the most space to express yourself. You might be able to get away with shelving, but for the most part, posters and wall decors like paintings, signs, and tapestries will more than likely make up the most of it.

As for staying tidy, you’re going to need plenty of compact storage as the clutter adds up. This makes stackable storage bins, shoe racks, and cube bins your best friends for the next few years. Being able to neatly slot away your books, electronics, hobby items, and more when you’re done for the day will make keeping your space tidy much easier.


Lighting and Ambiance

Having the perfect lighting in your dorm can give your space more character and keep you from straining your eyes when studying. The soft glow of fairy lights is a popular option for stringing up on your wall. For more vibrancy, LED lights are the way to go thanks to the variety of color choices available. As for your desk, being able to control the amount of light you need is crucial. Therefore, spring for an LED desk lamp or small floor lamp with an adjustable pole as well as brightening and dimming options so you have absolute say over the tones and brightness of your study space.

All in all, your dorm is going to be your first taste of freedom and responsibility. Make it your home away from home by adding as much or as little creative flair as you would like. This is your space, your sanctuary, and your nap zone, so make the most of it!

This article was originally published in June 2023.

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