The typical college dorm room – complete with large tile floors, cinderblock walls, and beige everything – might seem like an impossible design challenge. We get it. The aesthetic doesn’t exactly scream “modern farmhouse,” and while some elements (like the furniture and layout) are beyond your control, we do have some dorm room ideas and simple tips that could take your dorm room from drab to Instagram fab in no time.
1. Coordinate with your roommate
If possible, a little roommate coordination at the beginning can go a long way. You don’t have to buy matching everything (or even matching anything) but making a few decisions — like agreeing on a color scheme and purchasing coordinating bedding — can make a big difference in the look and feel of your small space.
2. Create a welcoming entry way
Even in a dorm room, your entry way says a lot about you — and it might be the first impression you make on your new college friends! One of our favorite dorm room décor ideas is to hang a wreath on your door and add a fun, welcoming door mat.
3. Think symmetrically
Arranging two sets of furniture in a tight space can be challenging. There are certainly benefits to bunking your beds, but symmetry never fails. A great dorm room idea is to arrange furniture symmetrically so that each roommate has their own designated space (which can be especially comforting in a new living environment).
4. Cover the walls
There’s no way around it; cinderblock walls are unsightly. A great idea for dorm room décor is to add a gallery wall or some shelving to break up the blank space. Break the college décor stereotype and frame music and movie posters for a slightly more sophisticated look.
5. Lighting is everything
Most dorm rooms offer little natural lighting and so much florescent lighting. Ditch the harsh overhead lights and pick up a few cute lamps to set around. This subtle dorm room idea will make a big difference in creating a space that feels both cozy and calming.
6. Consider curtains
While we wouldn’t suggest custom window treatments in a dorm room, adding a simple curtain to your window can really elevate a space. Chances are your window will be small, so two curtain panels will be plenty full.
7. Consider splurging on bedding
If there’s one thing to splurge on when it comes to dorm room décor, it’s bedding. Your bed will be the focal point of your room, not to mention your place of retreat at the end of the day, so find bedding that you really love.
8. Incorporate texture
Adding texture to your dorm room will could it feel extra homey. A woven throw blanket at the end of your bed or tossed over the back of your computer chair, some fun decorative pillows, and an area rug can create an atmosphere that is all things cozy.
9. Add a plant
Even dorm rooms need house plants! Just choose wisely; a high maintenance plant in your first place might not be ideal, but a plant that is easy to care for (like a Snake Plant or a ZZ Plant) could add a touch of life to your small space.
10. Keep things organized
As with any small space, organization is key. Having designated spots for your things will make a big difference. One of our favorite dorm room ideas is to incorporate pieces that double as storage, because it’s a great way to cut down on (or at least stow away) clutter.
With these simple tips, your dorm room will so be welcoming that you may never want to leave! (Except, of course, to go to class.)