Trends of College Dorm Decorating

Melissa Townsend

Imagine it’s move-in day for college and you’re hauling up the boxes containing all of your belongings. As you finally get the last box up the stairs, you turn around to find a plain, empty room. As you glance around the room you are suddenly overwhelmed by the boring, white walls that surround you, the empty mattress, and the hollow dressers and closets. You have no idea what to do with your new room and you certainly don’t want to keep it looking like a prison cell. So, there’s only one thing to do and that’s to think like an interior designer. Google great ways to decorate, pin everything that has to do with DIY projects on Pinterest, and start figuring out how you’re going to vamp up your dorm room, because you’re going to be living there for at least a year. Here’s how to get your room ready for college life.

Before you can decorate, make sure you have your essentials such as a microwave, mini fridge, and school and bathroom supplies. You should place your furniture and essentials first in order to decorate around them. Placing your dressers, desk, storage boxes, and even your bed into a nice spot can determine how much space you actually need to decorate. Dorm rooms aren’t very big (the usual size is 12-by-19 feet), so consider saving space for necessities with bed risers that will allow you to put storage boxes and cubbies under your bed. For decorating, Command Hooks are life savers because they help with putting up posters, jewelry, pictures, and bulletin boards. You can even use a bulletin board for decorating purposes by tacking on pictures, letters, and any important notices you may have. Add a rug or two to hide the plain floor and to make your room more cozy and colorful. Speaking of colorful, bedspreads are a great way to add some color to your room. Matching pillows to go along with your blankets are a very common trend.

Girls love to have a color scheme when it comes to decorating their room. Matching bedspreads, pillows, furniture and walls can represent one’s personality. Color schemes that girls migrate towards are geometric patterns, boho-style, floral, and vintage. Katrina Alonso, a senior at Morris Hills, would describe her perfect dorm room as “elegant” and “stylish.” Whatever style you choose will be showcased all around your room and it will make you feel at home. Boys often like to add sports posters, simple bed spreads, and their favorite game console as their main attraction. Along with that trend, hanging a canopy over a bed can create your own sanctuary; it’s sophisticated and a great way to create privacy. Pictures and lights are all the rage and putting those up in unique ways can certainly make your room look fashionable. Trends include framing pictures, making collages, and pinning pictures onto a clothes line. Christmas lights have been one of the top things on girls’ lists to bring to dorm rooms. The lights are enchanting and create a cheerful atmosphere.

Don’t forget that creativity and efficiency are important when decorating. Using everyday items in nonconventional ways can benefit you by keeping you organized and preventing you from over spending. Try using a shoe hanger that hangs on the door because you can put other items in it such as shampoo bottles, scarves, small snacks, and a hair brush and keep them out of the way. DIY crafts, short for “Do It Yourself,” are fun and useful when on a tight budget. They surely go hand-in-hand with decorating a room. Bringing things from home will benefit you as well. Katrina definitely plans on bringing some of her “favorite books from home to put on the shelf.” You can find decorations from home, stores such as Walmart, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond, and online websites like and

When thinking about the ways in which you want to decorate your room, go for chic and functional. Pick a style that best suits you and go from there. Add a little something from home with some pictures of friends and family along with homemade crafts, and you are guaranteed to have an amazing looking dorm room.