25 Best Dorm Room Design Ideas for Your College Room

Because you deserve a room that’s as amazing as you are.

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Sunset lamp projector from Urban Outfitters
Room via Urban Outfitters

As a college student, setting up your dorm room is one of the most exciting parts of moving onto campus. It’s your own little space to relax, study, and express your personal style. And with so many dorm room ideas out there, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of the 25 best dorm room ideas to help you create a space that feels like home.

Decor Ideas

I’m a huge fan of bringing some personality into my living space. I like funny posters, witty sayings on pillows, and paintings whose meanings are questionable. I also love a good aesthetic.

I think your dorm’s decor should be firstly functional, but it should also have some spark. It should, after all, reflect the cool personality of the girl who lives there. Here are some cool decor ideas to try:

Layer Your Wall Decor

Example of layered wall decor in a dorm room with acrylic mirrors layered over posters and decorated with light strips
Shop this room at Dormify

Why just choose one piece of wall decor? Try layering your wall decorations as shown above for a curated, personalized look.

The example above starts with an aesthetic wall grid as a base then layers on acrylic art and frames the whole thing with trendy strip lights. It’s so cool and can be completely customized to your room’s vibe.

Pro tip: You can buy full aesthetic collages to print a home! Just do a search on Etsy. For instance, try “danish pastel wall collage kit“, “boujee aesthetic wall collage” or “light academia wall collage“.

Experiment with Removable Wallpaper

Example of removable wallpaper in a dorm room
Shop this room at Dormify

Obviously, you can’t put real wallpaper on the walls in college (removal is a huge pain, and wall damage is real). That’s where stick-on removable wallpaper comes in!

Cover up those boring cinder block walls and add some personality to your space with colorful wallpaper. Dormify has a huge selection of removable dorm wallpaper, from light pink glitter to clouds, ikat, and even fashion sketches!

Removable wallpaper applied to a dorm room desk
Shop this room at Dormify

I also love the idea of using wallpaper in unconventional ways, like dressing up a standard-issue dorm desk as seen above! You could also use it to create a faux headboard behind your bed. There are so many ways to get creative with wallpaper; it’s a dorm room must.

Also Read: 6 Places to Shop for Ethical Apartment Decor

Use Decorative Vines to Turn Your Room into an Oasis

Decorative vines in dorm room idea
Shop this room at Urban Outfitters

Real plants can be tough to manage as a busy college student, but you don’t need real greenery to turn your room into an oasis!

Faux vines, like the ones above from Urban Outfitters, are one of our favorite dorm room ideas if you want to add some life and freshness to your space. They’re super affordable and versatile, so you can’t go wrong with them.

Try Some Dollar Tree DIYs


You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to have a gorgeous room! If you’re creative, you can do so much with stuff from the dollar store.

The video above has tons of ideas on how to DIY your dorm decor for super cheap. I honestly can’t decide which project is my favorite! They all look so much more expensive than they are.

Use Curtains to Divide or Decorate Your Space

Sheer cloud curtain from Urban Outfitters used to divide a room
Shop this room at Urban Outfitters

Bold, colorful sheer curtain panels are insanely popular right now, and I love the idea of using them to decorate your dorm or even divide a room if you have a large space at your disposal.

The cloud curtain above from Urban Outfitters adds such a dreamy vibe to any space — it’s perfect for use on a window or, as seen above, as a room divider. You could even hang it on a wall in place of wallpaper or wall art. There are so many options with this one!

Theme Ideas

As an RA, I always get the extraordinary privilege of seeing all the different dorm set-ups residents can think of.  Many of you pull out all the stops, which is incredible! 

However, before the dorm decorating, there was the hunt for inspiration. More likely than not, you turned to your personal aesthetic (or maybe a new aesthetic that you wanted to try) for that inspiration.

Maybe you want to try a new look for your room this year, or maybe it’s your first time living in the dorm. 

Either way, we have some ideas to help you along! Here’s how to decorate your dorm to fit your personality:

Girly & Feminine

COLLEGE MOVE IN DAY VLOG | University of Alabama Presidential 1

Who doesn’t love a light and airy space to relax in? This University of Alabama student shows you how she achieves this sweet, feminine, yet refined vibe in her space.

Quirky Boho

dorm room tour 🌱🏠

On the other end of the style spectrum, if you love bold colors and quirky vibes, this bohemian aesthetic is perfect for you! See how it’s achieved in the video above.

Tiktok Aesthetic

Example of a TikTok aesthetic dorm theme

If you’re on TikTok, you know it’s filled with rooms like the ones seen above, featuring colorful lights, pastel candles, and cool wall decor.

We wrote a whole blog post on these “aesthetic” rooms, so check it out for full details on how to make your room look like the pictures above.

Korean Inspired

aesthetic and small room makeover 🧸🌷 | pinterest & korean style inspired!

Korean aesthetic rooms are also incredibly popular right now. The style is characterized by light-colored, minimal decor with hints of pink and pastel, plus “cute” touches like mini skincare fridges and adorable characters as wall art.

The video above shows you how to add Korean vibes to your room!


DORM TOUR 2021 | sorority room tour

If you have a preppy sense of style, you can totally bring this aesthetic to your room. Ultra popular in the South, preppy dorm rooms are characterized by pretty bright and pastel pinks, florals, and plenty of white.

The video above from the University of Texas gives you tons of inspo to nail this style.

Color Ideas

Not sure about an aesthetic, but would rather organize your room around a color scheme? Here are some cute dorm room ideas for color schemes to get you started.

Moody Colors

I like to bring moody colors around, not just in my bedding but in other areas of my room too!

For example, in the fall and winter seasons, I switch out a lot of decorations I keep over my desk or on my shelves to items that resemble more of a fall aesthetic. I will bring out my fall, dark-colored mugs for my morning cup of coffee, and I’ll take notes in my favorite brown leather notebook.

Danish Pastels

Danish pastels dorm room
Shop this room at Dormify

As mentioned earlier in this post, Danish pastels have been having a major moment in room decor for the past couple of years. This color scheme is all about light purples, yellows, greens, and pinks, offset by creamy white.

Make sure to keep everything in a pastel tone and you’ll nail this look.

All Neutrals

Neutral dorm room example
Shop this room at Dormify

I know this one can be controversial, but to me, there’s nothing better than a soothing space made up of majority neutrals (whites, beiges, and light browns). I love these simple spaces to help me relax at the end of a long day.

Pro tip from someone with a majority white and neutral space herself: Have some Folex handy to instantly remove any stains from your carpets and upholstery; even if you’re super neat, accidents do happen in dorms! Folex honestly saves my life daily.

All Pink (Or any bright color)

All pink dorm room
Shop this room at Dormify

If you have a favorite color, you can always lean into it in your space! The room above is all pink everything and the result is so stunning and bold!

You could do this vibe with purple, green, blue, or any color you like. Just keep your walls neutral and use wall decor and bedding in your color of choice to bring in that bright vibe.

Bonus: Dorm room shopping is super easy when you commit to a single color like this!


90s nostalgia room from Dormify with a rainbow color scheme
Shop this room at Dormify

Can’t choose a favorite color? You don’t have to! Instead, create a rainbow color scheme in your dorm room and embrace the happy vibes!

This dorm room starts with a base of white walls, bedding, and furniture, then layers in color with wall decor and throw blankets. The effect is bold, fun, and full of personality. It’s impossible not to smile when looking at this space!

Bedding Ideas

Throw Blankets

Dorm room ideas: Colorful checkerboard throw blanket in green and white

You cannot go wrong with this cozy decor trick in any room!

Every dorm room needs at least one throw blanket. It’s perfect for the winter (or if your building loves to crank the A/C), and it’s key if a friend is staying over or you like to be cozy while you’re working at your desk.

I own the checkerboard blanket above and it is THE SOFTEST blanket I’ve ever felt. (Think Barefoot Dreams but better!) I love that it comes in 7 colors as well, though my favorite is green. It’s my go-to throw for every day, and everyone that feels it immediately wants one of their own.

Statement Pillows

A bunch of pillows layered on a bed in a dorm room
Shop these pillows at Dormify

I probably don’t need to tell you that throw pillows are a must if you want an aesthetic bed. They’re my favorite dorm room idea if you want to add personality to a dorm bed and the options are endless.

Layering a ton of pillows is a great way to make your bed do double-duty as a couch/study space, which is a must in college. The example above from Dormify focuses on a range of colors and textures for an eclectic vibe.

Add a Headboard to Any Bed

Most dorm beds don’t come with headboards, and if they do, they’re usually boring standard-issue wood. But did you know you can add a temporary headboard to any dorm bed?

Temporary headboards have become a huge trend in recent years, and they come in a variety of fabrics and styles, some even with built-in plugs to charge your phone and devices! Honestly so genius and one of my favorite dorm room ideas.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Okay, this is a dorm room idea that you don’t see when you walk into a room, but it’s the BEST upgrade you can make to your space.

As we talk about in our post on dorm room bedding, dorm mattresses are almost always hard and uncomfortable. Save your back and invest in a good memory foam mattress topper ASAP.

This Twin XL memory foam mattress topper is our all-time favorite here at CF. It’s super thick and transforms any mattress into a hotel bed. You’ll be so glad you bought one of these, trust me!

Lighting Ideas

Sun Lamp Projector

While some dorm lights are functional, this one is purely for the vibes. An ambient light projector like this one is the perfect way to transform any space into an aesthetic dream room.

For only $20 on Amazon, you can score a sun lamp projector that comes with a remote so you can control the exact colors displayed on your wall. There are so many gorgeous combos that you can try, so it’s simple to sync your lighting to your exact mood and color aesthetic.

Warm Lights

Adding some warm fairy lights to your room is an easy way to transform your space. It’s one of my favorite dorm room ideas to add a little coziness to my room.

You could also do this with a small lamp, whether by your bedside or at your desk, but there’s something magical about having just your little lights by your bed that gives your room such a homey feel.

{Editor’s note: here are CF we love fun lights. If you want tips or tricks, check out our full guide to decorating your space with lights here.}

Scent Diffuser + Night Light

While candles are banned in nearly all dorm rooms, there are still great ways to scent your space so it feels like a luxury hotel! And many of them come with built-in lights to add a colorful glow to your room.

Our favorite pick for any dorm or home is the Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser. Unlike your usual wall plug-in, this diffuser can be filled with a variety of luxury scents, from Capri Blue Volcano (AKA the scent of every Anthropologie store) to curated scents from Studio McGee, NEST Fragrances, and designer Becki Owens.

The best part about these diffusers is that they can be controlled from your phone and set up on a timer to work when you want. (AKA you can turn them off during class hours when you won’t be home, and have them set to scent your room when you return from class or work!)

The night light feature can be controlled from your phone as well, and you can change the color to work with your aesthetic.

Curtain Lights

Curtain lights make such a beautiful statement and are a great way to add a mix of decor and lighting to your dorm room.

The curtain lights above come in seven different shades including rainbow (controllable by remote), so you can have an entire disco wall going in your room at any time. So much fun! The best part is, these are very inexpensive ($20 for a whole wall of lights!).

Colorful LED Lights

aesthetic room transformation // tiktok + pinterest inspired

Get the look:

I’m sure by now you’ve seen the trend of colorful LED lights strung up around the ceilings of rooms. This has been a popular room decor trend for a few years now and is just as popular as ever.

To get the look, just grab some LED strip lights and attach them around your ceiling. The video above shows a great example of how this can be done! Then use the remote to program them to your ideal colors to fit your room’s vibe.

Storage Ideas

Trays, Trays, Trays

Lucite tray for dorm room from Target

My favorite way to organize desk areas or my dresser items is by using small trays. I can group items on my desk to make them more cohesive, and even if I haven’t fully organized, it makes my room look cleaner and more put-together.

Target has the best selection of trays. I prefer to buy a few of the clear lucite ones shown above (just $6) and place them all over my space since they go with any decor.

Storage Ottoman

As we all know, dorms are short on seating, so anything you can do to bring more seating options to your space is a win. Extra points if it doubles as storage!

This storage ottoman from Dormify is one of my all-time favorite dorm items. It has plenty of storage inside for anything you need, plus it’s a comfy seat for when your friends come over. It’s just a bonus that it’s super cute and goes with any aesthetic.

Charging Cart on Wheels

Dorms don’t typically come with bedside tables, so one of our go-to dorm room ideas is to bring in our own bedside table with storage.

This cart from Dormify is always our pick for a dorm bedside table, since it has tons of storage space, can be rolled around your room as needed, and even comes with a charging port for your devices!

Colorful Storage Crates

One of my favorite affordable dorm room ideas is to stack plastic storage crates to add color and storage space to your room.

These are really popular right now and can be found everywhere, from Amazon to Urban Outfitters for $10-$15 a pop. Buy a few to fit your color scheme — you’ll definitely get tons of use out of them!

Bed Risers

Finally, one of the most classic ways to increase your dorm storage space is to use bed risers to lift up your bed. Space is at a premium in every dorm, so maximizing your under-bed storage is always a good idea.

Bed risers can be purchased at stores like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, or ordered on Amazon. This set of 4 from Amazon even comes with charging ports for your devices — just another way to make the most of your room!

What do you think of these dorm room ideas?

Are you currently shopping for next year’s dorm or apartment?  How do you like to decorate your living space? Let me know in the comments!

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