By Jacqueline Kelly–

One of the best things about college is the newfound freedom. There’s a fresh feeling that comes with being on your own, having space to grow and embrace new ideas. It’s only right that you want the things around you to invoke the same feeling. What better place to start than by personalizing your space. Here are five ideas for decorating your dorm.

Outdoorsy and wanderlust

Combat the closed off feel of dorm living by incorporating the outdoors. Succulents are a favorable plant option because they’re low maintenance. Framing pressed flowers is another nice option and provides something different than the typical flowers in a vase. Compliment the outdoors feel by hanging a large map. Using pushpins to mark places you’ve been or places you hope to go serves as a reminder of all that exists outside your dorm room when you’re pushing through a study session.

Style Enthusiast

Dorm closets are often the college student nemesis. While storage pieces like bins and cubby styled shelving are nice solutions for cramped closets, open wardrobes are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. They add a stylish vibe to the room. Fill your clothing rack with in season clothing or anything that doesn’t fit in the closet. Using command hooks to hang accessories like hats keeps with the open wardrobe theme and saves closet space. Complete your room with a few pictures of inspiring outfits and a full-length mirror.


Wall collages are a favorite among students. They’re easy and personalized. If you’re looking for the same simplicity, but want to add some sophistication to your dorm, go for a gallery wall. Gather images as you would if you were making a regular collage, but frame them instead. Thrift stores are great places to find frames for cheap. Or, for a simpler approach, use washi tape of your choice to “frame” pictures to the wall.


Minimalism as an aesthetic is becoming increasingly popular, but there’s still a misconception that minimal equals boring. So not true. If you like the look, chances are you’ll gravitate towards neutral colors, especially bright, airy ones like white and light grey. Plants and wall art are popular ways to keep minimal décor from becoming dull. Another cool technique is to play with textures. Faux fur rugs or toss pillows, sequin pieces and cable knit throw blankets in neutral hues will keep your room minimal and tranquil, yet interesting.

Play with color

So what if you don’t care for the minimal look. Even if it isn’t a strict one, sticking to some type of color scheme will help keep your dorm room looking cohesive. If you feel like going out of your way to pick a color scheme kills your creative juices, work around one object. Bedding is a good place to start. Color palettes aside, choose whatever bed set you gravitate towards. From there, pick pieces in colors that compliment you bedding. If possible, you and your roommate can even color coordinate.