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Brinda GoswamiVerified Expert in Interior Design

As a founder of iii studio, Brinda has designed and executed over 100+ projects with a special focus on luxurious residential designing. She is the owner & principal designer at iii studio, Hyderabad.

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Home » Design Ideas & Inspirations » 27 Dorm Room Decorating Tips For A Trendy 2024

If you’re going to graduate high school or go back to college for your sophomore year but moving to a different dorm room, you’re in for an exciting time of your life. You make the first impression with your roommate with how you present your belongings and maintain your dorm room, which will pave the way for many more friendships and memorable events with them. You also need the dorm room to be a safe haven so you don’t miss home, and also a focused study zone so you can get good grades.

Make your dorm room reflect your personality and you won’t have to worry anymore. But, how do I do that, you ask? Well, we have it sorted for you in this blog. Stick with us and we’ll give you 27 awesome tips on how you can tailor-make your dorm room and keep it aesthetic and functional for the time to come. 

Understanding The Dorm Room Space

Considering it’s the space you’re likely to spend a lot of time in, the interiors of your dorm room can affect your mood and spirit. The color palette and lighting you use can either make you feel like home or anxious. Clutter can do the same too. Since you’re likely to share the space with others, you will also need to ensure you will also need to your color palette is cohesive with your roommate’s, you aren’t invading anyone’s space, and still adhering to the rules of your dorm.

Most dorms don’t allow college students to hammer nails into the walls or create wall art, make any permanent changes, or have any living creatures or greenery inside (plants, pets, etc). You’ll need to consider them before you decide what you want for your dorm. We’ve done that for you, and the list of decor ideas you’ll find below are easily transportable and impermanent, for your convenience.

Read also – How to Draw a Floor Plan & Top Mistakes to Avoid

Dorm room design hacks

You go to college to get educated and inspired, but the dorm rooms usually are dull and bland with no personality to them. Use these hacks and watch as you inject character in an otherwise boring room.

1. Have a dedicated workspace

dedicated-workspace-in-dorm

The Feng Shui principle says you need to have different defined spaces for the tasks you do. This means that in the small space you have, you will need to have a dedicated workstation to have your notes, laptop, mouse, journals, keyboard, and stationery. Ensure to have an open space on the desk. You don’t want your desk to be cluttered all the time. Having open space helps you focus and get things done. Avoid keeping your mirror on the work table, as you’re likely to get distracted easily.

2. Elevated workstations for focused work

Elevated-workstations-in-dorm

Elevate the workstation or laptops in your dorm room work desks above the usual eye level. You’re mostly looking down at the laptop at a lower eye level which can induce sleepiness, especially when you’re studying at night when your roommates are sleeping.

Dr. Andrew Huberman, a renowned neurobiologist at the University of Stanford says, “Looking up at the elevated workstation and working for an extended period above eye level heightens your state of attention, boosts mental clarity, and eases the stress on the eyes.”

 

Install moveable standing desks or an easily elevatable work table to help you get some movement while studying, and also optimize your workstations.

Read also – How Much Does It Cost To Paint The Interior Of A House?

3. Get good lighting

good lighting in dorm

Lighting affects your melatonin production. If the current lighting in your dorm isn’t very appealing, get permission and change the lighting. Cooler tone lighting decreases melatonin, so you won’t be able to fall asleep soon, whereas warmer tone lighting increases melatonin and constant exposure can easily put you to sleep. 

Take string lights/fairy lights from home and hang them aesthetically over your workstation, photo wall, or bed. Looks and feels homey. If you have only one major light fixture in the middle of the ceiling, hang a fabric over the light fixture like a canopy and watch how the light is spread across the room uniformly. You can get exclusive desk lamps to help you study  by using an extension cord to plug into power.. Sconces are also great to install without making significant changes, but adding glamor to your dorm room.

4. Buy blue lights to keep awake during long winter nights

blue lights in dorm

You can get these blue lights on Amazon easily. But they have a very important purpose to fulfill. When you’re at the dorm during winter and you experience long winter nights, you may go without seeing the sun for days. To keep seasonal blues away at this time, you need to expose yourself to blue light for at least 20 minutes, and let it mimic what the sun does to us naturally. 

5. Get room dividers to differentiate between spaces

To segregate portions between work and sleep, you can get foldable, moveable room dividers from IKEA. They don’t cramp the living space and are also multi-functional.

Read also – 2024 Color of the Year Predictions: An Interior Designer’s Guide

6. Bring plants in

Bring-plants-in-dorm

As humans, we’re naturally inclined to visit and stay in places that have plants in them. Having plants (both faux and real) brings warm and energetic colors to your dorm room. Not only that, with real plants, you get a sense of routine and responsibility to water them daily and re-pot them if necessary. If you’re having a bad day, watering them improves your mood and gives you a sense of purpose. You can get wall planters and let the little plants grow while adding to your decor.

7. Reversible bedding saves time

When you buy a dorm bed, make sure to get a reversible one so you can save time washing the covers, or changing them frequently. It’s also great to give your mattress a new look from time to time. 

8. Add a homey touch with a photo wall

dorm room design ideas - add a photo wall

Hang pictures of loved ones on a wall which you often look at with hooks, instead of nails. Helps you overcome homesickness. Over time, as you make friends, you can hang their photos and have a fun time when they come over to your room.

Read also – Comparing Laminate Flooring Types, Pros, Cons, and Installation Tips

9. Install multi-functional storage units

Install multi-functional storage units

When you’re sharing a room with many people, space for storing your stuff is a big problem. You can combat this issue by getting clear, stackable baskets that can be whisked away under the bed, under the work table, etc. Multifunctional chairs and beds that come with drawers are godsends for college dorm rooms. 

10. Buy a mini fridge, if it’s allowed

A real lifesaver, if you are allowed to have one in your dorm room. Stock up on your favourite drinks, and snacks and never go to bed hungry ever again.

11. Add drapes to make the place cozy

Most dorm rooms have blinds that may not be in good condition. If you can add hooks, drape rods, and hang drapes that match your dorm room, not only will your place look out together, it can help you regulate light flow in the room.

12. Throw in area rugs

Generally, dorm rooms have wall-to-wall carpets. The best way to get a tactile flooring finish and also add visual variety is to bring in colorful, pattern-rich, and textured area rugs. They look cozy and amplify the overall look. Make the otherwise cold space warm and inviting make you come back to school after Christmas.

13. Buy small round tables for snacks and drinks

small round tables in dorm

Extra space-saving furniture never hurts anyone, especially in a dorm room where it can be put to multiple uses. A beautiful round table can come in handy if you have friends over for a study group, hold your night lampshade, or be the right place for you to place your glasses or book before falling asleep.

14. Upholster walls with liquid starch, if it’s allowed

It’s simple, yet looks luxurious. Paint the wall with liquid starch, put the design fabric on, paint on more, and squeeze the extra starch out until it dries. You will see that the wall maintains the fabric’s texture, doesn’t generate any waste, and is expensive.

Read also – Why Do Professional Interior Designers Need Home Decor Design Software?

15. Mood boards to enliven the place

Mood boards just above your workstation, to note down important events, pin flyers, and photos, or write down your to-do list for the day are just amazing. They add a lot of character to the entire space. You can get a cork mood board for any style of dorm room and it instantly makes the room look more put together. 

16. Freestanding clothing racks to make outfit decisions faster

If you can’t juggle between your clothing baskets or closets in the morning and choose an outfit for the day, you can get a freestanding clothing rack that doesn’t take much space, is moveable, and can help you lay out your outfits in hangers the night before, repeat or choose them quickly in the morning.

17. Beanbags and cozy chairs to add visual variety

Beanbags and cozy chairs in dorm

Comfortable chairs are necessary to crash in and melt away stress when you have hard days in your dorm life. Laced with throw pillows to cradle you, you’ll thank yourself for a thoughtful addition to your furniture collection in your cute dorm room. 

18. Peel and stick wallpaper to breathe life

Dorm room walls can be cold and industrial with bland walls. Instead of making permanent changes to the wall, you can stick peel-and-stick, removable wallpapers for a stunning wall decor just behind the bed so it looks great and creates that visual variety, without changing the entire theme of the room. 

Read also – How To Become a Certified Interior Designer Without A Degree in 2024?

19. Layer the bed with flashy pillows

The bed can be a focal point in many dorm rooms. If it is, you can layer the bed with several flashy colored, textured, and patterned pillows, to bring in variety. Avoid having too many pillows, you won’t have proper space to sleep in. Decide on a practical yet aesthetic number of pillows you want in your bed.

20. Hang artwork and posters on the wall

Just beside your bed, or the wall opposite to your bed, whichever wall you see the most, hang your favorite artwork there. It’ll be a good reminder of the wonderful things you can accomplish every morning. You can also hang your favorite posters to see first thing in the morning.

21. Paste peel-and-stick letters on the mirrors

To truly personalize your space and make your days brighter, you can consider sticking peel-and-stick letters and creating positive messages or inspirational quotes in your mirror.

22. Mount peg boards for aesthetics and smart storage space

Mount peg boards in your dorm

Pegboards are trending for a reason. Once you mount them over your workstation, you can use them to hang organizers and store stationery, houseplants, photos, and everything you need. Incredibly practical and aesthetic to look at.

23. Save space with skin-rolling laundry bins

Don’t go for the backpack laundry bags, they don’t last long and they are super difficult to carry around. With rolling laundry bins, taking your clothes to the nearest laundromat, or taking them home to wash them isn’t so difficult anymore. 

Read also – 14 Home Gym Design Ideas to Build the Perfect Gym in 2024

24. Keep everyday items on rolling storage carts

rolling storage carts in dorm

If you and your roommate share your makeup, or if you want your everyday dorm room essentials handy, get a rolling storage cart that you can take with you wherever you go. It’s super handy, space-saving, and convenient.

25. Use stackable, clear drawers in the bathrooms

The area beneath your sink in the dorm room can get really messy really fast if you let it. Get a bunch of clear, stackable drawers and store all your bathroom essentials there, so nothing gets lost or messed up.

26. Hang storage shelves in the shower

You don’t have to store your shower products on the floor, on the wash basin, or in the corner of the bathtub. Get easily hangable storage shelves that cling to hooks in your bathroom.

Read also – How to Design and Decorate a Dining Room?

27. Get a round bathroom mat to save space

Rectangular bathroom mats can sometimes be a hassle if your space is too cramped. Get round bathroom mats that work for any room type and save space.

Image credits: All images featured in this blog are AI-generated or created using Foyr Neo, an advanced interior designing software.

home design 3D render by Lesley Myrick

How Can You Design the Best Dorm Room?

Given that your dorm room’s floor plan is unique, how do you know which of the above decor items will work in your space and which won’t? You figure it out by visualizing your dorm room with your favorite items and ruling out the ones that don’t fit in.

How can you visualize every space of the room without leaving anything to chance? With an advanced tool like Foyr Neo.

After you visit the dorm room for the first time and get a sneak peek of how it will look, here’s what you can do:

Step 1: Sign up for Foyr Neo’s 14-day trial.

Step 2: Go on to the Neo mood board and curate everything you’d love to have in your dorm room.

Step 3: Create the floor plan of your dorm room on Neo.

Step 4: Choose from 60,000+ 3D decor materials and simply drag and drop them into the interior design.

Step 5: Get any material in any color scheme, texture, shape, or pattern and truly customize your dorm.

Step 6: View the makeover in 2D and 3D, from all possible angles and lighting conditions.

Step 7: Render your design in a few minutes and witness your dorm room in all its glory.

That’s all it takes! With 24/7 support and live chat, we’re here to help you if you ever get stuck anywhere. You can find tutorials on how to design on Neo all over the internet, so you’re never truly alone when you design using Neo.

What are you waiting for? Start curating your mood board for your dorm room, sign up for Foyr Neo’s 14-day free trial today.

FAQs

Incorporate elements like boho-chic textiles, LED string lights, and sustainable decor items for an on-trend look.

Choose light-colored decor, use mirrors to create the illusion of space, and keep clutter to a minimum for an open feel.

Optimize the study area with task lighting, a comfortable desk chair, and noise-canceling elements to enhance concentration.

Use removable decals, temporary wallpaper, and personalized bedding to add personality without damaging surfaces.

Opt for DIY projects using inexpensive materials like washi tape or create a gallery wall with affordable posters.

try foyr neo interior design software

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