Decorators’ Handbook: Dorm Room Style

I can’t believe I’m already seeing ads on TV for Back to School. This summer has really flown by. I’m certain that home stores have been flooded with shoppers ready to stock up on supplies to make their cinderblock rooms aka dorms a home away from home.

Here are some tips:

1. Have fun! Being away from home for the first time is a great experience. Don’t let the stress of decorating get to you. It should be a fun experience.

2. Mix & Match: In most cases you will probably have a roommate so if possible talk to roommate before hand and see if you can agree on a color combo. No need to get the exact same bedding set, but it would be pleasing to the eye if you stayed in similar colors. You’re room will feel larger and more organized.

3. Your bed is the key focal point in the room, because most times it is the largest piece of furniture in the room. Don’t neglect it. There are a bunch of different choices out there, but one of my favorites has to be this:

I would also add some toss pillows in this:

And this:

4. Storage is key! So look for it everywhere. I would make sure to put my bed on lifts and then hide the mess with an easy DIY bedskirt:

Rachel from Nest Egg used burlap in her headboard above, but you can use any fabric you like.

5. Flooring: Since you will have a roommate it is probably best to keep your rug choice neutral. I would probably go with a runner to go in between the beds and stick with sisal

Of course I found a sisal with a touch of orange with this mock-up dorm room:

6. Lighting: A big no-no is florescent lighting and I’m certain that the majority of dorm rooms have them. A key to making your room feel more like home is get lamps to sprinkle through the room and cast a nice glow.

This piece would fit right into the space and provide a lot of light for $90 bucks:

I also loved this little guy for on top of a dresser, desk or night stand:

It’s only $15!

7. Soften things up: While the dorm room will most likely come with blinds of some sort it would be nice to add a little something to the walls and break up all that white. Here is where some colorful window panels would come into play. For my mock up I would go with these:

8. Framed: While you are not allowed to nail things into dorm room walls you can use 3M command strips and get some artwork up. Now your first thought might be to paper the walls to cover up all that empty wall. I wouldn’t recommend this. It could end up looking too cluttered and make the room look smaller. I would go with some frames in a grid like pattern:

This looks can easily be recreated on the cheap by printing out images you find online on your home computer and using Dollar Store frames. I have found many 8 x 11 frame options with glass at my local dollar tree that would fit the bill perfectly.

Hope you enjoyed all of my little tips for Dorm Room Style.

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19 Responses to Decorators’ Handbook: Dorm Room Style

  1. Janell @ Isabella and Max says:

    I was in Target with the kids a couple of weeks ago and they were SHOCKED to see all the back to school signage, and kept saying, "Summer just started!"

    Can you tell me where you found the patterned sisal rug? I tried the sisal link above it but it didn't work for me.

    Thanks and fun post! Janell

  2. Bri says:

    where is the ikat fabric from I love it! Thanks!

  3. Fran says:

    Great design! Love all the elements. I tried the link for the fabric for the window panels and it didn't work? Can you tell me where you found that fabric?

  4. Stacey @ Petite de Lis Paperie says:

    If I only knew what I know now back when I was off to my first dorm room, I would have had a super fabulous place. These are great tips for those heading off to college.

  5. Karena says:

    Great patterns, palettes and what great ideas for a dorm room, or teenagers at home as well!

    Karena
    Art by Karena

  6. High-Heeled Foot in the door says:

    Sorry everyone for some reason some of my links aren't working. Not sure what happened.

    I keep trying to fix it, but the same thing keeps happening. Hmmmm…

    Will keep working on it.

    *Brown & White striped curtains are from Walmart.

  7. Jules says:

    I wish I could go back and redo my rooms in college – I would do them completely differently. I absolutely love the comforter you picked out!

  8. High-Heeled Foot in the door says:

    Still working on the links.

    Sisal rug is from overstock.

    Fabrics are from Premier Prints.

    Sorry everyone.

  9. Mrs. Chic says:

    Yup school is almost back in session, my son starts school in less than 2 weeks! He's not looking forward to it. Great advice to dorm room style!

  10. casey at loft and cottage says:

    I love your palette–would be great for any room!

  11. Southern Grace says:

    Love the ideas…I tried the link for the DIY bedskirt and couldn't get it to work. Anyway you could email it to me or let me know where you found it?

    Thanks so much,

    Natalie

    ndtexas@gmail.com

  12. diane@onlinefabricstore says:

    Great ideas…moving into a dorm is so tough! I know, my daughter did it two years ago. Actually tougher on me than it was on hers. Check out our blog at http://www.onlinefabricstore.com for more dorm decorating ideas.

  13. Tammy@InStitches says:

    I love the Dwell bedding. Your links are working now !

  14. High-Heeled Foot in the door says:

    So sorry that the links aren't working still.

    Technology is failing me today.

    Here is the link to the bed skirt: http://www.styleblueprint.com/interests/home-and-garden/guest-room-spruce-budget/

  15. cassie @ hi sugarplum! says:

    That would be the most chic room in the building…for sure! Sorry about your link problem, urgh!! Can you give me info on the bed lifts?

    Also, I was SHOCKED at check out yesterday at JoAnn's Fabrics….11×14 frames with glass…$5.97 for a TWO pack! Multiple frame options. I snagged quite a few for a room makeover I'm doing.

    xoxo

  16. Evie says:

    I love the vogue prints and the pillows with the comforter! I agree that bed risers are SO important for getting addl. storage in a dorm room. I wish I had that kind of style when I was in college…oh well, I guess I have to learn some things after college! And I too am SHOCKED that it is back to school time already!

  17. Hello Lover... says:

    Love all of these ideas – this would be a pretty amazing dorm room for a college kiddo! And yes – I cannot even believe that back to school advertising has begun – summer is going by so fast – I feel like it just started!

  18. Double Glazing Birmingham says:

    Wow.. This is great! I can say that excellent work here! I really like your designs.. That's why I will try and follow them. Anyway, thanks for sharing and I will definitely visit this blog more often.

  19. Emmyann says:

    Where is the brass ring lamp from? It would be perfect in my bedroom! Thanks!

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