Finally! The day you've been waiting for is quickly approaching. Starting your first year of college is a fun and exciting time! It's a fresh start and the opportunities to pursue your dreams are endless. Step one of tackling your college journey: decorating your dorm room. There are so many dorm room ideas out there! If you didn't live through the awkward years of having your room look like random colors threw up all over it, cool. You're not less of a person, I just don't trust you. If you have the same purple walls in your room since you were 13, like I did when I graduated high school, this is beyond refreshing.

Regardless of the awkward stages we've gone through, this is a new start! You're going to want this dorm room to resemble your personality while still being practical. If your parents are on you about getting everything together and you're feeling a bit lost, don't worry, I'm here to cover the basics. Here are some of the best dorm room ideas for Fall 2019!


Hate to break it to you, but you're going to be stuck in a twin bed for a little while. Most dorms have twin xl mattresses which aren't as bad as you'd think. One thing you'll absolutely need is a mattress pad. Trust me, you'll sleep much better. The fun part is picking out your bedding! Choose something that you love. I promise you, you don't have to coordinate with your roommate on everything. Your bedding is going to be the focal point of your room. It's going to be what pulls it all together, but it's also going to be something you sit on and use everyday. Some dorms have the option to lift or loft your beds. Fully lofting your bed can help create more space, but simply lifting your bed can create space without making it difficult to climb into bed.

Throw Pillows

Decorative throw pillows are easy ways to accent a room while still having a practical use. Let's face it, your dorm bed isn't going to be the most comfortable bed you've slept in, however, there are ways to improve it. Adding extra cushion that helps accent your room is a double win. Use your pillows to prop yourself up while you're reading (or watching Netflix). This is a simple way to help your dorm room feel much cozier.


You're going to hate the harsh fluorescent light on the ceiling, so why not get a jump start by figuring out a soft lighting alternative before you move in? From hanging Christmas lights to getting a floor lamp, subtle things can make a huge difference. Using soft lights, such as Christmas lights, make it easy to accent segments of your room and keep your room well lit at night without being to harsh on the eyes. A desk or floor lamp is practical for when you need to get your work done as well. Just make sure you don't leave your lights plugged in all day or while you're not in the room.


Dorms typically don't come with a mirror, so you're going to have to bring your own. My roommate and I had a mirror that would slide out from between our dressers. That mirror came in pretty handy when we were too lazy to go to the gasp communal bathrooms. Those aren't the end of the world, either, but it was nice to have our own mirror. There are so many ways you can spruce up having a mirror in your dorm room. Propping it up against the wall and accenting it with lights is one of the simplest ways. If you're feeling extra and crafty, accent your mirror with flowers or jewels. Maybe even make a stand for it out of an old crate to elevate it more.

Desk Decor

Attention is going to be on your desk whether you like it or not. For most dorms, this is the furniture piece that gives you the most shelving. Get some cute desk organizers like the ones pictured below and keep your clutter out of there! This is a fun opportunity to get creative with organizational hacks. Find some chic containers and makeshift them into desk organizers. When your desk is cluttered, you'll feel like your life is cluttered and then you'll procrastinate doing your homework with cleaning your desk.

Wall Art and Wallpaper

A bare dorm wall makes it feel like a prison, as opposed to a place you're supposed to call home. Add your creative flare and express yourself through your wall decorations! Wall art, such as paintings, signs, and decorative hanging shelves, are simple ways to accent your wall. Hanging a tapestry is one way to cover up the plain wall while adding to your aesthetic and there are multiple styles and prints. Another unique way to decorate your dorm walls is with temporary wallpaper. Like tapestry, temporary wallpaper comes in many different styles. The best part is that it is easily removable and adds a uniform look to the walls.

Stylish Storage

A cluttered and messy room can make for a stressful environment. Using storage bins and organizers can help keep the clutter and mess to a minimum. I know when I say storage bins you might think of those big clear plastic bins with obnoxious lids, but that doesn't have to be the case. There are chic and alternative ways to store items you need in practical ways. Getting a portable and affordable nightstand with shelving space can help keep items you need accessible while they're out of the way. Also, having stylish storage such as metal crates can help keep things attractively organized.


Along with plain white walls, your dorm comes with a plain floor. My dorm room had that tile you'd see at the floor of your doctor's office - so my roommate and I knew, instantly, that we needed a nice big area rug. Not only because the floor was, well, ugly, but also because with our air conditioning, the floor would always be freezing! Getting a rug is a necessity. It's also one of the best ways to accent your room and make it much cozier.

Multi-Functional Furniture

The small spaces of dorm rooms face some big challenges. Making room for everything can be difficult, but one of the best ways to solve that is to get more out of your additional furniture. I mentioned previously how stylish storage and chic organizers can make a difference with clutter, but so can your furniture. Maybe a small table for your entertaining space helps keep things together and off the floor, but an ottoman that can be used as a table, a seat, or storage, can make it three times better. Ottomans with hidden storage are another great option. Even making the top of your dresser into a vanity can save space and make your dorm room more friendly.

Photo Walls

It's time to close the high school yearbook, those days are in the past for good reason. You have new and exciting adventures on the way, but that doesn't mean you should forget your high school friends! Making a photo wall is a great way to look back on where you've been and the memories you've made, while simultaneously being able to add on to the adventure. You can string pictures along your wall, put adhesive on the pack, or use frames. Please take pictures, but don't forget to live in the moment. The next four years are about to fly by!

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