Top Ten Dorm Decor Ideas from My Wonderful Walls

by Tara Woodbury on August 10, 2016

Wall Sticker for Dorm Room

Do you have a son or daughter entering college this fall? Moving to a dorm is the first time living away from home for many students and for some it can be overwhelming. The right decor can make a big difference in how your student adapts to this change. While many schools have restrictions on what can and cannot be brought to the dorm, you can still make the transition a little easier with a little planning. Here are our top ten dorm décor must haves for any college student:

  1. Bedding: The biggest piece of furniture in most dorms is the bed. You’ll want to buy attractive, comfortable bedding that can be easily washed. Many dorms have extra large twin beds, so you’ll need to purchase twin XL sheets but check with your child’s school. Accents like throw pillows are fantastic and can add pops of color and comfort.
  2. Lighting: If your student’s dorm room is like most, the lighting is not ideal. A desk lamp and/or floor lamp is key but they can also add string lights or fairy lights to their dorm to give it a fun, whimsical look. Holiday lights can also be fun and make a great care package addition! Again, check with your school.
  3. Window treatments: Depending on how the dorm is set up, adding a curtain or window topper can make a big impact.
  4. Storage: Space and storage are the two things your student won’t have a lot of (besides sleep probably).  Buy colorful bins or baskets for smaller items on their desk and larger bins for storage under the bed. Another great item that is multi purposed is a storage ottoman. Use it to store clothing, extra bedding or books then it can double as seating when a friend comes by.
  5. Wall décor: For fire safety, the school may limit how much may be hung on the walls and they will definitely have rules about how things are hung. Most dorm rooms have the same old white walls that are so boring. Back in our day, we had posters. But your student can amp up their walls with a beautiful fabric wall sticker or two. We offer many cool designs that are perfect for a college student and the beauty is if they find one that they love, keep the backing paper and they can bring it to their next dorm next year! Our decals aren’t just for walls either. Try them on the door, windows, mirrors or dresser. Wall stickers make a great gift for college students!
  6. The floor:  Ok, let’s face it, a bazillion college students have trampled all over that floor. And it’s cold in the morning. Adding an area rug is not only a smart decision but will add an instant pop of color.
  7. Photos: Your child is potentially miles and miles away from family and friends. Adding some framed photos or a photo collage is a great way to chase those lonely feelings away. Pictures from home also make great care package items mom and dad! Some string and cute clothespins make a great photo display over the bed or desk like this DIY Geometric Photo Display.
  8. Message boards:  Encourage your student to stay organized with message boards in their room or on the outside of their door. Why settle for a boring bulletin board when they can make one like this one from The College Juice. Make it a project you do together before they leave for even more fun.
  9. Mirror, mirror on the wall: Many dorm rooms do not have a mirror. You can buy a hanging mirror and place it on the inside of the dorm room door, the armoire or closet. But don’t just buy a boring mirror. Make it special by adding washi tape to the frame, paint it or place decals on the edges of the mirror.
  10. Add a touch of the natural: Try succulent terrariums or small hanging plants to bring the outside in. If plants aren't allowed, try floral garlands or poms placed in a painted mason jar or vase.
We hope these tips will help guide you and your student to create a beautiful, personalized space in their dorm room. Share your tips below and be sure to let us know if your student is hanging one of our wall decals in their dorm!