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decorated dorm room with small twin size bed and small office desk

25 Trendy & Space-Saving Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

When it comes to dorm room decor, you need ideas that are easy, fun, and affordable. Discover furniture essentials, important decorative touches, and DIY tips and tricks to transform your small space!

Keep a Standard Layout

Standard Dorm Room Layout with Twin Beds Against Opposite Walls. Photo by Instagram user @dormify

Photo via @dormify

Don’t mess with a good thing! If your living area is really cramped, try the traditional dorm room layout with both bunks against opposite walls. This is a great way to separate areas and distinguish personal zones if you’re living with a roommate.

Try an L-Shape Arrangement

College Dorm Room with Beds Aligned in an L-Shape. Photo by Instagram user @rutgersreslife

Photo via @rutgersreslife

Dorm room design starts with choosing the best layout for your unique needs! If your roommate is your best friend or someone you already feel comfortable with, consider arranging beds in an L-shape. This setup will generate more room for activities without requiring you to climb a ladder to relax in bed.

Loft Beds to Maximize Floor Space

College Dorm Room with Lofted Bed and Desk Underneath. Photo by Instagram user @tsu_reslife

Photo via @tsu_reslife

Searching for loft bed ideas? Elevate your sleeping area and open your shared bedroom to space-saving layouts and endless activities! Below your loft bed is the perfect spot to create a study nook, add a futon, or put additional storage furniture.

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Decorate Your Door

Outside of Dorm Room Door Decorated for Spring. Photo by Instagram user @emily.selmer

Photo via @emily.selmer

Most university dormitories take college door decorations very seriously! This is your first opportunity to show off your personality to the rest of floor, so be sure to choose decorations that represent you and your roommate! Show your school spirit for homecoming week, add cobwebs for Halloween, or cut out paper hearts for Valentine’s Day!

Greet Visitors with a Welcome Mat

The best dorm rooms set the mood right away! A doormat in the hallway will help your dorm stay clean and let your neighbors know what you’re all about! Want to make your mat one-of-a-kind? All you need is a fun idea, tape, and spray paint to create this DIY welcome mat.

Revamp Provided Furniture

Just because a desk, chair, and bed frame are provided in your dorm room doesn’t mean you can’t add your own unique style. Decorate your room to match your personality by making your own chair cushion. Use placemats to spice up your desk, or create a makeshift headboard out of a tapestry.

Share a Nightstand

Dorm Room with a Nightstand Between Two Beds. Photo by Instagram user @mwallacestyle

Photo via @mwallacestyle

Opt for dorm room furniture that ties the whole place together! Combine design elements both you and your roommate love by sharing a nightstand. Not only will this create symmetry, but this dorm decor idea also helps you maximize your shared bedroom.

Incorporate Cube Storage

College Dorm Room with Red Cube Storage Alongside Bed. Photo by Instagram user @letsgetpreppy_

Photo via @letsgetpreppy_

The best dorm room furniture adds functional storage while showing off your photos, books, and favorite trinkets. Choose a small cube storage unit to double as a nightstand or opt for a larger model to make a makeshift closet for clothes and shoes.

Put a Trunk at the End of Your Bed

Stylish Storage Trunk with Pillows and Books on Top. Photo by Instagram user @ocmcollegelife

Photo via @ocmcollegelife

Storage trunks can help hide papers, books from class, seasonal clothing, and more. It can even be used as a memory box to store photos and other memorabilia from the school year. In addition, a trunk can be used as a makeshift table, desk, or chair!

Streamline Desk Decor

Neatly Decorated Dorm Room Desk. Photo by Instagram user @digibuddha

Photo via @digibuddha

Remember to decorate your desk! Everything from your organizer, lamp, and pencil holder can be chosen to unify design elements in your room. You can create exactly what you want for your storage needs while showing off your one-of-a-kind taste with any of these 17 DIY desk projects.

Create a Mini Kitchen

Dorm Room with Lofted Bed and Mini-Fridge Underneath. Photo by Instagram user @get_emmypaiged

Photo via @get_emmypaiged

Just because your dorm room doesn’t have a kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t create a cute cooking spot or coffee station! Tuck a mini-fridge and microwave neatly away in cube storage, or hang a curtain on your lofted bed to keep them out of sight.

Cozy Things Up with a Rug

College Dorm Room with Cozy White Rug on the Floor. Photo by Instagram user @dorm__decor

Photo via @dorm__decor

Dorm room decorating ideas don’t have to be difficult! Simply add a rug or two to help your bedroom feel like home. Not only will rugs add a dash of style and comfort, but they also help absorb sound.

Expand Vertical Space with Curtains

College Dorm Room with Stylish Polka Dot Curtains. Photo by Instagram user @lexigossom

Photo via @lexigossom

Don’t let standard blinds get you down! Hanging long curtains is a smart dorm room design trick to help your bedroom seem larger while creating a cozy atmosphere. They’ll also help keep your room dark for days when you need a good afternoon nap between classes.

Use Throw Blankets…

Add a splash of color or a funky pattern with this dorm room design idea! Arrange decorative blankets at the edge of your bed to connect your wall decor, storage bins, and throw pillows. If you’ve gone bright and bold with your other decor, neutral throw blankets can be used to create balance.

…And Throw Pillows

Make your room extra snuggly with throw pillows! This dorm bedding idea can help connect a color scheme or design theme. Plus, decorative pillows can be used as accents on your bed or futon. Want to make your own! You don’t even need a sewing machine to make these simple DIY pillow covers.

Add Extra Seating

Fuzzy Foldout Chair in Dorm Room. Photo by Instagram user @walmartcanada

Photo via @walmartcanada

Two desk chairs aren’t enough for movie nights or group study sessions! College dorm chairs should be stylish and easy to move, so give bean bags, floor pillows, or folding chairs a try. If you’re really tight on space, pick ottomans that add storage while providing extra seating.

Remember a Mirror

Long Mirror Leaning Up Against Wall of College Dorm Room. Photo by Instagram user @lifesapietsch

Photo via @lifesapietsch

If your university housing has shared bathrooms, a mirror in your dorm room is a must! Since you’re dealing with a small bedroom, opt for a mirror that can hang on the back of your door or a large floor mirror. A reflective surface will make your room seem larger while giving you a spot to check your makeup, hair, or outfit.

Create an Accent Wall with a Tapestry

College Dorm Room with a Leafy Tapestry Covering One Wall. Photo by Instagram user @muslimlenah

Photo via @muslimlenah

How do you create an accent wall when you can’t paint? Add a tapestry! We love this dorm wall decor idea because it’s an affordable way to disguise boring walls and show off your personal taste in a large way.

Opt for Neutrals

College Dorm Room Decorate with Very Neutal Colors. Photo by Instagram user @dorm__decor

Photo via @dorm__decor

You can still have a vibrant dorm room while embracing a neutral color palette! Soft colors help tiny shared spaces seem larger and will make it easier to merge styles with your roommate. Plus, a primarily neutral color scheme will really make your accent pieces and bold decor stand out.

Pick a Fun Bedspread

Make a statement with your comforter! Since you’ll only have this dorm room bedding for a few years, it’s the perfect opportunity to choose the risky pattern or loud color you’ve always wanted to try.

Add a Headboard to your Bedframe

College Dorm Room Bed with Decorative Headboard. Photo by Instagram user @not_just_dorms

Photo via @not_just_dorms

Don’t get stuck with a drab backboard! Give your bed extra flair by purchasing your own headboard insert, or watch this video on how to make a DIY headboard before move-in day!

String Up Twinkle Lights

College Dorm Room with Twinkling String Lights. Photo by Instagram user @decospacio.diy

Photo via @decospacio.diy

A staple of all cute dorm rooms is fun lighting! Add classic twinkle lights for a soft glow or try one of these 33 DIY string light ideas to add a personal touch to your room.

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Incorporate Your Name

College Dorm Bed with a Customized Pillow with Initials. Photo by Instagram user @room.422

Photo via @room.422

Stake your claim on your side of the room with decor that has your name or initials on it! This dorm room idea can be incorporated as wall art, on throw pillows and blankets, or it can even be used to help keep track of your towels!

Create a Collage Wall

Wall with Collage of Personal Photos. Photo by Instagram user @elodiesthings

Photo via @elodiesthings

When it comes to college wall decor, decorative tape is your best friend! Display your favorite band posters, pictures of your friends from game day, or inspirational quotes that can be easily swapped out.

Make Room for Memories

College Dorm Room with Photos Hanging from Strings on Wall. Photo by Instagram user @creativedorm

Photo via @creativedorm

Meeting new people is a huge part of the college experience. Incorporate these new friendships into your home decor by creating a clothesline or string light photo collage. Use thumb tacks to hang twine from the wall and an old picture frame to make this DIY clothespin photo display.

Now that you know how to decorate your dorm room, you’re one step closer to being ready for the new school year! Still feeling nervous about this big life transition? Check out some advice on what to know before heading to college!

Dorm Room Decorating

decorated dorm room with small twin size bed and small office desk
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