Depending on your budget you might want to help give your teen’s dorm room a style upgrade. Here are some extras which can make any dorm feel cozier and a bit more personal. Note: Check the Residence Life section of the college website to find out what items are prohibited before making a mistake on a decor purchase.
Favorite Dorm Decor Ideas
Note: We are a reader-supported site and receive compensation from purchases made through some of these links.
No Nails Decor
Colleges typically do not let students hammer nails into dorm walls so look for decor that uses adhesives, if the dorm allows those) to create a look that your teen will love. Some of the adhesive strips are included in the following decorative items and, if you’re allowed to use them, bring Command double sided strips and hooks along with your toolbox when you move your teen in.
These are decorating touches that can help transfer a dorm room from a dreary cell into a happy space where your student can start to begin their college life.
Your teen can create a montage of pics from home – family, friends and furry best friend – and mount on their wall in the dorm.
NOW, Grown and Flown readers receive extra savings for their first order. Take 60% off when you order 12+ TilePix with discount code GROWNFLOWN (Offer ends July 31, 2021, one per customer) For all ship to home orders, FedEx ground shipping is FREE. Order via the iOS app or at TilePix.com.
These cute headboards solve two big problems with dorm beds – an uncomfortable wall to lean back on and lack of a covenant plug to charge electronics. Stylish and functional, this smart headboard would be a much appreciated addition to your teen’s dorm room.
Your teen can show their state pride and have a cute platform for decorating their wall with a corkboard in the shape of their state.
Staying organized in a tiny shared space is a challenge for most students, and this organizer can be a big help. Pair it with a matching pinboard for notes, photos and more for a very stylish look with great functionality. Both mount with 3M double sided adhesive strips (included.)
Lightweight tapestries help disguise ugly dorm walls and can be stylish complements to whatever bedding choices your teen makes. This one is gorgeous (and what a dreamy space if your teen needs a room divider) but there are so many different styles to choose from including sports imagery and world maps. They have loops that make it easy to attach to the wall (or ceiling) with Command Hooks.
This world map tapestry could be a conversation starter with roommates who are just meeting as well as inspiration for a possible study abroad program someday.
String lights add warmth to drab dorm walls and these globe lights will look pretty with any decor concept.
Ivy garlands are very popular now and this one has tiny lights which offers a type of magic forest illumination.
These come with a remote control and can be synched to music via bluetooth.
These easy-to-install ledges are made by the maker of Command strips and can be fixed to walls with enclosed strips. They are available in different lengths and finishes.
Buying oversize flags are a great way to cover dreary dorm walls and they become instant conversation items as your son or daughter gets to know their roommate and hallmates. Here is how one Grown and Flown student decorated their room. Check out Fanatics for a wide selection of officially-licensed team flags and banners for NCAA and many pro teams.
Poppy & Fritz make whimsical sheets for twin XL beds. Avocado, llamas, donuts are some of the cute designs….along with crisp blue and white stripes. Here is a sample but the pup is not included!
Extra seating, for when friends drop by or when your student wants a comfy place to read, is made easy with this folding butterfly chair. Start with a basic color and personalize with a pillow or blanket.
This storage rack can serve multiple purposes: placed between elevated beds, one of the two adjustable shelves can be used a night stand. A mini-fridge can fit underneath it and the other shelf can be used for non perishable snacks and supplies. No tools required for assembly.
If your teen’s college desk does not have a bookcase or storage unit on top, this is a great addition. A desk hutch can store books, supplies, and has space for a few personal items, like photos or other reminders of home.
This cute little cart is one of the most versatile dorm items on the list. It can be used for makeup, or snacks and paper towels, mugs etc. and works equally well for storage in a bathroom as it does in a dorm room. Available in four colors.
For an easy splash of color, take a look at these inexpensive dots that can be easily arranged on a dorm wall. Comes in dozens of colors.
Decorate with photos from home with this cute frame set that comes with clips to hang favorite photos.
Another popular idea for creating a nightstand for an elevated bed is this shelf that attaches to the bed stand.
Dorms are small but that doesn’t mean you can’t cover up the grimy old floor with a nice matching rug. Bed, Bath, & Beyond offers an easy way to pick a durable area rug in the color, multiple size, and desired material. (puppy not included.) Pottery Barn Teen also has an excellent selection of area rugs including washable rugs.
Look at how elegant this student’s dorm room looks with the cutout monogram hung above her bed? It can be painted (and repainted) to match her decor choices. Here’s where you can find a wide selection of a single initial or three.
Buying matching pillows with each roommate’s initial can coordinate a dorm room in one simple step.
Your teen may want to find out how far the laundry facilities are before deciding on a bag, hamper or duffle. There is a huge selection and some can match the color scheme of the room. Others, like this lightweight, nylon hamper, can hang on the back of a door or, possibly, on the end of the bed.
While not necessarily a decorating idea, this small plug-in device is an air purifier and sanitizer, and eliminates germs and mold with UV-C light.
More dorm decor ideas from the G&F community
Print out photos and hang them along a string on the wall.
Add an oversized cutout monogram and think about buying one for each roommate.
Check out Pinterest for ideas.
Buy inexpensive frames and put pictures of friends in each one. Hang on walls with Command Strips.
Coordinate with future roommate on the color scheme.
Order a life-sized pet pillow of the dog or cat back home.
Get an over-the-bed storage unit and color-coordinated storage bins to slip into it.
Update an old comforter with new throw pillows.
Splurge on a mattress topper.
Use a giant stuffed animal as a guest chair.
A body pillow makes the room and bed comfy.
If you use a duvet cover over a comforter, it is easy to remove and wash.
You Might Also Want to Read: