How to Decorate a Guy’s Dorm Room: 23 Simple and Easy Ideas for 2021

Aside from the color scheme, we find that there isn’t much of a difference between decorating girls or guys dorm rooms. Many of these boy dorm room ideas can be modified in a few different ways (with colors and throw pillows) to create options that suit any space or taste. As you think about living in a dorm room in the fall, begin to make a packing list with some of the things we’ve listed below.

Note: We are a reader-supported site and receive compensation from purchases made through some of the links in this post. 

Guy’s dorm room decor

Wall decor

  1. Flags

Many of the guys I know love to hang flags on their walls. You can obviously find flags from any state or country on Amazon, but I love when the flags are more personal. If they have a favorite team, Fanatics is the best site to look for flags and banners for pro teams as well as for more than 500 colleges.

boys dorm room
Decorating with flags is a popular way to add color in a dorm room.

2. T-Shirt Quilt

Another popular idea is to gather your son’s t-shirts from camp, school, sports or family trips and send them to Project Repat. They will create a very personal keepsake quilt that can be used on the bed as a cozy throw blanket or hung on a wall. A Project Repat quilt is one of the most popular dorm items in the Grown and Flown community and they get rave reviews.

t-shirt quilt
Hanging a Project Repat T-Shirt Quilt is another great way to decorate a dorm wall.

3. DIY Wall Art

One of my favorite wall designs is to use a simple beach towel which one of my friends attached to a canvas board with a staple gun. He bought the towel in Cape Cod but this would work with any towel lying around your house. It was super inexpensive and created a piece of wall art that was both personal to him and visually appealing.

How to decorate a guy's dorm room

4. Barstool Sports

This popular design from Barstool Sports is the Saturdays are for the Boys saying which is available in a flag.

Saturdays are for the Boys towel

5. Art Prints

Websites like society 6 and 20×200 also offer awesome art prints for reasonable prices. I once gave a friend a painting of a the World Cup soccer match in Brazil and when he hung it up, it was a little pop of color that brightened up a mostly neutral room. BTW, society 6 offers students a 25% discount.

We’ve heard of one college student who had old vinyls that were too scratched to use for music, so he made a design on his wall with them. This is an easy and cheap way to add some color and a focal point to the walls, but you could also pick only black and white records for a different look.

Dorm bedding

6. Bedding

Most of the guys rooms tend to have solids, plaids, or stripe bedding and navy is one of the most popular colors. The benefit of a pattern is that dirt and stains are less obvious, and you can image how useful that would be in any dorm room. The bedding choices you make are the same for either a lofted bed or one that is at a conventional height except it is easier to opt for a queen size comforter on a bed that is lofted. This has the benefit of being more useful, in future years, than a Twin XL comforter.

Some guys prefer to make up a bed with a fitted sheet, only, and use a comforter without a top sheet. Just look for sheets that are sold separately, and not in a set.

Popular Dorn Shopping Sites

Four favorite dorm shopping sites are Pottery Barn Teens/Dorm, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, and Amazon. Each of them offers savings for college shopping, too.

Pottery Barn Teens/Dorm

Not only is the selection at Pottery Barn Teen/Dorm vast, but the quality is excellent, there’s a wide rang of price points, and they have a big emphasis on sustainability. For super-easy shopping with your son, look at the bundles that make a purchase decision of comforter, sham, sheets, pillow insert, towels, laundry bag, shower caddy, rug and dopp kit as easy as one click and done!

Pottery barn bundle

Enroll in the The Key rewards program to get 3% back on purchases made on any of the Pottery Barn brands.

Bed, Bath & Beyond

BB&B is a favorite go-to for many Grown and Flown families and there are loads of bedding options, from pillows to mattress pads to soft sheets and comforters. Plus, with the College Savings Pass, they offer 20% off whatever you buy before 9/30/21 and purchases over $39 ship free which is great for buying anything you didn’t think about before move-in day.


Target also has a wide selection of well-priced dorm bedding in their Room Essentials line and you can pick up some inexpensive dorm decoration touches, along with toiletries, snacks and laundry detergent while browsing their stores or online.

Target dorm bedding


Of course, Amazon will have all you need as well. We think this blue and white striped comforter, by Lacoste is a very practical and cute option. When you are on Amazon, hop over to the Grown and Flown Amazon Shop for Dorm Ideas where you can find this comforter and some of our top picks for all your dorm needs.

With Amazon Prime Student, students can get most things with 2-day free shipping and can take advantage of numerous other specials, just for college students.

blue and white striped bedding
This blue and white striped comforter is a great option for guys.

Dorm lighting

7. Rope Lights

For a guy’s dorm room, we think that string lights work best when they’re the “rope” style, such as this one, 33 Ft. Plugin Rope Lights. Line the entire perimeter of the room, beginning the strip in the highest corner.

rope lights

8. LED Strip Lights

Some guys have these LED lights that are available in a stick-on strip so they can tape onto the walls and line the room. These are bluetooth enabled to sync with music and come with a remote control device for ease of managing while in bed.

LED lights
9. Clip On Light

A clip on lamp can be a handy source of light when your teen wants to study in bed and his roommate wants to get some sleep.

clip on light

10. Desk Lamp

A classic desk lamp can be found anywhere from Restoration Hardware to Target, and can be modified to suit the style of your room. Metallic lamps that have a built-in charging port for a phone are very useful. This desk lamp also has an organizing base including a pencil holder for supplies.

target desk lamp

Dorm furniture

11. Folding Chair

Pottery Barn Teen/Dorm is our favorite place for college furniture as there are options at many price points, the pieces are durable and and extremely comfortable. The website is a great place for dorm inspiration and you can choose your style depending on what suits your room layout best. There is rarely extra space in a dorm room so make sure to get the dimensions of the and find out if the bed is lofted before you buy any furniture.

This faux suede sling chair is a great option for a dorm as it folds when not in use. This would also be a great look for a college apartment for the future.

sling chair

12. Camp Chair

This Coleman Camp Chair is another good option for extra seating and can be stored in a closet or under a bed when not needed.

folding chair

Other ideas for decorating boys dorm rooms

13. IKEA Frakta bag

This is the #1 best bag for move in, under bed storage, and move out, too.

Ikea Blue bags

14. Bedside Caddy

This bedside caddy functions as a nightstand for an elevated dorm bed and is roomy and sturdy enough to stash books, glasses, a phone and more.


15. YETI tumbler

Your son would love a YETI mug to keep his coffee hot or cold water chilly for hours! Consider having it personalized with a college logo or initials.  Now, new fall colors.


16. Call Your Mom Pillowcase

One way to remind your son to call home? This cute Call Your Mom pillowcase is a very popular idea.

call your mom

17. Command Hooks

Command Utility Hooks are incredibly useful in dorm rooms and many guys use them to display a hat collection.

command hooks

18. Map

This Game Of Thrones antique map poster print  is an easy decor item for any GOTs fans.

Game of thrones map

19. Self-Adhere Hooks

A Self-adhesive Key Rack holds keys or lanyards with the room cards that are how many students access their dorm buildings and rooms.

key rack

20. Paper Towel Holder

A magnetic paper towel holder is an easy way to keep paper towels at the ready.

paper towel holder

21. Area Rug

An area rug will make the cold dorm floor feel more like home and washable ones are a good choice. A rug is an instant way to help transform a dorm room into a cozy space.

pottery Barn rug

22. Whiteboard

Some guys like to hang a cork board or whiteboard to help them keep up with assignments and activities. This one is magnetic and could stick on a mini fridge.

23. Trunk

Closet space in most dorms is very limited which makes it easy for disorganized rooms to be strew with clutter. Putting extra linens or out-of-season clothes in a cool trunk or other under-bed storage space can also be a good idea.

This one looks nice at the end of a bed. Other trunks can be outfitted like lockers and used vertically which takes up less space in a dorm.  Bonus if the trunk locks, which can make it a good place to store valuables or meds.

pottery barn trunk

You Might Also Enjoy Reading:

Top 12 Things All Freshmen Need to Take to School 

How to Decorate a College Dorm Room: Adorable and Easy

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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