College · Decorating · Dorm

14 Delightful Dorm Decor Ideas

In honor of my school’s room assignments being released last week, here is the first of several dorm hack/idea/design posts!

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Are you ever fickle? Have you ever painted your nails a weird shade of purple before realizing you should have gone with a cool blue? Do you ever order curry at lunch, take a bite and think, Yep, shoulda gone for sushi? Yeah. Me, too. ALL THE TIME. 

A prime example of severe capriciousness: When I was eight, my parents allowed me to choose a paint color for my bedroom. I went with a Kelly green, as I was going through an interesting rainforest-obsessed phase (everything in my life revolved around frogs and this poster).
So, for two months, I sat on my bright blue, Hawaiian flora-print comforter, plush frog in-hand, and felt like Mother Nature in my freshly painted lime jungle. Nonetheless, in accordance with my indecisiveness, a feeling of being slimed on You Can’t Do That On Television gradually began to overtake me every time I stepped into my celery-colored quarters. The walls that had crowned me ‘Jungle Queen’ just weeks earlier, were making me cringe. I was living in a massive bowl of guacamole. Why? Fickleness is why.

And what a freaking hassle the color was to rid of!! The rage of 800 jungle species was incessantly sucking up countless layers of base paint every time we applied another coat, determined to remain in my room. Too many brush strokes later, we were able to brighten the room with a cheerful white accent wall. Moral of the story- people and paint should have a quasi-committed relationship. Before letting the pint of Behr into your home, ask it, “Where do you see us in a year?” Then smile at the puzzled Home Depot clerk and walk away.


I’m sure you can imagine the trouble I had with deciding on a color palette for my dorm. I must have spent hours staring at color schemes on Pinterest (how productive, I know).
Lavender, lemon, and white? Eh, too countryside cottage. Powder blue and sherbet? Not very me. Robin’s egg, silver, and black? Too meUgh, it’s hopeless. Until…
I was given a lovely graduation gift from a lovely cousin of mine- it’s a small gold-framed chalkboard that can be hung or seated on a desk. As soon as I saw it…


It hit me. Blush pink, rose gold, and grey. I am in love.
Color scheme- done.
I’m going for something warm and simple, but not boring. It should feel simultaneously classic and contemporary. It’ll never get old…we hope.
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 I’m going to use grey as a base. I’ll add pink accessories and accent everything with bold, gold accents! YAYY FOR DECORATING
Below is a list of some budget friendly decor I’m going to order and make for my dorm. They’re efficient, fun, and perfect for any dorm, no matter what colors you choose. 
  1. A little chalk board! It’s a perfect place to write yourself reminders and notes. Who needs good morning texts?? I wrote that shiz MYSELF on my chalkboard, before bed. You look charming today, Elizabeth. “Oh my goodness, thank you, Elizabeth.”33397_XXX_v1
  2. Spray-painted mason jars. I’ll be spraying mine gold, but you can choose whatever color pleases your palette (pun intended). These are great for pens, hair ties, fake flowers, cotton balls- anything,
  3. A gallery wall. I think they give that homey feel because they’re customized to show who you are. I’ll hang photos of my friends and family, frame my favorite psalms, and add this pretty drawing from Ikea to match the throw pillow that came with my bedding.828cdb46cb055e56c65c70e08a0565c5

4. A pretty jewelry drawer. Instead of calling in a P.I. and going on a fanatic search for your lucky necklace, keep it in a safe place on your dresser , so you’ll never lose it.


5. Make sure everyone knows whose house it is by buying or making the first letter of your name to hang on a wall or place on your desk. Wal-Mart sells $3.00 wooden letters to spray paint for a fun DIY!


6. Have you lost your head?! No? Good. Then make a headboard. A headless headboard looks so naked and…headless to me! Give your bed some character that will make you want to curl up in it at night. I bought two yards of gold fabric for this DIY.

4f9da75bcec114a9ca4d0e3f2420ecc07. A warm throw to get all comfy-cozy in on chilly nights.



8. Speaking of throws, throw down a rug or two. If your dorm came with suspicious wall-to-wall carpet with an unimaginably eventful past, you can always throw some decorative rugs over it. That way, you’re free to pop a squat and have a floor picnic without feeling wary. They’ll also keep your feet warm if you have hard-wood.


9. Fun desk deer. Okay, these are completely useless, but they’re so cute! Aw. Look at em. Lil deer.


10. PILLOWS PILLOWS PILLOWS!! Words to live by: “You can never have too many throw pillows.” They’re so much fun, and can accent the whole room really well. You can DIY, or checkout this plethora of pillows from Target.


11. Printed bowls/glass platters. Saks OFF Fifth and T.J. Maxx have a bunch of these for really low prices. For a more personal touch, you can buy plastic or glass bowls, then design them with sharpies. Use them for spare change, earrings, or whatever floats your bowl!


12. Plants give off oxygen and purify air, so I’ll surely be taking my easy-care Philodendron (Phil) to keep on a window ledge. I also love this lightbulb terrarium idea for a desk. So fun!


13. Bring a table lamp for when the ceiling light is too bright and your phone light is too dim. Go with something slender to save tabletop space.

14. A bed skirt will be very helpful when trying to hide the NYC-apartment-owner’s-dream amount of storage space under your bed. I plan on keeping my mini fridge, luggage, and endless bin count under my bed, so I think a skirt is necessary. I’ll put command hooks on each exposed bed leg, then simply place a curtain rod across them to hang some hemmed curtains. That way, I’ll be able to lift or slide the fabric, making everything easily accessible. 
Do you know any cool dorm design ideas or DIYs? Let me know in the comments below! 
That’s the plan, Peter Pan!



3 thoughts on “14 Delightful Dorm Decor Ideas

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