How Do I Decorate My Dorm Room?

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July 26, 2021 by

So, you’ve picked a roommate, selected your residence hall, and are getting ready to pack up and move into your new home at Cedarville. The next step is preparing to make your dorm room a space you will love.  

As a disclaimer, this post will be more interesting for girls, but guys, you’re more than welcome to stick around and get some ideas that you can moderate more to your tastes. 🙂 

Whether you have been planning out the look of your dorm room since high school or haven’t even thought about dorm decor until you started reading this post, my hope is that this article will jump-start a few ideas for you and your roommate as you plan to decorate your room.


The Color Scheme

My freshman year roommate, Grace, and I (pictured above) started by picking a color scheme for our room. We stuck to a few main colors: light grey, pink, and yellow. While neither of us were super picky about what the other one brought for room decor, it was helpful for us to have a color scheme in mind so we could buy things for our room that we knew would match. 

My sophomore year roommate, Jenna, and I picked a similar color scheme. Since we both had things that we wanted to reuse from freshman year, we decided to stick to a neutral base with pops of pink and yellow. Maybe you’re a transfer student who wants to reuse everything from your past dorm, or you’re bringing stuff from your room at home. If you and your roommate’s stuff doesn’t quite match, don’t sweat it. I have seen roommates who didn’t plan what their décor would look like, and their rooms worked out great. I would only suggest that you not use decorations and bedding with super loud colors that won’t blend well with whatever your roommate has. 


Picking Decor

Tapestries and succulents and throw blankets, oh my! When it comes to filling your cart with dorm decor, it can be overwhelming. How can you buy things for your room when you aren’t moving in for another few weeks and you can’t visualize the space you will have? 

When it comes to décor, Pinterest is your best friend. Either create an account online or download the app on your phone for trendy ideas on how to decorate your space. For starters, simply type in “aesthetic dorm décor” to cue up a host of ideas to spark your creativity. Following each other’s Pinterest accounts and boards was an easy way for my roommates and I to see things we both liked and to pick what look we were going for in our room. 

One thing that I learned was to be flexible with my decorations. It’s hard to know until you get there just how much wall space you will have or if that storage caddy will really fit at the end of your bed. 

Something that is important when it comes to decorating is leaving enough white space. When I lived in McKinney my sophomore year, I had more room to space out my decorations. When you have a large wall, it helps to have some larger décor, like the flower hanging and tapestry that I’ll talk about below that will fill the space and not leave your walls looking bare. Conversely, when you are in a smaller dorm like Printy, where I lived freshman year, you will have limited room on the walls no matter how you organize your living space, so it is good to keep that in mind. 



While it’s fun to go to the store or shop online and pick out a cartful of cute decorations, it’s much cheaper (and, I think, more fun!) to make some décor of your own. Again, this is where Pinterest comes in. For specific DIY ideas and step-by-step tutorials, search for “dorm décor DIY.” 

I made most of the décor on my dorm walls. A few of my favorite DIY projects were the flower hanging and verse tapestry in my sophomore year room, and the pink macramé hanging I used in both dorm rooms. I got the ideas from Pinterest and bought all the supplies from Hobby Lobby. 

For the flower hanging, I bought some faux flowers, connected the flowers to a stick from my backyard with gardening wire, and tied it all up with a white ribbon. If you’re into hand-lettering, the tapestry is for you. I bought several feet of canvas fabric (I recommend buying more than you would need for one tapestry in case you mess up the first time like I did) and sharpied on a Scripture verse I loved. If you’re not the artsy type, you could use stencils or stamps (also found at craft stores like Hobby Lobby) to write a saying, verse, or word. I found another DIY video on how to make the macramé hanging out of extra thick yarn I purchased at a craft store. 

Whether this post jump-started your first thoughts about your room decorations for the fall, or you already have plenty of ideas, I hope I was able to provide some inspiration to help you wherever you are in the room decorating process. Chat with your roommate about your ideas and, most importantly, have fun!

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