If you live in a college dorm, it is  your home away from home for two-thirds of the year. Not only is it a place for you to study, but a personal space to escape from outside stress. Therefore, dorm décor is essential for college-bound students.

Dorm room decorating can be fun as well as challenging for many reasons. Not only are you working with a confined area, but also most schools have many regulations that must be followed. It can also be complicated in determining the multifunctional nature of the room.


Since dorm rooms are multi-purposeful, most students prefer to use a brighter color scheme than they normally would at home. Brighter colors are more stimulating for late night studying, so bedding is a key element in determining the color palette of the room. Before you purchase your bedding, however, make sure to confirm the size of the bed. Many dorm rooms require twin extra long bedding, so a typical twin set is not big enough.

The bed is not only used for sleeping, but by adding extra coordinating pillows to the back against the wall it also serves as a sofa for additional seating. Make sure to decide on your color scheme and carry it throughout to make a statement. If possible, coordinate your theme with your roommate. Your bedding should reflect your individuality but also be durable enough to serve many purposes.

Dorm Wall

Since dorms are usually cramped, it is important to use every inch wisely. Most dorms have minimal storage, so it is up to the student to be creative with their space. Beneath the bed is the most obvious place to add additional storage. If the school does not permit you to loft your bed, use risers to lift the bed, which allows more storage space for extra clothing, luggage, books, etc.

Dorm room

Plastic crates are also an alternative. They are typically available in a variety of colors to coordinate with most bedding, and they can be used in the closet for extra shelving, beside the desk to hold books, or under the bed for storage. Closet organizers are also very helpful for holding shoes, accessories and make up. Many dorms have concrete block walls. Reusable plastic hooks are helpful to not only display items on the wall but useful to hang a bathrobe, bath towels, and a jacket. Shower caddies are a must for dorm style bathrooms. They will hold all of your toiletries and make it simpler to transport items to the community bathroom each morning.

It’s important to converse with your roommate ahead of time to make sure you do not duplicate on larger items such as televisions, refrigerator, etc. that will take up extra space.

Sleeping, studying and socializing are key zones to keep in mind when decorating your room. Area rugs help determine the different zones in a limited space; they also warm up the cool tile floors. Hanging mirrors or mirror tiles are not just used for grooming, but they also make the space appear larger. Make sure that any furniture you add to the room should have many uses. Having a well organized and functional dorm room will make the grade for a place to chill with friends, study for tests, and relax.

Dorm living is an amazing experience; a place where important lessons are learned, memories are made, and lifelong friendships are formed. It is critical to remember when decorating your room that sleeping is not the only element to keep in mind. Use a little creativity, style and comfort to create your new space. Now, if only Chemistry were that easy!

Shelley Herod is the owner and designer for Designing Women, LLC from Woodstock, Georgia. She has been a local designer for the past 20 years. She graduated from Butler University  with a degree in merchandising and design. Shelley is a certified home stager and recently was selected by Executive Who’s Who. She is the veteran interior designer to the Junior Service League of Woodstock Christmas Home Tour, where she has been active for the past 10 years. She also works with wedding and special event venues as design coordinator to make dreams become reality. Designing Women is an active member of the The Atlanta Bridal Connection. Shelley can be reached at (770) 235-5640 or on her Facebook page: Designing Women.