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Tips For Decorating Your Dorm Room

A cozy bed with a teddy bear on it.

This post is from a student, parent, or professional contributor. The opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect the positions, viewpoints, or policies of Niche.

One of the most exciting times of your life is approaching: going to COLLEGE!!

I’m sure there are many things that you are looking forward to such as experiencing living away from your parents, going to various social events on campus, and attending classes.

While all of those things are exciting, something I looked most forward to when I was starting college was decorating my dorm! Decorating your dorm is essential to your college experience because that unit is going to be your home away from home.

It is important that if there’s anywhere you can feel most content during your time at college, it’s your room. Here are some tips and tricks I found most useful when bringing my dorm vision to life.

Discuss with your roommate

The first thing to do when starting to decorate your dorm is to talk with your roommate. This is important for several reasons.

Firstly, by doing so you’ll be able to make sure that each of your visions/ideas do not clash with one another. Of course, each of you has free will to personalize your room however you’d like, but it’s nice when the room can be personal to each of you and still be cohesive as a unit.

For example, you may want your side of the room to be purple and your roommate wants her side of the room to be red. Oftentimes, purple and red clash and you may not like the way the room looks.

Aside from making sure that the room looks well put together, speaking with your roommate about your dorm as you begin to decorate allows you to have some bonding time before getting to campus.

Get on Pinterest

Once you’ve conversed with your roommate and the color schemes have been decided, it’s time to find dorm inspiration. One of the best ways to do so is by using Pinterest!

All it takes is a simple search on the app and creating a board with all the inspiration pictures that you find! This is the time for you to add anything to the board that you want. Have fun with it! 

10 Freshman Year Dorm Essentials


Whether you are financially responsible for your decor or your parents are, it’s time to be real and cost-effective. This is when you begin to separate needs from wants.

By figuring out what you need, you’ll be able to have a better idea of what you can spend on your wants. Normally the university you are attending will provide a checklist in which standard dorm essentials are listed, but if not, there are several that you can find online. 


Now that you know what you need and want and you have established how much money you’re willing to spend, it’s time to actually begin looking for your essentials and decor.

You may decide that some things will be ordered online and others bought in store, but either way, this is when you go to your local stores such as Macy’s, Target, Bed, Bath, & Beyond and start window shopping! You can also start looking on Amazon and other online stores for things that you may want.

You can also consider creating a dorm registry and sending it to close friends and family to help get the things that you want! 


Now that you’ve done your window shopping, made your list on Amazon, and created your registry, all there’s left to do is purchase what you want! 

Once all of my items were purchased, I tried to visualize my room, which is a game changer in the journey of room decorating. Hopefully your university’s website has this option, but I was able to do a virtual tour of my dorm room.

I went to the website, chose the unit that I had been assigned, and was able to see what my room actually looked like. This allowed me to think about where I would want to place things such as my wall art, picture frames, and my study desk items.

This made my life much easier because once I moved in, I knew exactly where I wanted to go without having to think too deeply. If your university website does not have this feature, I’d suggest searching up your dorm room name and university on YouTube!

Many students at their various universities have room tours and you may be lucky enough to see your university and your dorm. As you watch the video, you can pause where you please and start to visualize the room for yourself.

These are all the tips and tricks that were useful and helpful to me when I was decorating my dorm room and I hope that they are helpful to you as well!

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Author: Elise Blake

Hello!! My name is Elise Blake and I am currently a junior political science major with a concentration in pre-law, and a minor in legal communications at the ILLUSTRIOUS Howard University. My goal for this blog is to shed light on all things afro-centric that matter in the realm of college as well as just simply giving you all as much knowledge as I can. I am looking forward to sharing with you all my experiences and giving out any tips/advice that I believe will be useful to you!