This post contains all the cute college dorm ideas you need to take your room to the next level. We all already know that dorms are notorious for being dingy and gross. There’s nothing cute about a plain dorm room, from the age-old carpet to the basic wood furniture to the familiar musty odor.
Don’t let that stop you from creating a cute, cozy little room to call home for the school year. One of the best parts about moving to college is picking out all new things to brighten it up. You’re working with a VERY blank canvas, so let your imagination run wild!
Without further ado, here are the 37 cutest college dorm ideas that you need to know about!
1. Stick on Wallpaper
The dorm room walls are pretty ugly. They’re usually a cold cinder block, ew! Take away that cold appearance with stick on wallpaper. This wallpaper is really easy to remove when you’re done and doesn’t leave any damage. It’s the perfect way to warm up your dorm room!
2. Throw Rug
Add a throw rug to get your feet off the cold floors. The floors will usually either be linoleum or dingy carpet. A carpet is a great way to brighten up the space while also making it feel cleaner and homier.
3. Wall Prints
Wall prints are super affordable for dorm decor. You can mix and match frame sizes and colors to create an eclectic look and hang them above your bed. Make sure to use all the wall space’s potential to create a beautifully designed dorm room.
4. Throw Pillows
Adding throw pillows to your bed creates colors and textures that will capture the eye’s attention when walking into the room. Remember, try not to bring too many pillows. You’ll hate having to lug those back out when you move!
5. Soft Storage
Soft storage easily slides underneath your bed. It’s perfect when you’re limited on space and can easily squish it in a tight spot. You can choose any color you need so that your storage bins blend in.
6. Hanging Closet Storage
Storage is super limited in the dorms, especially the closets. It’ll be so tiny you won’t know how to fit all your clothes in there! Hanging closet storage is essential for using every inch of space you have. On the plus side, you won’t have to limit the number of cute outfits you bring to college!
A tapestry is an inexpensive and easy way to cover up those cinder block walls in your dorm room. Tapestries ad tons of color and can really set the theme to your room.
Everyone knows plants make you happier! Plants really make a room feel homey, light, and bright. Succulents and air plants are really easy to take care of since they’re low maintenance. Get yourself a few succulents and some cute pots to put them in.
9. Lofted Bed
A lofted bed is a must in a dorm! You’re going to want to use all the storage underneath your bed. You can even turn the underneath of your bed into a little study nook for some extra privacy. All in all, a lofted bed is essential when living in the dorms.
10. Bed Skirt
Use a bed skirt to hide storage and clutter under your bed. This will give your room a much cleaner and more organized look. The more clutter you have out and about, the smaller your room is going to feel.
11. String Lights
You can’t go wrong with string lights, duh! Cute twinkle lights really soften the harsh lighting that there usually is in the dorm. This will be much nicer to unwind to at the end of the day than the fluorescent overhead lighting.
12. Star Lights
For going to bed, a starlight projector is also a must! This is one of my favorite college dorm ideas because it’s seriously so relaxing. If you can pair it with a noise machine, then you’ll be sleeping like a baby.
13. Room Spray
Did we mention that dorm rooms are dingy and musty? They’re ancient buildings, and there’s not much money put into them for the upkeep. A nice room spray is going to save your nose! Since candles aren’t allowed in the dorms, room sprays are perfect for adding a boost of freshness.
Don’t forget to pick out a comfy duvet! Bedding is so important because you want something cute but functional. Pick out a duvet that will match the theme you’re trying to go for. Neutral colors without patterns won’t clutter the space or make it look busy. Remember, bed sizes are typically twin XL, so plan accordingly.
15. Maximal Space
Coordinate with your roommate to maximize space. Push your desk against the same wall as your bed to create an open area in the middle of the room. This leaves a lot of space for friends to come over and hang out!
16. Roomie Coordination
Create a really nice decorative flow to your room by coordinating with your roommate. This will also help you save money on decorations since you can both go in on it. Get connected with your roommate early on in the summer so that you can pick out a room theme together!
17. Polaroid Wall
Having a polaroid wall is such a cute and fun idea! I love the tradition of taking a photo of everyone that comes into your room. You can fill your wall with tons of people who become your new college friends. It’s so cute, and everyone will love it!
18. LED Lights
String up some LED lights for mood lighting. This can give your room an extra pop at night. You can even outline the bottom of your bed with LED lights to create a soft room glow that comes from under your bed. That can really set the mood depending on which color you pick!
19. Big Mirror
It’s no secret that mirrors help add depth and dimension to your room. Your room is small, to begin with. A big mirror will help make the space feel even bigger. Also, you can’t possibly go out to a party without seeing what you look like, can you!?
20. Light and Bright
Pick light and bright colors for your dorm. That will help open up the space and make everything feel bigger. Bigger is better. That is the key when moving into a teeny tiny dorm room.
21. Bedside Storage
Another one of our college dorm ideas is this bedside storage. Get a nightstand that doubles as extra storage. The more places to put things, the better! We all know it’s hard to pack light, especially when moving out!
Make your space look more sophisticated by adding a headboard. There are plenty of cost-friendly options around for headboards. You can even DIY your own!
23. Black and White
Go with a monochrome theme! Pick black and white colors to add extra dimension, especially if the walls are stark white. You want a little bit of contrast in there to keep things interesting.
24. Study Nook
Give yourself some privacy by creating a little study nook. You will be studying a lot more than in high school, so this idea is essential.
25. Boho Theme
Another of our college dorm ideas is to have a boho theme. Boho is soft and airy and creates a very comforting feeling. It also keeps the space looking light and open.
26. Table Lamp
Get some extra lighting with a table lamp. If you need to be up late studying, you’re not going to want to bother your roommate with the bright fluorescent lights.
I love the idea of having a futon in a dorm room if you can manage it! There’s not a lot of sleeping space, so if you plan on having friends visit you, it’s a really nice option!
28. Mirrored Drawer
Double your storage with a mirror! You can help make the space look bigger with mirrored drawers. Besides, this look is super classy and clean.
29. Ottoman with Storage
An ottoman not only creates a place for someone to sit, but you can double it as storage. A lot of people like to store their shoes in ottomans like these!
30. Throw Blanket
Spice up your bed with a throw blanket. It’s cute and comfy! Also, if you ever have a guest, you have something to give them.
31. Neon Light
How cute is this neon light bulb? People are suckers for neon lights, so get one for your room! Your friends will want to be taking pics in front of your wall for the ‘gram.
32. Retro Colors
Turn back time with a retro theme. Pick oranges, reds, and yellow to create an old-school feel. These colors are also still pretty bright so that you won’t darken the room.
33. Hanging Bed Storage
Hanging bed storage is super practical. You can have things easily accessible to you when you get into bed. It also acts as even more storage!
34. Extra Seating
A comfy foldable chair is super practical to have. IT could be a good spot to relax and read a book, or it can be for when friends come over.
Frame the windows with curtains. This adds to the room’s decor, but it also helps to block the sunlight when you want to sleep in after your party!
36. Bulletin Board
Bulletin boards are still in! Your dorm may actually come with one. These are great to pin reminders, plans, polaroids, etc.
37. All White
Keeping an all-white theme once again brightens the space really well. Avoid dark colors so the room doesn’t appear cluttered.