how to create the perfect dorm


I started writing this when I had been in bed for the greater part of 24 hours; I felt like I was on my deathbed... I figured, what a perfect time to blog! And, better yet, I decided to break down how I had such success in planning my dorm decor this year. Considering it was the first time I had a chance to decorate a dorm room, I'm pretty proud of how it came out.

Flash forward to a week later, not only am I still coughing, but I am still working on this. I realized I had way too much stuff to put down not to spend more time on it! Hope this is helpful.

I'm going to outline some easy steps to making the dorm decor planning process go as smooth as possible.

1 ۞ Once you find out who your roommate is, you can get some inspiration from them!

As much as I was looking forward to the academic aspect of college, I have to say that decorating my dorm room was what I was most excited about. Once I found out who my roommate was, we had a blast exchanging ideas for the room. DO NOT feel like you have to coordinate. My room is very much divided into my style and hers. But, it's also another way you and your roommate can bond before meeting.

2 ۞ Watch "College Move-In Day" videos on Youtube.

This was one of my main sources for inspiration. AND, you get to see the reality of moving into college to prepare yourself. I watched way to many to count but loved seeing how different people decorated their dorms. It was super helpful in figuring out what I wanted to do.

3 ۞ Start with the comforter.

For decorating purposes, I suggest you begin by choosing your comforter. Once you find that, you can plan the rest of your room's aesthetic on that. For example, if you buy a very colorful or busy comforter, you're going to want to go neutral with the decorations. I took the opposite approach and found a relatively neutral comforter and went more colorful on the rest of the decor. I found my comforter on Urban Outfitters.

4 ۞ Stick to one or two websites for purchasing items.

Then, since I found it on Urban, it was easy to find the rest of my decor on that site, too. I recommend using less than 3 websites because it's easy to lose track of shipping, costs, and the likeliness of everything matching/going together well.

5 ۞ Bring some personalized things from home.​

​Not only will this cut down on costs, but it's so much fun to create collages or make some art yourself to take with you! I also highly recommend bringing as much photos/sentimental items from home as possible. You're gonna get homesick at one point or another so it will be helpful to look around and see things that remind you of home.

6 ۞ Plan on one big centerpiece, usually on the wall that your bed leans against.

I chose to hang a tapestry whereas my roommate made a massive photo collage that she planned in advance.

Nine times out of ten, you will have a giant wall to fill. So, be prepared. My tapestry was super easy to purchase and hang using command hooks. But, one thing to keep in mind: if your dorm has concrete for walls like mine does, make sure you purchase strong adhesives. Which leads me to my next point...


Command hooks, mounting tape, double sided tape... if it's an adhesive, bring it. You may not need it all on move-in day, but it's good to have if you decide to take things down or put more things up (and trust me, that'll happen).

8 ۞ Try to stick to one color palette.

I tried a couple of times to get creative with my color scheme and add in a random colored throw pillow but... it definitely did not look as good as I expected it to. I thought I was being creative and that it would look chic, but it ended up just looking weird. So: stick to one color palette. You can look online and see what colors go well together so that you don't attempt the 50 shades of boring look, but stick to that. Don't stray too much even if you think it will pay off because you don't want to end up spending $100 on things that look like shit together.

9 ۞ Have a killer throw blanket.

If you choose to go neutral for your comforter like I did, I recommend getting creative with your throw blanket. And yes, definitely purchase a throw blanket. I know for a fact that guys rarely make their beds in college, but girls who spend a lot of time planning and executing their decor want to have it looking as nice as possible as often as possible. So, by having a throw blanket, you can keep your bed made and still hang out in it by using the throw blanket. I went for an ombré-d, gray faux fur throw from Frontgate. It was undoubtedly expensive, but worth every penny. I use it every single day and so does anyone who comes to my room.

10 ۞ Purchase a rug.

I cannot emphasize this enough: buying a rug for my already-carpeted room was the best purchase I made in the entire decorating process. Granted, we were unaware that the room was carpeted but apparently "carpet" is a subjective term. Whatever is on our floor feels like pure cement. My mom had the ingenious idea to buy a rug after she had some experience from sending my brother off to Providence, and she pushed for me and my roommate to get one. Now, we get compliments on it (because it's beautiful and stylish) and it serves a much needed purpose: people have somewhere comfortable to hang out, sleep... anything! I can't find the exact one, but this is definitely comparable. Ours is simple, comfy, and pretty. We absolutely love it.

That's really all I got for right now but one other piece of advice I want to throw in there: you can always change things. Nothing is set in stone and your room will probably change little by little a thousand times. Enjoy the process--it's easy to get caught up in the stress and forget to just have fun with it. You may not have had the opportunity to change your room since you were like 5-years-old! This is your chance!

۞ ally ۞

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SINCE 2017