7 Ways to Build Your Dream Dorm Room

Going to college is a significant milestone in every young adult's life. It’s the time to explore and meet new people, get out of comfort zones, and discover who you are. So, it’s essential to be comfortable during such a transformative time.


One of the most exciting parts about leaving home and going off to school is decorating and designing your own space. You might think you can’t do much with a small dorm and the standard twin XL-sized bed, desk, chair, and dresser, but you’re wrong. There are plenty of fun, simple, and budget-friendly ways to make your dorm room stand out above the rest.


Use these tips to maximize your space, and your home away from home will become your new favorite place to be.


Stick to the basics

clothes on hangers on rt london furniture inside dorm room

You only need to take the necessary items to college. Trust us. Since you're living in a temporary space, you won't need a full-sized ironing board or all your high school yearbooks. Save all of that for home. Only take items you'll use regularly; you’ll want to save as much space as you can.


You can plan ahead when packing and find out how much furnishing your assigned dorm room already has. Some rooms might have less shelving and built-in storage options than others.


Buy things that can be re-used

student relaxing in dorm room on rt london furniture

It might be tempting to buy many items that perfectly fit your dorm room, but it's not wise in the long run. Instead of purchasing twin XL-sized bedding, opt for queen duvets and sheets.


You can use these in your first home or apartment when you have a much bigger space, saving you money and the hassle of buying new bedding. Think of it as if you’re planning for the future instead of just one year; it'll make decorating your next space much more manageable.


Hang some art

up close shot of decoration in a dorm room on rt london furniture


No one likes looking at dull, plain walls or empty shelves. And it’s so easy to add a pop of color to your space. Browse Etsy or Minted for bold prints or bring some art and décor from home. Or, check out local antique and flea markets for some unique flair.


The best part about moving into a dorm is having the freedom to personalize your space to make it yours. Don’t be afraid to jazz it up! Just be sure to follow any student housing guidelines if applicable.


Keep your things organized

storage bin in a dorm room on rt london furniture


Storage bins are a college student’s best friend. Head to school with your clothes already in organizers and boxes and grab some space-saving hangers. You’ll thank us later. Moving into your dorm room will be much easier and less stressful with your wardrobe already properly folded and organized.


Having all your belongings organized will keep your stuff from getting confused with your roommate's; it can be easy to mix up items in a small shared space.


Bring personal items from home

student hanging photos inside dorm room on rt london bulletin board


Since going off to college is most students’ first time away from home and their families, it’s common to feel homesick. Pack some photo frames, your favorite pillows, blankets, and mugs — those items will bring you comfort on those homesick nights.


I know we just said to only pack the essentials, but memories are important, too. Your dorm room might be your new home, but you still deserve to feel relaxed and comfortable there.


Make it cozy

cozy string lights hanging on rt london bed inside a dorm room

There’s no better feeling than sinking into a cozy space after a long, grueling day of classes. Your dorm room should be your escape. Add soft lighting to your living room area to warm up the space — everyone knows string lights are the quintessential light fixtures for dorm rooms.


Soft lighting wins over harsh, fluorescent light bulbs every time. You can also pick out some lush plants and put them by the windows to bring some life into the room. And, of course, add a rug and pile on the soft pillows and blankets. You’ll be thankful you did during the dark, cold winter months.


Coordinate with roommates

college roommates hanging out inside their dorm room


If you're sharing a space, you'll want to be on the same page with your roommates. The next eight months or so will be rough if you're not. Before moving any furniture or items into the shared living space, talk with your roommates and coordinate your different styles.


This way, you’ll all be comfortable and in agreement about what goes where in the common area. You’ll avoid a lot of tension and drama in the long run.


Dorm room must-haves:


  • Large storage bins
  • Storage with pullout drawers
  • Shoe rack that can hang in a closet
  • Organizational tools and accessories for desks (pencil jar, pens, scissors, etc.)
  • Laundry hamper
  • Small trash cans
  • Dirty dish bin
  • Lighting — string lights, lamps, etc.
  • Fans
  • Throw pillows and oversized blankets


Moving out of the house and going off to college is a new experience for many, and it can be scary to take the leap. But the fear shouldn’t stop you from making your new home just as comfortable as the one you grew up in.


You can ease those worries by taking your new space and making it your own cozy oasis. Take some weight off your shoulders and use these tips when heading to school!

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