College Decorating 101: Make the Most of Your Space

On move-in day, you’ll enter your empty dorm room and feel overwhelmed. The white, bare walls will make you realize just how different this new room is from your cozy bedroom back home.

Don’t worry! This just means that your new goal will be to decorate this college room to be just as comforting. If you follow these very basic decorating tips, I can guarantee that the once ominous and empty dorm room will soon feel like your new home.

There are several ways you can spruce up those white walls. Regardless of the space, try to fill as much of it as possible. You may think this will make the dorm room cluttered, but I promise it will do just the opposite.

Obviously a girl’s dorm decor will vary significantly from a guy’s. Girls tend to try and make their dorm room as visually pleasing as possible. On the other hand, guys are more interested in turning that room into the ultimate hangout zone for their friends.

A Few Tips for Girls


Alright ladies, the largest tip I can give you on creating an exciting dorm room is to utilize your favorite colors. Find a color combination that you enjoy and apply it to all of the materials in your room.

Buy a bright, patterned comforter and then match the appliances to that color scheme. A great color combination can determine the mood of your room. Stick to blues, greens, and purples for a cool mood and reds, oranges, and yellows for a brighter mood.


Make a collage of your favorite pictures. At the beginning of the year, put up pictures of your friends and family from back home. As the year goes on, add pictures of your college friends. I don’t think it is possible to have too many pictures on your wall.

Pinterest Crafts

If you consider yourself an artistic person, I highly suggest making a canvas or other decor item for your dorm room. This is a great way to fill that empty space on your desk or wall. If you look at Pinterest, I’m sure you’ll find something cool to make.

Check out our Pinterest page to get started: TheCollegeHelper Pinterest Page


Some college dorm rooms don’t have carpeted floors. Trust me; you should definitely invest in a small piece of carpet or a colored rug for your room. In the winter time, the floor will get really cold if you don’t have something soft to walk on! Plus, a rug can add to your dorm room theme.

A Few Tips for Guys


Even guys can use their favorite colors to decorate their rooms. Of course, it won’t be as intricate as a girl’s room would be, but feel free to add a pattern for the comforter. Guys also can decorate with a warm or cool color scheme.


While guys are still free to make picture collages, it seems that most freshman guys typically choose to decorate their walls with lots of posters. Put up some posters of your favorite sports teams or bands!

The posters will really break up that ugly white wall and make your room feel more like home.


While both guys and girls could use a futon in their dorm room, I think it’s especially important for guys. You’ll need extra seating space for friends who may come over to watch a sports game or play video games.


Once guys have the space to accommodate all of their friends, it’s important that the room design consists of all the necessary electronics: big television, speakers, gaming systems, etc. This room layout will be perfect for a guy’s college dorm room.

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Stephanie Vlk

Stephanie Vlk

Stephanie Vlk is a junior at the University of Dayton pursuing a degree in communication with a concentration in electronic media as well as a minor in English. While not in class, Stephanie is involved in a service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and a honors professional fraternity, Phi Beta Chi. Outside of academic and community activities, she enjoys dancing hip hop, reading, spending time with friends, and doing yoga.