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How to make your dorm room feel like home

Posted by Ashley Krause on Tue, Aug 28, 2018 @ 11:08 AM

Welcome back, Bearcats!

Today we’re talking dorm rooms. Classes have started and all of your stuff is moved in your dorm room, but does it feel like home? Deciding on how to lay out your furniture and decorate the space can be kind of tricky, so I’m here to share a few tips from my experience with dorms at SVC! 

Dorm room decor

Maximizing Space

Fitting all of your (and your roommates) things into a single bedroom can be tough. Before even considering how to decorate your room, you need to maximize the space! At Saint Vincent, each room has two beds, two dressers, two wardrobes (or clothing racks in upperclassman residence halls), and two desks. I’ve noticed that I make the most of the space if I raise the bed up high enough to put the dresser underneath. This allows for more floorspace and you can even tuck additional bins behind the dresser! My advice is to just try to fit as much as you can underneath your bed.

Maximize dorm room space

Color Scheme

Before shopping for your dorm, you should have an idea of what color scheme you’re going for. Pick colors that speak to you and reflect your personality! Color is something you can have a lot of fun with when picking up décor items for your room. The inspiration for mine came from earthy and rustic tones. I’m pretty simple when it comes to colors and patterns, so light colors are actually what jumped out at me while shopping. Nothing in my room perfectly matches, but it all complements each other. That’s the great thing about playing around with color! Find tones that you like together, then throw in some pattern or texture with them too. Like with my bed, I chose a white comforter to lighten up the room (since the bed is the largest item in it) and I added a splash of color/texture with throw pillows!

Neutral dorm room decor

Shopping Smart

To gain inspiration for dorm décor, everyone’s go-to is Pinterest. While amazing, Pinterest dorm room aesthetics aren’t always feasible for a college student’s budget … unless you know how to shop smart. My dorm room is the product of many hours spent on Pinterest. I created a board during summer and added photos from other people’s college dorms or apartments to inspire plans for my own. I realized pretty quickly that my “dream dorm room” would be way out of my price range. So, I got savvy. I would shop at thrift stores, discount outlets, TJ Maxx, and yes, even the dollar store! My dorm is proof that you can bring your Pinterest alive without breaking the bank. My best tip is to never settle on an item that you could find somewhere else for much cheaper! Do research before purchasing and always check your local thrift shops and clearance section.

Dorm room decor


Personalization and Versatility

Like I said, your dorm room is your little home for the next two semesters, so you want it to feel like home, too! Decorate the space with items that spark good feelings, whether that be photos, medals, family memorabilia, plants, etc. This is your place to express yourself! It’s also important to keep versatility in mind while decorating. My room is decorated almost entirely with items I use on a daily basis. For example, in my cubicle organizer, I filled some of the slots with clothes. Two are with jeans and the other has folded shirts that are cohesive with the color scheme. It can be that simple! So now I have something that looks nice, but also is convenient for me to grab an outfit from if I’m running late. PLUS decorating with items you already own and frequently reach for saves money! Decorations like that are also things you can move around and switch with the seasons. If you get bored with how your room is laid out, it’s simple to rearrange the same décor in a new way! For example, I will switch out the clothes on my garment rack when winter rolls around. It’ll bring a new look to the room without spending any cash or putting in much effort.

Decorating a dorm room

Functionality and Organization

Keep in mind that this is a dorm room, but you still want it to be functional! Days on campus can get very busy, so everything should have its own place. This is especially important when it comes to your desk! I use my desk exclusively to store school and work things. That way, I keep it separated from everything else and can really focus on my work while sitting there. I wanted to keep the desktop simple and functional, so I decorated with things to hold pencils, file papers and take notes!

Natural elements in dorm decor

We would love to see how you decorate your dorm rooms, too. Use #SVCdorms in your posts or stories for a chance to be featured on our Instagram!

Topics: college, Saint Vincent College, college life, college home, dorm life, dorm room, #SVCdorm, Ashley Krause, decor

About this Blog

On this blog, current students write about everyday life on the campus of Saint Vincent College, a private, liberal arts college located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.


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About the Authors

Michael Brinker

Michael Brinker, junior communication major, currently in Orlando, working with the Disney College Program.

Amanda MacMurtrie

Amanda MacMurtrie transferred to Saint Vincent as a sophomore studying English with a minor in Theology. Transferring to a new school is not the easiest thing in the world, but she is steadily finding a home on this beautiful Benedictine campus. Between enjoying life in community, balancing books for fun and books for class, and finding little corners of beauty, Amanda is discovering a few joys of life at Saint Vincent College.

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