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Dorm Decorating Essentials by sheTEEN, Mayson

Written by sheTEEN, Mayson

It’s that time of year again! Walmart, Target, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond are all advertising nonstop about all of the shoe racks, rugs, refrigerators, and command strips that you MUST buy when heading off to college.

As a college student, especially going into your first year, it can be extremely overwhelming to go dorm shopping. I can remember going into my first year and feeling like everything I bought was wrong, would look bad, or wouldn’t fill up my room like I wanted to. I had no frame of reference as to what my room would look like, so the entire process was extremely confusing.

In order to help with the confusion and frustration of decorating, I’ve compiled a list of what I consider decorating essentials—things that will look cute in almost any dorm, things that are fairly inexpensive, and things that will add so much character to your boring concrete walls and 100-year-old furniture.

Tapestries. They're the new fad when it comes to dorm rooms, and now that I’ve finally jumped on the bandwagon, I totally understand why! My roommates and I bought our tapestry on Amazon for around $15. We wanted an extremely large one to take up an entire wall, but they come in all different sizes and shapes. The great thing about tapestries is they add color and creativity to SO much space, and are super easy to hang. They’re also so much cheaper than finding tons of decorations to fill up a whole wall!

Strands of light. Every dreamy dorm room picture on Pinterest includes at least some type of light strand. You can find them at Target or Walmart for $15 or less, and they give your room a natural glow that just makes the entire dorm room more appealing!

Pictures. If you talked to my freshman year roommate, she would tell you that I have a SERIOUS picture problem. Of the space that was “mine” to decorate in our room, I would say 90% of it was covered in pictures. No kidding. But the best part of hanging pictures in your dorm is the fact that every day you get to be reminded of sweet memories and the people that you love and that care about you. Hanging pictures is also an inexpensive way to decorate. I just printed around 40 more pictures (I know—I have a problem) for my dorm this year from Walmart, and I only spent $9! You can tape the pictures directly onto the wall, hang them on your light strand, or buy some thick hemp string and clips to hang pictures! There are so many variations!

Letters. This decorating essential is one of my favorites because it can involve no work at all or so much creativity if that’s what you like! My dorm probably has 10 different “M’s” hanging in various places, but it’s totally okay because they’re all unique and so cute! Using the first letter of your name as a decoration in your dorm is really easy. Just go to Michael’s and buy a few of your initials in wooden letters, and then paint or decorate them however you’d like and whatever matches your bedding and other decorations. You can also find letters made out of different materials that are pre decorated from places like Target or Homegoods. You shouldn’t have to spend more than $15 on these, and they add shape and make your dorm more personalized.


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