For most people, entering college comes just as you’re turning 18 and entering adulthood for the first time. Suddenly, newly adult, you have your whole future laid out before you, a daunting number of decisions to make, and new levels of responsibility you’re still learning to navigate. But here’s something else you have if you’re moving into a college dorm: a new space, all your own, to decorate as you please.
This is your chance to craft a dorm room look that not only fits your personal preferences and style, but also looks mature and put-together, the perfect welcome for your journey into adulthood. It’s your chance to find bedding and decor that’s sophisticated, stylish, and fashionable. What example does that look like? A lot of different things, depending on your tastes. What follows are eight inspiration pictures, found on Instagram, to help you pick out the things you’ll need to make a fashionable dorm room look.
Fun, Fuzzy, and Fashion-Forward
Cozy dorm look inspired by @sofiakauderer
Your dorm room is your safe haven. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice fashion to be cozy this year. Textured items are always a great way to add interest to your dorm decor, but making those items fuzzy pillows, rugs, and throws transform a drab dorm room into the perfect place to curl up and study, sleep, or relax.
Fancy the fashion? Get the look with a faux fur throw, textured white quilt, and faux mongolian body pillow. Click to shop!
Bohemian look inspired by @poemasypoesias_
If you’re familiar with fashion, you’re familiar with the 20 year cycle. This rule of fashion states that what goes around comes around, and if it was popular 20 years ago, it’s liable to be fashionable today. We’ve already begun to see a reemergence of the bold styles characteristic of the early 2000s, and no one can deny the influence of the ‘80s on modern fashion. But there’s at least one style that doesn’t quite fit the 20 year rule and yet remains relevant because of its timeless appeal: Bohemian style. The boho style is effortless, relaxed, and harks back to the ideals ‘70s - freedom, peace, and love - that inspired it.
What better style for your dorm room than one that touts freedom to live as you please and soothing calmness? Besides the good vibes, the soft and neutral look of the boho style also looks clean and mature without being at all stuffy. Think light neutral colors, tassels and woven textures, and plenty of houseplants. With the right touches, your dorm room will look like a beachside hotel room, and will be the breath of fresh air you need.
Fancy the fashion? Get the look with White Kiss Pleat bedding, this Mudcloth throw pillow, and a contemporary rug. Click to shop!
Bold prints inspired by @poemasypoesias_
Of course, the inspiration of the 70s wasn’t only about peace, love and happiness; it was also about having the courage to stand up for those ideals. That’s why it’s not surprising that there are two sides to boho fashion. On one side of the coin is the neutral, beachside look that calls to mind flowing white dresses and oversized sun hats. On the other side is a world of color and pattern that embraces the inspiration of the natural world in all its vibrant glory. This is not inspired by a 70s that smiled sweetly with glasses, but rather by a 70s that called for an end to war and a hippy movement that returned to its roots with Mother Nature.
If this side of Bohemian is more to your liking, then you’re looking for bright colors and natural prints. You want bedding and decor with leaves, flowers, and simple geometric patterns; you want wood, blues and greens, decorative curtains, and… well, you’ll still want plants. It’s good to have some life in your living space.
Fancy the fashion? Get the look with Iveta Abolina Maze bedding, a Meher wall tapestry, and a brightly colored contemporary rug. Click to shop!
Cute prints inspired by @mrhomestuff
Let’s be honest: adulthood is scary. You’ve got a whole slew of new responsibilities, people are asking you to make decisions that will impact the rest of your life, and suddenly you feel like all the comforts of your youth are too “childish.” But you want to know a secret? They’re not. You don’t have to sacrifice the things that made you happy as a kid just because you grow up. Was you bedding bright pink and patterned? Did you have a whole collection of soft toys and stuffed animals? Do fairy lights make you want to clap your hands and say “I believe”? You can put all of that into your decor without sacrificing form or fashion.
For this look, you’ll want to find bedding with a pattern that makes you happy. It can be anything from unicorns to power rangers, so long as the rest of the dorm uses a similar color scheme and embraces the bedding as an accent piece. Will cartoon character sheets look “adult,” per say? No, not really. But can you still make them look fashionable? Surprisingly, yes! Again, it’s all about embracing the accent piece. Alternately, pick a geometric pattern that appeals to you (like polka dots), stick to a color scheme, and decorate however makes you happy.
Fancy the fashion? Get the look with Pink and Polka Dot bedding, a Brisbane diagonal area rug, and LED fairy lights. Click to shop!
A White Welcome
Simplistic design inspired by @modernthreads_home
One of the hardest things about keeping a dorm room looking nice is that, even when you clean and organize, a lot of the time of the decor creates a visual noise that still makes the room seem messy. Thankfully, you don’t need a million pieces of decor to convey a personal style. A clean and simple white look is the perfect blend of two fashions: the pure white look that has been popular since Queen Victoria’s wedding, and the minimalism fashion born out of the 50s.
The trick to this look is simple. Get plain white bedding with an interesting texture for a subtle touch of flair, decorate your walls with a consistent design that isn’t interrupted by framed photos or other fixtures, and make sure you have plenty of storage space so that everything can be put away in its proper place. As for decor, find a few simple statement pieces - things like prisms or succulents - and display them wherever makes sense. Voila! Your minimalism white look is complete.
Fancy the fashion? Get the look with Jasmine White bedding, marble peel and stick wallpaper, and an armored cube storage trunk. Click to shop!
Forest Witch Fashion
Dark look inspired by @jub.iloveyou.shop
Maybe you like the clean look of monochrome, but bright and white isn’t really your style. Maybe you’re a fan of dark academia and occult fashion. Maybe you think a bedroom is meant to be dark, and there’s no reason not to embrace that. Whatever your reason, you may be interested in this particular fashion. The twist with this look is that the bedding isn’t the focus; rather, it’s specifically meant not to be focused on. Instead, the bed serves as a comfortable puddle of darkness into which you can sink at the end of the day and let sleep claim you.
You’ll want a woodsy, natural theme for your decor when it comes to this dorm room fashion. It’s generally not possible, or perhaps even desirable, to make your dorm room look like an actual forest, but taking inspiration from forest scenes will give your dorm room an edge of mystery and charm that is sure to dazzle as much as it is to help you drift into dreamland. Plus, matching the bedding and pillows is a breeze, because everything is black and gray.
Fancy the fashion? Get the look with black and gray bedding, mountain birch peel and stick wallpaper, and this gum tree poster. Click to shop!
Big and Bold
Unique style inspired by @mixtiles
Simplicity isn’t for everyone. What some see as a fashionable and fitting look, you might see as boring and impersonal. There’s no reason your room can’t be jam packed with personal decor and bright, bold prints without also being fashionable. So how do you put all those personal pieces into a pretty picture that perfectly matches form, function, and fashion? The same way any decoration scheme succeeds: a good sense of square, a solid color scheme, and an eye for spacing.
You’ll want to go with bedding with bold prints but a subdued color scheme - don’t choose something with seven different colors unless you feel up to the challenge of picking out the rest of the decor to match. Once you’ve got that, you’ll want to pick out accent pillows and blankets that fit your intended color scheme. Comfort is key! Finally, try to keep your wall art mostly rectangular and square. This will make fitting it all together into one cohesive visual much more feasible, and will keep the decor from looking too busy.
Fancy the fashion? Get the look with Zoey Stripe and White bedding, this Good Things Are Coming framed wall art, and a chaos message board. Click to shop!
Statement style inspired by @skullstreetstore
We’ve discussed dorm room look that focus on pure simplicity. We’ve highlighted fashions that embrace the big and bold. But what about the happy medium? If your bedding is incredibly unique, does the rest of the dorm have to match that loudness? Absolutely not. This modern fashion of bedding that is not only patterned but actually displays an entire picture as a key aspect of its design is perfect for a dorm room, because the bedding says it all without the decor having to be in the spotlight.
If you decide to go with this fashion, you’ll want bedding with a large pattern or picture that you love. Then, just like with all styles, you’ll need to figure out a color scheme to match, but you don’t have to go all out in the way of decor. The rest of the room should be more subtle, allowing the bedding to act as the statement piece. If you want your walls to pop, too, consider a wallpaper pattern rather than wall art.
Fancy the fashion? Get the look with Monika Strigel Serendipity Black bedding, a Brisbane solid area rug, and this vintage tin tile peel and stick wallpaper. Click to shop!
Sweet style inspired by @homebyheidi
Something that still rings as true in college as it did in elementary through high school: summer can’t come soon enough. That’s why our final fashionable dorm room look today is the look that just screams summer. Why let go of all the good vibes of vacation when you could incorporate them into your dorm room style and get a dose of that happiness every time you walk into your room?
For the best effect, get bedding that looks like a picnic blanket and cover it with brightly colored accent pillows. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns! Your walls can be a totally different design without clashing so long as the colors match. And while you’re at it, add a dash of those happy accents to the walls, too. Your dorm room will be dopamine central in no time.
Fancy the fashion? Get the look with Wonderland bedding, splash dot wallpaper, and Cat Coquillette C'est La Vie framed mini wall art. Click to shop!