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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

If you’re a fan of history--or maybe you just like older movies and art--then consider doing a vintage-inspired dorm room for your next semester at school.

Many people are drawn to photos, clothes, and furniture of yesterday, and there’s no reason you can’t easily incorporate some pieces into your dorm--no matter what size room you’re dealing with! From something as simple as well-placed wall art with vintage inspiration, to using a vintage dresser or bookshelf to organize your things, there are ways to incorporate a little flair for yesterday in your modern dorm room.

We’ve put together a couple of ideas to get you started on your own personal throwback to a different time and place. Take a look at these vintage-inspired ideas, and be sure to check out the vintage decor and bedding options OCM has to offer. Whether you incorporate some or all of these ideas into your decor, you’re going to end up with one popular dorm room!

Vintage Inspired Wall Art

Incorporate a couple of iconic celebrities or your favorite authors, musicians, or politicians

One of the first things you should consider when decorating your dorm room--no matter what style you choose--is to consider what you want on your walls. Most college dorm room walls are white, plain, and just asking for some adornment! To really get you in the vintage kind of mood, consider putting up some antique looking signs or decals.

This vintage Coca-Cola poster would look great in any modern dorm room. Image courtesy of Retro Planet.

If you just want a room that slightly leans in a vintage direction, you can’t go wrong with classic Coca-Cola signs or even old advertisements for beer or road signs. Sometimes you might be able to find these in antique or thrift stores, but plenty of places such as Amazon and Target now offer them as well.

Check out other beer ads at neatdesigns.net

If you’re into music, you really can’t go wrong with a retro-inspired poster or decal of your favorite artist. The Beatles are always a favorite among college students, but you can really add any of your favorite artists such as Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Hendrix, The Doors, or the Rolling Stones.

Images courtesy of Etsy >

Keep up the psychedelic vibe and get a neon sign or even a lava lamp (if your dorm allows it) and complete the look with a classic butterfly chair to enhance the retro vibe. 

Vintage-inspired wall art is always a go-to favorite of many students. Image courtesy of Retro Planet.

Celebrities are always favorites to include in your wall art, so if you find that you like to gravitate to movies of the past, put up a couple of older film stars--especially if the photos are in black and white! Depending on what time period your favorite movies are from, you could get a couple of headshots from the golden age of Hollywood, and include actors like Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Marylin Monroe, Cary Grant, or James Dean.

Image courtesy of Trend Hustler >

These images really evoke a vintage feel especially when you pair it with some classic black and white bedding, rugs, or carpets. Complete your vintage Hollywood room by adding a picture of the famous Hollywood sign or globe lighting to evoke the feeling of arriving at an awards ceremony!

Get Old School with Vintage Finds at Thrift Stores

Go on the hunt for the real deal and add to the vintage charm of your room

There seem to be antique and thrift stores popping up all over the place, and chances are there is one near your campus. If you’d like to add a little something from decades past, these are your best options for getting something useful, and without the hefty price tag. Depending on what your style is, you might want to opt for finding an interesting chair, one that evokes the clean lines of 1960s decor. This is an easy addition to any dorm room, and would look great with a modern pillow or blanket thrown over it. 



Desk and night stands are also commonly found at resale shops, just waiting for you to take them home with you. Small tables with footed legs make wonderful places to store books or keep your makeup and personal care items organized. A small dresser might not fit all of your clothes, but its color or shape is a nice way to tie some vintage into your room and could be used to store smaller articles of clothes or extra studying supplies. You could then base your comforter for the bed on the color palette of the dresser (as the student did below) and get an even more complete boho-vintage feel.


Image Courtesy of Insider.com, Check out the best thrift stores in every state >


Using items from resale shops are a great way to add a little vintage to your room. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Resale shops are also great places to pick up interesting knick knacks or old black and white photos. By placing these all on the same wall or in one corner of your room, you’ll create a nice little vintage spot for you to relax in. Many times students who are into vintage decor also like to include travel items such as postcards, globes, or travel posters of places and cities they’d like to visit. If you look hard enough, you might be able to find all of these fun items at your local second-hand shop!

These fun vintage travel posters evoke a feeling of yesteryear. Image courtesy of AliExpress.

Mix and Match Items to Complete a Vintage Look

There are lots of ways to add extra depth to your vintage dorm

Although you just have four white walls, a door, and some windows in your room--there is still so much you can do with that! Take full advantage of using your bed covers, rugs, curtains, blankets, and pillows to create an interesting vintage spot that’s perfect for studying and relaxing on the weekends. If you have a couple of pictures that all relate around a theme, say travel, or gardening, then find a space to hang those items up. You can then feel free to add cozy sheets and duvet that might remind you of spending time in a garden. Also incorporate garden-inspired pillows and even a blanket to complete your vintage “secret garden” look. Fairy lights wouldn’t be out of place in a dorm decor like this as they are reminiscent of fireflies that you might see on a summer night in the garden!

If you’d prefer to do a vintage travel feel, posters of vintage globes, aircraft schematics, and old pictures of cities are a great way to do this. If you choose to do Paris, for example, you could tie it together with a lace blanket for your bed or chair, include a blueprint poster for the Eiffel Tower, and complete the look with breezy and light curtains in a soft color. A rug that features a paisley pattern or roses would also look completely at home in this Parisian vintage room!

Tie multiple patterns and fabrics together to create a soft, vintage look. Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Choose a Time Period and Run with It

Concentrate on one time period style and transform your room!

Many of these styles we’ve mentioned so far take a couple of vintage items that work to pull off a breezy vintage feel, but if you’re interested in taking your vintage decor to the next level, consider doing an all out transformation! Choose a time period that you just simply love, or an aesthetic that just really speaks to you. This could be anywhere from steampunk, Victorian, Jane Austen inspired, 1920s and 1930s art deco, classic Hollywood and celebrities, or even gothic bohemian. The choices are limitless and it might be easier than you think to pull off any one of those styles in your dorm room. Once you decide on a time period, try to get some inspiration from photos, literature, and cinema from the time period (or faithful recreations). A lot of people like the classic sci-fi and vintage nature of the steampunk look, and would love to pull off a dorm room full of this vintage style. In order to do so, first start out by getting some appropriate bedding such as the one below. You’ll want to look for images that show old looking pipes, watches, or machines--whether real or fantastical. 

You then want to draw on the Victorian color palette that is often associated with this theme--dark purples, reds, yellows, and blacks. Do one color or have a combination for your curtains. Your walls should be decorated with old looking photos or diagrams of clocks such as Big Ben, monuments like the Eiffel Tower, or just the designs behind cars, boats, or airplanes. Having some gold additions to your room would complete the look--whether that’s a gold blanket or rug, a small table, or desktop organizers. Pull the entire room together with some Edison string lights, and you have yourself a complete vintage-inspired steampunk room!

This would be a fantastic blanket and sheet set for a steampunk vintage room. Image courtesy of Amazon.

Don’t Forget About Classic Lighting Options

String lights are always a welcome addition

No matter where your inspiration for a vintage-style room comes from, you’re going to need the appropriate lighting. Fluorescent overhead light bulbs won't do, so make sure string lights, table lamps, or even floor lamps make your list. Simple, flowing fairy lights will soften the light in any room, and are the perfect addition to many vintage rooms. A well placed floor or table lamp will also offer plenty of light, but keep it soft enough to really help your vintage-inspired room stand out. If your dorm allows it, consider adding other decorative lights such as neon signs, lava lamps, or Tiffany-style glass plug in lights to complete the look. 

VIntage-inspired dorm rooms are such a fun option because there are so many ways to put them together. Whether you just want a hint of vintage, or prefer to go all out, your room is sure to be a success! Have vintage dorm decor? Let us know how you put it together!