It’s finally time to decorate your college dorm. You’ve got a list of essentials, and it’s got everything from pillows and hand towels to fashion and function. But how do you make sure your dorm is keeping up with the times? What does a modern dorm room even look like? Never you fear: this article is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Read on to find seven Instagram-worthy modern dorm room looks, and what bedding and decor you should get if you want to bring the looks home.
Neutral Tones Inspired by @home_by_charline
The fact that boho is a modern decoration is actually quite an interesting phenomenon. The bohemian style was pioneered in the 1970s, and became a symbol of the freedom of expression and ease of life that so many people in the ‘70s - and in the modern day - strived for. It isn’t surprising that the style came back. For one thing, the 20 Year Rule of fashion means that anything widely popular 20 years ago is bound to come back. But boho stayed popular because it so perfectly captured the themes of easy, breezy freedom that so many people loved. That’s why it’s the perfect modern look to bring to your dorm room.
So how do you have your dorm room bohemian, but still keep up a modern vibe? Try adding in more aspects of “industrial chic” - brick work, piping, metal furniture, and that sort of general aesthetic. If your dorm room doesn’t have brick walls, that’s not surprising, and it also isn’t a problem! You can easily get your hands on peel and stick wallpaper that will be simple to put up and hassle-free to take down. Match that with neutrally colored and simple bedding and decor in simple styles and you’re ready to go.
Love the look? Get it now with Silas Gray bedding, peel and stick brick wallpaper, and a Brisbane area rug. Click to shop!
Cute and Clean Inspired by @janie_altman
You know what’s totally underrated? The sheer number of skills picked up by people who played with Barbies when they were kids. Entertaining yourself with dolls as a kid meant learning the ins and outs of dramatic storytelling, figuring out what your sense of fashion could be if given the right materials, and, if you had a dollhouse, the possibility for an amazing sense of interior design. And to all those people who came up with fantastic arrangements of colors and furniture when you were playing with plastic, why not up the maturity, make it more modern, and design your dorm room the same way?
The appeal of a “dollhouse” look is the clean lines, bright colors, and happy atmosphere. Perfect for a dorm room! You’ll want bedding that’s either brightly colored or a soft pink or blue; don’t be afraid of textures of cute accent pillows. The decor for this look is simple and to the point, but pops with fun shapes and cheery hues. Don’t forget: you’re not working with plastic anymore. With this modern twist, you get the freedom to bring in the textures and materials you love.
Love the look? Get it now with Ashleigh Pink bedding, a Laura Hill Cambridge Brooks shag rug, and a Gale Switzer Agave Geometrics art print. Click to shop!
Rustic with a Twist
Cabin Look Inspired by @donnasharp_inc
A dorm room based after a cabin in the woods isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “modern.” After all, don’t we move more toward urban landscapes the more modern we get? Well, that’s the beauty of modernity. With the advent of modern materials and textile printing, we can get the aesthetics we love with a modern twist. And that “modern twist” can be a lot more fun than just, say, the addition of indoor plumbing.
To put a modern twist on a cabin in the woods aesthetic, don’t be afraid to embrace bold patterns! Pine trees, bears, and paw prints aren’t tacky by any means if applied in the right context. Can’t find the right pattern? Remember that sometimes, you’re looking for the idea of the design rather than the design itself. For example, if you can’t find pine trees, you might be able to find green triangles and get a similar vibe. The rest of the dorm should stick with a classic wooden theme as much as possible; the bedding is the piece that pops here. This look is sure to give your dorm room the comfortable vibe of a home away from home while still looking modern and chic.
Love the look? Get it now with Emerald Arrowing bedding, Wildwood Walnut peel and stick wallpaper, and a woodrow storage ottoman. Click to sho
Bright and Bold
Bright Colors Inspired by @decor4urbans
Why should you be looking for bright, bold colors? Simple: it’s the peak of modern style. First of all, there’s nothing more indicative of modern textiles than our ability to make anything and everything brightly colored with little to no extra cost. Second of all, bright colors automatically set a happy and excited mood, and that may well be exactly what you want to walk into at the end of a long day of classes. In short? Bright and bold is a solid way to go, no question.
In order to not make the bright colors overwhelming, you’ll want to pick 2 or 3 that you primarily use to make the focus of your home. Also, not everything has to be brightly colored. If a large amount of your dorm is white or otherwise neutrally colored, then the parts that are vibrantly colored will pop and seem even brighter than before. Start with your bedding, and match the decor to those colors to keep things consistent.
Love the look? Get it now with Moroccan Blue and Aqua bedding, an Amore area rug, and metal butterfly wall décor. Click to shop!
Geometric Patterns Inspired by @our_home_interior_3
Maybe you don’t like bright colors, but you still want a dorm room that’s obviously inspired by modern textiles and materials. In that case, you’ll love the look of geometric patterns. It’s a common misconception that you should never mix patterns, but so long as the color scheme remains simple and consistent, some patterns look fantastic together! Mix and match to your heart’s content, and you’ll find yourself with a dorm room with a modern use of pattern that’s simply perfection.
Your first step should be finding bedding with a fun pattern that you love. Once you’ve got that, everything else should come together easily. Check out decor in the same color scheme with different patterns to see what looks good together. Remember that you should intersperse smaller patterns - like the triangular pattern on the walls here - with larger shapes - like the solid strip of grey that cuts across the center of the wall. Too much small detail looks too busy, but too much large detail looks clunky; the same is often true of light and dark colors. The key to perfection is a happy mix of the two.
Love the look? Get it now with Allyson Johnson Bohemian Arrows gray bedding, geo peel and stick wallpaper, and a hub circle wall mirror. Click to shop!
Dog print inspired by @aliza_grace_accesories_uk
You know what’s great? Dogs. They’re just fantastic, and there’s not much more that needs to be said on the matter. The best part of modern bedding, hands down, is that if you love something, there’s probably a bedding out there with a print to match that love. Flowers? By the dozen. Popular cartoon characters? Absolutely. Dogs? Oh, you’d better believe there are dog prints out there. At the end of the day, the perfect dorm room look is going to be one that makes you happy, so why not pick a pattern for your bedding that’s something you love?
The point here, again, is generally the bedding, so the print you choose can be as bright and bold as your heart desires. That isn’t to say that the rest of the decor has to be boring. In fact, this look works best if the rest of the decor seems to be in the same theme, so that the print on the bedding goes from being a cute feature to being the main focus. In an ideal world, the perfect thing to match with dog print bedding is a dog, but that’s not a feasible option for the average college student in their first dorm. Alas and alack, you’ll probably have to settle for inanimate decor.
Love the look? Get it now with Novogratz Maddison bedding, a wall decal kit, and happy vibes framed wall art. Click to shop!
Ticket to Texture Town
Textured Look Inspired by @gozdee81
If you’ve gotten this far, you might be noticing a theme: the more you mix and match, the better a modern design you get for your dorm room, so long as you do it right. We’ve seen it now with colors and with patterns, but what about for materials and textures? This look perfectly captures the incredible result of mixing and matching textures like knitted, shag, ruffled, smooth, and anything else you’d like to throw in there.
The key to mixing and matching is to make sure that you only switch up one main thing. If you’re mixing colors, try to keep the textures subdued and the patterns consistent. If you’re mixing patterns, you’ll want similar textures and a consistent color scheme. So for this textured look, you’ll want to choose a solid color scheme and avoid patterns to let the look of the varied textures really pop. The best part of this method is that you’ll want to shop by touch most of the time. If you can’t decide what looks good, pick something that feels good and go from there.
Love the look? Get it now with Callum Gray bedding, a knot throw pillow, and a shag rug. Click to shop!