30 Dorm Room Ideas That Prove You Don’t Have to Compromise Aesthetic for Function

After years of seeing the same old tapestries and terrariums monopolize “dorm room ideas” on Pinterest, we’re saying enough is enough (and apparently, we’re not the only ones). Since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve seen creative DIYers, TikTokers and designers alike put their creativity to the test as they transform dorm rooms and tiny apartments into truly unique spaces that celebrate individuality. Here, we’ve rounded up 30 dorm room ideas that prove the sky’s the limit when it comes to making a small space work.

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1. Thrifted Studio 54

Disco ball in the dorm room? How are we just seeing this now? Instead of hanging it up, let it lean on a table or make a statement in the corner of your room. Or, you know, right in the center of your bed, if that’s your thing.

2. Vintage Innovation

Excuse me; this person did what with that vintage vanity? The bar for “creative headboards” has just been raised.

3. Cottagecore In College

Check out how The Sorry Girls transformed this dorm room into every cottagecore-lover’s dream, thanks to a sheer canopy, faux foliage and sage and yellow accent pillows.

4. Parisian Minimalism

With this elegant blend of minimalist decor (psst: continuous line drawings are trending), dorm room becomes pied-à-terre.

5. Day-to-night

Daybed, let us introduce you to the world of late-night snacking. (Bonus: The ladder doesn’t just draw your eye up, making the room seem a bit bigger; it can double as a space to hang throw blankets.)

6. Pops Of Pink

Brb, channeling our inner Elle Woods (and we’re definitely adding that Yeah! Framed Art Print to our carts).

7. Modern Privacy

A chic, modern privacy hack for when you or your roommate are ~entertaining~ guests (or for when you need to recharge your social battery).

8. Quirky Combos

Shades of pink and green that *don’t* look like they’re straight out of your childhood bedroom? Bravo.

9. Homage To Home

Homesick? Adding decorative reminders of home will soothe that pit in your stomach like your Grandma’s lasagna (Pro Tip: try using a print of your hometown, like this Seattle City print by Brian Buckley).

10. Den Of Zen

Worried that the bulky, university-provided bed frame is going to ruin your whole aesthetic? Opt for the mattress-only look on a minimalist bed frame.

11. Mirrored Novelty

Why stick to a traditional headboard? A full-size mirror—especially one as glam as this—can be even more impressive. Plus, it’ll reflect light, making the room seem a bit lighter and brighter.

12. Moody Macramé

Sorry, did you say something? We couldn’t hear you over all of this coziness.

13. Modern Maximalist

I’m pretty sure we had no idea what maximalism was until we saw this pic. (Oh, and we’re calling it now: That Foam Frame is about to be the next hottest thing).

14. Clean Classic

We’re swooning over this sophisticated minimalist bed/artwork combination (psst: you can find that framed Chanel print here).

15. Pretty Pastels

Ohh, so this is what they meant when “sweet dreams” was coined. We love how the muted pastels soften up the white-walled room.

16. Not Your Mother’s Neutrals

We’re pretty sure that these fairy string lights, cozy throw pillows, and edgy, feminine art pieces have never appeared in your mother’s shopping cart (unless she’s a cool mom).

17. Artisanal Blues

We’re just going to leave this here (you know, in case you want to have the chicest dorm room on campus).

18. Fresh Bohemian

Now, this is how you do a boho dorm room in 2021. Hanging planters, rattan accents and a large woven tapestry lend this updated dorm room a complete boho design cred.

19. Midcentury Mix

Vintage posters, a geometric throw as an area rug (genius), and midcentury modern colors: somehow, this mix of pattern and color have come together to create a masterpiece.

20. Sophisticated Dreams

There is no need to do a semester abroad in Paris when you have a dorm room that looks like this. (Also, let it be proof that a well-placed—and shapely—piece of brown furniture doesn’t have to look clunky or heavy.)

21. Earth-toned Scandi

This one is almost too cozy…go to class.

22. Color Crush

The last time we were this excited about shades of yellow and purple was during our childhood Easter egg hunts.

23. Coral Chill

We thought coral was just your nana’s favorite nail color…until now. Warm accents keep it looking fresh.

24. Boho At Sea

A dash of blue, a hint of greenery and sprinkles of sand—just like that, you have yourself a boho coastal dorm room.

25. Natural Calm

We feel our shoulders falling just by looking at this (is this what it feels like to be calm and relaxed?).

26. Magical Minimalism

Minimalism with a splash of magic…and maybe some Parisian chic? Whatever’s happening here is divine.

27. Contemporary Terracotta

A moment of appreciation for this seamless blend of brass, wood, and terracotta accents…and yes, we’ve already scoured the web for that piece of artwork, so you don’t have to.

28. Eclectic Green

*Insert green with envy cliché here* If you can get away with a removable wallpaper mural, by all means, do it. It’s the statement-maker every dorm room could use.

29. Mini Japandi

The best part of Japandi style? You can make the minimalist aesthetic work anywhere.

30. Chill Luxury

Add a little Prada to your boho vibe, and *chefs kiss*, you’ve created a laid-back luxury aesthetic.

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Sydney Meister

Assistant Editor

Sydney Meister is PureWow's Assistant Editor, covering everything from dating trends and relationship advice (here's looking at you, 'soonicorns') to interior design, real estate...
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