*** Written by Arlyn Hernandez
The design that’s happening in dorm rooms these days makes me insanely jealous. Back in the early 2000s, when I was in college (well before Instagram and Pinterest, mind you), you were considered “stylish” if you sticky-tacked some trés chic French posters up on your wall (I had this super classy woman-behind-champagne glass print and the ever-popular “Parapluie-Revel” poster). Another year, I bought a ton of vinyl records on eBay and made a floor-to-ceiling grid out of them behind my bed to disguise the cinder block. Anyone who came over to visit/hang out was like “whoa, you could be an interior designer.” I’d laugh humbly, agreeing internally, but instead saying “actually, I’m going to be a magazine editor” with the confidence of someone who has CHOICES due to many, many talents (of course, I’m kidding…I do not have what it takes to do what Emily and the rest of the design team does…I’ll stick to writing and editing).
Today though, decked out dorm rooms feel like the norm (remember this gem that went viral last year?). While 8-foot-tall tufted headboards and fluffy rugs aren’t exactly my style, I do feel like I would have absolutely tried to fancy up my
jail cell dorm room had 2003 Arlyn been able to tap into 2018 Arlyn (and the vast expanse of internet decor inspirations). Goodbye Urban Outfitters tapestry emblazoned with cherry blossoms and Medusa-style multi-colored floor lamp…hello, well, anything BUT that.
We know dorm move-in is coming up fast, and if you’re far cooler than 18-year-old Arlyn and want to transform your (or your kid’s) sad college quarters, than oh boy do we have a treat for you today. We dove deep into the minds of our college-aged selves and, based on what we’d want our dorm rooms to look like today if we were matriculating this fall, we’ve created five combos for a handful of styles—boho, eclectic glam, happy modern, minimal cozy, and classic collegiate.
Even if your bachelor’s degree is a distant memory at this point, we think these combos can be translated to a first (or whatever number you’re on) apartment…just swap out the twin XL bedding for your current mattress size. And speaking of Twin XL bedding, this down alternative insert has great reviews, would be a great addition to all the duvet sets below…and is only $25.
As a reminder, every image is clickable and directly shoppable, so no need to scroll up and down to find links (though those are still there, too, in case you’re a creature of habit). Just hover over whatever has you all excited and click. Simple as that!
1. Pillowcase Set | 2. Duvet Cover | 3. Pink Planter | 4. Ceramic Bud Vase | 5. Stripe Throw Pillow | 6. Shag Pillow | 7. Tassel Lumbar Pillow | 8. Table Lamp | 9. Lap Desk | 10. Throw Blanket | 11. Laundry Basket | 12. Curtain | 13. Rug | 14. Bamboo Beaded Curtain | 15. Pink Notepad | 16. Geo Bookend | 17. Pencil Cup | 18. Desk Organizer | 19. Washi Tape | 20. ‘Women’ Printable Art | 21. Framed Pressed Flowers | 22. Wooden Print Dowel Hanger | 23. ‘Big Sur’ Printable Art | 24. Floor Lamp | 25. Chair | 26. Folder Box | 27. Pouf
Boho: It’s basically impossible to do a style roundup these days without some boho action. We’re a smidge over the SUPER layered and textural anything-goes look that most people think of when they hear “boho,” so we brought the artsy look down to earth by using a warm, tonal palette (there’s no lilac here, but it does really speak to that desert sunset hue trend that’s happening right now). A graphic pattern on a beaded curtain would be a funky addition to a closet, and of course, rattan makes an appearance (#duh) in the delicate floor lamp.
1. Duvet Cover Set | 2. Sheet Set | 3. Marble Bookends | 4. Table Lamp | 5. Temporary Wallpaper | 6. B & W Pillow | 7. Blue Lumbar Pillow | 8. Yellow Pillow | 9. Curtains | 10. Striped Throw | 11. Brass Sphere Catchall | 12. Lap Desk | 13. Rug | 14. Metal Pencil Organizer | 15. Velvet Pencils | 16. Brass Note Pad | 17. Marble Trash Bin | 18. ‘Thumbprint’ Framed Print | 19. White Frame | 20. Paths I Printable Print | 21. Cult Paper Mouth Art Print | 22. Gold Tape | 23. Floor Lamp | 24. Floor Mirror | 25. Chair | 26. Laundry Bag | 27. Pink Pouf | 28. Square Bone Box | 29. Black Vase
Eclectic Glam: The key to keep glam more in the realms of Kelly Wearstler and not dipping into Kim K. territory is to bring in some rich, deeper hues to balance out lush brasses, velvets and fringe (and of course, a heavy dose of black). The soft curves of the full-length mirror is an upgrade from your traditional budget option and touches like a marble wastebasket and bookends feel super grown up.
1. Duvet Cover | 2. Bud Vase | 3. Sherpa Pillow | 4. Gray Lumbar Pillow | 5. Curtain | 6. Table Lamp | 7. Jersey Sheet Set | 8. Throw Blanket | 9. Rug | 10. Laundry Basket | 11. Lap Desk | 12. Multi-Use Slatted Over-The-Door Storage Rack | 13. Bookends | 14. Desk Organizer | 15. White Frame | 16. Minimalist Printable Print | 17. File Box | 18. Convertible Triangle Floor Cushion | 19. Wood Trash Bin | 20. Convertible Triangle Floor Cushion
Minimal Cozy: We get that lots of color and metallics isn’t a look that everyone gels with…some of us need something softer, minimal and muted to relax and focus. This combo is for the person who chants “a place for everything and everything in its place” proudly, and whose meticulously kept dresser drawers rival those of org master Marie Kondo. To avoid something so hushed from feeling flat and boring, we mixed in some cozy textures via the shag rug, nubby throw pillow and convertible rollout floor pad.
1. Duvet Comforter | 2. Wallpaper | 3. Picture Frame / Jewelry Holder | 4. Table Lamp | 5. Fur Pillow | 6. Curtain | 7. Pink Marbled Pillow | 8. Sheet Set | 9. Throw Blanket | 10. Bookend | 11. Gold Pencil Holder | 12. Rug | 13. Lap Desk | 14. File Holder | 15. Mini Pink Container | 16. Letter Holder | 17. ‘Going For a Swim’ Framed Print | 18. White Sticks Adhesive Poster Frame | 19. ‘The Typewriter’ Print | 20. Floor Lamp | 21. Floor Mirror | 22. Chair | 23. Multi-Hook Storage | 24. Trash Bin | 25. Laundry Bag | 26. Glass Vase | 27. Copper String Lights | 28. Stool
Happy Modern: Happy times are sure to be had in a room like this. First and foremost…that temporary citrus wallpaper can either be applied to all your walls (if you don’t have cinder block—I have to imagine that’d come out rather bumpy and lumper), or you could even just take a piece of it and frame it as art (20″x30″ would be fun!) or a headboard, tack it over a magnetic board, or put it on borrowing honey oak furniture to really jazz things up. Copper fairy lights add that magic that every sad dorm room DESPERATELY NEEDS, and an acrylic and brass desk chair will (hopefully) inspire you through looooong nights of cramming.
1. Green Duvet Cover | 2. Table Lamp | 3. Brass Wishbone | 4. Polaroid Frame | 5. Long Body Pillow | 6. Blue Pillow | 7. Sheet Set | 8. Plaid Throw Blanket | 9. Brass Bookends | 10. Rug | 11. Lap Desk | 12. Black Bud Vase | 13. Wood Pencil Cup | 14. Curtain | 15. Leather File Holder | 16. ‘YES’ Banner | 17. Black Frame | 18. ‘Pines’ Printable Art | 19. Floor Lamp | 20. Storage Mirror | 21. Chair | 22. Laundry Bag | 23. Pouf | 24. Trash Bin
Classic Collegiate: Doesn’t this design just make you want to go to a football game decked out in your school colors where you’ll yell at the refs for a bad call and cheerfully (or maybe belligerently) scream out the fight song along with the marching band? No? Does it at least make you want to read books and talk about Socrates…or at the very least, are you itching to watch Good Will Hunting? The olive green-blue-gray-leather thing happening here gets some pizazz from warm brass accents, that unexpected rust floor lamp…oh and that mirror has secret storage in it…yay!
Which is your favorite? If you were decorating a dorm room (or maybe you actually are), what style is most you??