The Alternative Guide To Decorating Your Dorm: How To Make Your Dorm Look Awesome

The Alternative Guide To Decorating Your Dorm: How To Make Your Dorm Look Awesome

Are you ready to make your dorm look awesome? Decorating a dorm room can be a daunting task, but with the right tips and tricks, you can create a stylish and cozy space in no time. In this guide, we will provide you with alternative ways to decorate your dorm, from artwork and plants to furniture and lighting. With these ideas, you’ll be able to create a unique and personalized atmosphere that expresses your individual style. Read on to learn how to make your dorm look amazing!

The three bittersweet words after summer is over have finally arrived: back to school. If you're headed back to college, back to school also means back to dorm life, a probably very stressful move-in day, and a car so packed that you can barely fit in it. When it comes to dorm decorations, it's all about practicality and, duh, it has to be cute too. Check out our must-have dorm decorations below to keep your room matching your personal style and truly turn it into a home away from home.


Add alternative style to your dorm space with cool tapestries.


Last year, when I went to move into my dorm, I realized how much empty wall space I had. Leaving it plain made my room feel like I was in solitary confinement, but I didn't want so many decorations on one wall that it looked cluttered. A quick, easy solution? Tapestries! There are a ton of cool tapestries out there to choose from, so it's easy to find one that matches your taste and takes up enough space to make your room feel more homey. Before purchasing, check to make sure tapestries aren't a violation at your school (or just hide it during room checks) and measure the dimensions of the desired wall space. Hang up the tapestry easily with push pins. Trust me, Res Life will never know. 


Plants and Flowers (Real or Fake)

Choose unique plants and flowers to give your dorm space an alternative style.


I go to school in the city, so green space is hard to come by. As a girl who grew up with woods and nature all around me, living somewhere without many trees or grass can make everything look gray. To liven up your living space, decorate with potted plants and flowers in cute vases. Bright, lush plants will boost your mood and add some color into your dorm instantaneously. If you're prone to killing flowers, check into buying cactus plants and indoor flowers that are low maintenance or just get fake ones.



Alternative style is easy to display in a dorm room with a carefully selected rug.
Home Decor Ideas


Waking up to a cold floor doesn't really start your day off pleasantly. During back to school sales, you can get a cheap rug for your dorm so, again, it doesn't feel like you're living in a prison cell. Choosing a plain or patterned rug within the same color scheme as your bedding and other room decor will help everything flow. Dorm zen, check.


Wall Decals

Show your alternative style in a school dorm with easy to apply and remove wall decals.
The DIY Playbook


Like tapestries, wall decals are super easy to apply and take down at the end of the school year. I like to put decals in the kitchen or bathroom to add a pop to the plain white walls, since I usually already have so many decorations in my bedroom. It takes about 5 minutes to stick them on and makes any area feel a lot more vibrant.


Organization Containers

Keep your dorm organized and show your alternative style by choosing unique shelves and containers.
I Heart Organizing


I know I sound like your mom right now, but no roommate is going to want to look at all of your stuff sprawled across the room. Investing in a few good organization totes, shelves, or containers can keep everything in its place and look nice, too. Decorate your containers with washi tape, stickers, or decals to add a personal touch or keep them plain for a minimalistic vibe.


Inspiration Board

Create an inspiration board in your dorm to add instant alternative style with a motivational bonus.

Apartment Therapy

You're studying or procrastinating while you should be studying, and you just need some motivation to push you through. Create an inspiration board to hang above your desk of all of the things that keep you going to get to your goals. Whether it be photos of family and friends, a Polaroid of a place you've always wanted to go to, or reminders of what you want your future to be like, pin it to your board. Looking at it will mentally give you a little boost and make it slightly easier to get your work done.


String Lights

Get creative with string lights and show your alternative edge in your dorm decor.
Blog Lovin


String lights are about as original as plain bread, but they still look cool, okay? Especially at night when you're watching Netflix and want just a bit of dim light, string lights are the perfect option. You can also use mini clothespins to clip photos in between the lights to keep it looking more unique.


Old Records

Creative dorm decor idea- Hang old records instead of posters!
Pop Sugar


If you're not into posters or you're just looking for something simple to add to your room, try using old records. I like to use a single clear pushpin in the hole in the middle of the record to hang them, since it's super easy. You can hang as many as you like, or even make a pattern with multiple records on a wall.



Skull decor will add instant edge to your dorm room's style!


Skulls are one more option to hang or have on your desk to add character and a rock n' roll edge to your room decor. I hang a faux bison skull that is spray painted gold in my room to go along with my bohemian themed decor. They're small enough that they don't take up a ton of room but big enough to be noticeable and impress your guests. 


What are your favorite dorm decorations? Let us know in the comments below!


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Cover photo courtesy of Southerly Band B


About the Author

Kelsey Foster

Hey there! I'm currently a Fashion Business Management student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. I love to read, write, and travel, and I love anything music and art related!