The Ultimate Guide for Decorating a Dorm Room to Make it Feel Like Home

The Ultimate Guide for Decorating a Dorm Room to Make it Feel Like Home

Issue No. 12:  Shell's Retail & Fashion Blog
Written and Compiled by Shell of Shell Design Boutique
Updated on August 17, 2023

How can you make your dorm room feel like home?

You may be one of the young adults that will be heading off to college for the first time in a few weeks.  You may be moving into an empty dorm room and will definitely need to decorate, especially to make yourself as comfortable as possible so you don't get homesick.  This is a big step and you'll need as much encouragement and help as possible to ensure that you succeed on this grand adventure.  So how can you transform a small, plain space into a cozy and stylish sanctuary?  The possiblities are endless!  Here are some tips to help you make your dorm room feel cozy and comfortable, just like home!

To be clear, as an affiliate for Amazon, Ebay, Shopstyle, and Printify, if you make an eligible purchase after clicking on one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.  I appreciate your support!  For more details, please see my Affiliate Disclosure.


1. Start with a color scheme

Color is key!  Choose a color scheme that reflects your personality!  Whether you prefer bold and vibrant colors or soft and neutral tones, make sure to coordinate your bedding, curtains, and accessories to create a totally "put together" look.  If you want to make it feel more like your room at home, using the same color scheme would be a good strategy. But maybe you are ready for a big change, so then go all out, the brighter the better!




My favorite color is purple, so I'd be looking at something in that field of color, like this beautiful and colorful butterfly comforter.




Maybe your style is a little different than mine.  I am really liking these Betsey Johnson sheet sets with skulls.  Some women and lots of men would probably find these unique and appealing.  They are definitely not your regular, run of the mill, sheets!



But I really LOVE purple!  Check out this Olivia Reversible 5 piece Comforter Set from Macy's.



Maybe you are a pet lover?  How about a comforter with lots of cats?  This one is definitely different and striking.  Check it out at



This 3D Galaxy Comforter from eBay is beautiful. The bright colors are stunning and I've always been a fan of the scifi genre, so this would be perfect for me. Maybe you would like this style as well? 



Don't forget window treatments.  This lovely Star Ombre Window Curtain Panels Navy/White Set would look lovely in your dorm, plus they might match the comforter above.  Looking around, you can find matching items from different retailers, that will build your look and make your dorm room look gorgeous.



If bright colors aren't your thing, then look for interesting patterns and designs, like these paisley sheets from Macy's.



Amazon has tons of choices that you can browse through at Bedding (affiliate link).


2. Maximize storage space

Dorm rooms are notorious for their lack of storage space, so it's important to get creative. Invest in storage bins, under-bed organizers, and over-the-door hooks to make the most of every inch. Utilize vertical space by adding shelves or hanging organizers on the walls.

This over the door organizer will work great in the dorm and has windows so you know what's in each shelf.


There are so many little ways to save room that you might not know about.  Here we have a closet organizer for your leggings.  If you wear a lot of leggings or yoga pants, then this item is for you.  Makes it super easy to hang them up, out of the way.




Ebay has all kinds of innovative storage products you can check out here.


3. Add personal touches

Make your dorm room feel like your own by adding personal touches. Display photos of loved ones, hang artwork or posters that inspire you, and bring items that remind you of home. Even if you want to splurge and get all new stuff, it's still important to bring a few things from home.  Each of our homes carry a distinct scent.  If you've noticed that when you walk into your house, many times your stress levels will decrease, and this may be why.  Bringing a few personal items may help when you start feeling homesick.  A pillow or blanket from home that carries the scent of "home" can be a big help on those days you are missing home the most. 


When decorating your room, consider what appeals to you in your everyday life.  Finding items that convey your interests will help make your space feel warm and inviting.  Maybe you have a rustic/country taste, if so some of these rusty signs from Amazon might be for you.  There is an entire shop dedicated to rustic letters and signs.



Whatever your styles, there are lots of choices available.  One particular site that you may not be aware of offers a huge variety of decorative items and is called Society6.

Decorative items from Scoiety6 can be found in a mind boggling number of different designs, created by numerous independent artists. 

Remember your color scheme?  Mine was purple, so I know I'd love this shower curtain.




Check out this beautiful wall hanging at



Encouraging signs are available as well, like this one:



How about this wall hanging from Ebay?




4. Create a cozy seating area

Turn a corner of your dorm room into a cozy seating area where you can relax and unwind. Add a comfortable chair or bean bag, throw pillows, and a soft rug to create a space that feels like a home away from home.  If you don't have enough space to do this, then you can purchase bed pillows that help you sit up and do things like homework or watching TV.


A super soft rug to sit on after a hard day will definitely not go to waste.



Maybe you are big fan of cow print and would appreciate this Round Rug from eBay found here:


A beautiful, eye catching blue and white pattern rug just might be what you need.  How amazing would this look with the blue solar system comforter set and the curtains?







Don't forget a comfortable pillow that will allow you to sit up in your bed in the dorm and do homework.  My daughter's first dorm room didn't have a headboard, so this would have been perfect for her.


Smaller back rests are also available.




Perhaps you are lucky enough to have lots of floor space, so you could possibly use a big beanbag.  Here we have a chair-shaped bean bag that would be a nice place to relax.




5. Let there be light

Good lighting can make a huge difference for the ambiance of your dorm room. Invest in a desk lamp for studying, fairy lights for a cozy glow, and curtains or blinds that allow you to control the amount of natural light coming in.  If you don't have early classes, maybe you want to sleep in.  Curtains that block the light will help you sleep in, if you are that lucky!


This gorgeous floor lamp is a great source of light, plus has the added benefit of including several shelves.




If you need more light at your desk, consider one like this Dimmable LED Desk Light Touch Sensor Table Bedside Reading Lamp USB Rechargeable from eBay. 



It's wonderful that many lamps you purchase today include usb ports.  This makes a big different in finding enough outlets for all your devices.  Perhaps you need lamps for your bedside tables.  This Set of 2 Modern Table Lamps Bedroom Nightstand Desk Lamp w/2 USB Charging Ports would work great.



Maybe a stylish, gorgeous crystal lamp in a beautiful red color would suit your style better.




Don't just consider the "necessary" lighting.  Think about fun ways you can use other lighting choices in your room.  For instance, Wayfair offers many options of novelty and string lighting.  Check them out at


6. Don't forget about organization

Staying organized is key to maintaining a functional and stress-free dorm room. Use desk organizers, drawer dividers, and a planner to keep track of assignments and important dates. Write down all assignments and due dates from your syllabus at the first of the semester, that way you won't forget important dates later on.  If anything changes, you can always go in and change due dates, etc.  It's very important to stay on top of your assignments and not get behind. 


Another way you can stay organized is with reminder note tags, like found in this convenient set.




7. Make it a reflection of you

Above all, make sure your dorm room reflects your personality and interests. Whether you're a sports fan, an art lover, or a music enthusiast, incorporate elements that showcase your passions. Surrounding yourself with things you love will make your dorm room feel like a true extension of yourself.

Sports fans can choose items with their favorite team's logo on them to hang on their walls, like this UK pennant.


Don't forget other items like clocks, mirrors, keyholders and photos.  As a Kentuckian, I would want to purchase something like this clock.  Choose your favorite team to include in your decor and you'll be the winner!  This University of Kentucky Cat Clock with Double Neon Ring can be found here.




In Conclusion

Hopefully, this will help you find great products without having to do so much searching online.  With these tips, you can transform your dorm room into a stylish and comfortable space that feels like home. Get creative, have fun, and make the most of your college experience!

That may be the end of my list, but there are so many other items available that are made for use in dorm rooms!  Check out this Ready for College section that Amazon offers online:  Ebay offers a Back to School in Style section you can browse through: 

For faster access to online products and deals, join my Telegram group at

Many of my original designs were made using Printify, a "print on demand" website.  I am very hapepy with the results.  You can try them at

Cover Image by pvproductions on Freepik



Check out these items I have in my online store, Shell Design Boutique.


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