Making a Dorm Room Your Room

I have begun taking down decorations that have made our room ours for the last 8 months. Instead of dwelling on tearing down our room, I decided to put together a list of dorm decorating ideas that I and my friends have used this year that you can take for some inspiration when it comes to decorating your room in the fall. Decorating your dorm room is what transforms it from a dorm room into your room. It gives it that personalized, homey touch that makes the space inviting and fun to live in.

Here are my top 10 dorm decorating ideas:

1. Something Colorful

My paint-chip decoration thanks to some Pinterest browsing for ideas.
My paint-chip decoration thanks to some Pinterest browsing for ideas.

Anything that can transform a blank, white wall into something bright and fun will improve the feel of your room. I spent the summer before moving to college stopping at Home Depot or Trader Horn after my morning runs to pick up a few different color swatches here and there and then move in weekend I spent awhile arranging them on our wall and it’s probably my favorite decoration in the room because it is so colorful and happy.

2. Calendar

Not only are these practical, but they can be a fun addition for decorating your room, too! You can have an easily seen spot to keep track of upcoming deadlines and events, as well as making sure to mark fun events and celebrations that happen throughout the month. You can buy decal-like calendars that stick on and peel off the wall (that’s what I used) or dry-erase calendar boards like the one my friend Ashley has. My roommate, Kristin, made a cool DIY calendar using a picture frame, some scrap booking paper and stickers.

3. Pictures. Lots of Pictures.

Pictures are a great way to have reminders of home, family, friends, and pets around you. They are also a great way to continue to document and remember your year making new friends in your new home.

4. Dry-Erase Boards.

These are super-fun to have on your door so friends can leave notes and pictures and you can leave notes and pictures for them on theirs. My roommate uses her board for a quotation of the day.

5. Post-it Notes

These things are all around useful. They’re good for reminders, to-do lists, doodles, book marks and notes. One of my favorite things is writing notes for friends that have exams, presentations, performances, or I just want to make sure they know how awesome they are. So stock up on some colorful sticky notes and by the end of the year your room will be decorated with sweet notes from friends, your attempts at breaking down what classes to take, your exam week schedule – the possibilities are endless. But they will all be on colorful papers that will brighten up your room no matter the content.

6. Lights

The big overhead lights get old sometimes. It’s nice to have Christmas lights to string up for you to turn on when you want something different. Plus, they are another fun feature for decorating. I found these colorful lantern lights in my basement while organizing the stuff I was bringing to college.

7. Posters

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Yet another fun thing to hang and jazz up your room. At the beginning of the school year there will be a poster sale held on campus which is really fun to walk around and maybe find a cool picture for your room.

8. Plants

I started growing these dwarf sunflowers after Spring Break and I love them
I started growing these dwarf sunflowers after Spring Break and I love them

If you are one of those people who can’t keep plants alive you might want to ignore this tip. Otherwise, having living things in your room makes it feel less like being stuck in a cave on those days where you have to stay in and study or it’s negative something out in the dead of winter.

9. The Door

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10. Anything Anchors. Anything Hope. Anything Orange & Blue

Naturally, you are probably already drawn to everything you see that has to do with anchors, Hope, and orange & blue. They are another great item to consider putting up in your new space at home sweet Hope. I even hung up my graduation cap that I decorated since otherwise it would just gather dust at home.


You can probably tell that I like to decorate. Hopefully one of these suggestions has inspired the dorm decorator inside of you! Enjoy your preparation for moving to Hope and have fun decorating!

You can follow me on Twitter (@HopeErin18) and Instagram (@e_delaney333) for pictures and thoughts from this last week here at Hope.

Posted inCampus LifeTags: ,

Published by Erin Hoolahan

Hi! My name is Erin Hoolahan and I am a Sophomore at Hope College. I am from Wexford, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Pittsburgh) and intend to double major in Classics and either English or Communications during my time here at Hope. I love to bake, play guitar and am involved in Ultimate Frisbee and Silent Praise. I am extremely excited about sharing my insights on life at Hope! Thanks for reading. :)

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  1. Thank you Erin for posting. Our Granddaughter has chosen Hope for her college. So we are really excited for her. For graduation I wanted to purchase things for her next adventure.

    Maybe you can answer the question–

    Are the dorm beds twin or twin XL???
    I would like to purchase her bedding and towels.

    Thanks for all the ideas!!!??

  2. You are welcome, Jane! I’m excited for your Granddaughter as well–she’s about to start an amazing adventure at Hope! 🙂

    The dorm beds are twin XL!

    Thank you for reading! Good luck to your Granddaughter as she joins the Hope family and I hope she has fun decorating her room 😀

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