Dorm Room Refresh: 7 Decor Trends We're Taking Notes On

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Believe it or not, school is almost back in session. That means new textbooks, new school supplies, and new dorm rooms. For incoming freshmen, it can be pretty overwhelming. Not only is it an entirely new experience, but dorms are also typically small spaces to share with one, two, or even (God forbid) three roommates. But we promise it doesn't have to be intimidating!

Decorating your dorm can be a fun and exciting way to exercise your creativity and make your room the perfect home away from home. Don't know where to start? We picked the brains of Dormify co-founder and chief merchandising officer Stephanie Kimel and Ban.do style director Kelly Edmonson, plus got a full rundown of this year's Pinterest trends to get you the very best dorm room ideas, tips, and trends to bring back to school with you this fall.

1. Get the boho look.

According to Pinterest, searches for "bohemian dorm" have gone up 199% since last year. Boho style is all about creating a warm and relaxing environment — which is honestly what every college student could use an extra dose of. If you're looking to incorporate boho decor in your dorm room this year, look for natural, organic, and eclectic elements.

Get the look: Washed Cotton Striped Tassel Duvet Cover, starting at $89, Cork Plant Stand, $89, and Carved Dot Natural Wood Floor Mirror, $84.99

2. Use string lights to brighten up your room.

One of the easiest ways to decorate your dorm room is with string lights. You can line your wall, desk, or dressers to get that instant dreamy look. Some string lights even have clips so you can hang up photos or other memorabilia. According to Kimel, not only is a string light curtain the perfect way to get that "wow" factor but it's also "the best backdrop ever." And we totally agree!

Get the look: Battery Powered Clip String Lights, $14, LED String Light Curtain, $85, and White Pendant String Light Set, $55

3. Upgrade your twin XL bed with a headboard.

"Headboards are an easy way to elevate your look in your dorm," Kimel says. "Even better when your headboard can attach to the wall using damage-free hooks or strips!" Bonus points for headboards that come with charging stations, like this pink studded one from Dormify, so you don't have to reach all the way under your bed to use an outlet.

Get the look: Pink Twin/Twin XL Powered Studded Velvet Headboard, $160 and Twin/Twin XL Velvet Tufted Headboard Cushion, $79

4. Make a gallery wall full of art.

You might not be able to paint your dorm room walls but you can certainly decorate them with all sorts of wall art, like posters or neon lights. Whatever you do, be sure to use wall-safe tape or removable Command strips to make sure you don't cause any damage to your walls. "Get the most out of your wall space, because there is a lot of it," Edmonson says. "Use removable wallpaper, art prints, or photo collages as wall decor."

Get the look: Flamingo Neon LED Wall Sign, $105, Badass Babes Club Print, $24, and Crystal Print, $16

5. Fill a wall with a tapestry.

If you're not looking to make an entire gallery wall, a quick and easy way to decorate is with a tapestry. According to Kimel, there are a few ways to style a tapestry: You can pair it with a set of string lights, hang it from the ceiling to create a canopy, or simply hang it behind your bed like a stand-in headboard.

Get the look: Gold Mandala Tapestry, $39, Ingrid Textured Tapestry, $59, and Sage Pizza For Deny Coffee Reading Tapestry, $49

6. Optimize the small space with creative storage solutions.

Lots of stuff and small spaces don't mix, so it's important to get crafty when it comes to how you store your things. "When living in a small space, every piece should be multifunctional," Kimel says. "That's why we're obsessed with the collapsible storage ottoman chair. It acts as an ottoman, a chair, and extra storage!"

Get the look: Collapsible Storage Ottoman Chair, $64, 4 Piece Closet Essentials Set, $55, and Blush Medium Braided Storage Bin Set, $15

7. Get colorful!

Pops of color can do wonders for a room. You can stick to a theme or add pops of accent colors with throw pillows or blankets. The best part about accent pieces is that you can easily switch them out and reinvent your color scheme whenever you want: "Don't be afraid to use color," Edmonson says. "Use it as a form of self-expression to show off your personality or mood!"

Get the look: Rainbow Felt Letter Board, $100, Twinning Cheetahs Pillow Cover, $75, and Cherry Cushion, $60


Pauline is a freelance lifestyle writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. When she's not writing, you can find her at her local yoga studio or scoping out hidden gems at flea markets and thrift stores.

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