Residence hall decorating simplified

By Gabbi Gonzalez

Now that you’re going to be living away from home, you have the freedom to decorate in your own style. Your residence hall room is a blank sheet of paper – with endless décor possibilities. If you find this newfound freedom both exciting and intimidating, you’re not alone. Here is a guide to simplify dorm decorating.

Step 1: Come up with a theme

When you have a theme, you have a scheme – a color scheme. Your theme can be as broad as the ‘70s, New York at night or as specific as your favorite album cover. The end goal is making everything in your room feel cohesive to you to create a space in which you look forward to spending time. Once you select a theme and color scheme you can move on to the three Ps: patterns, posters and pictures.

Step 2: Select patterns, posters and pictures


Whether they’re bold, busy or simple, patterns help create an aesthetic. You can find patterned comforters, sheets, throw blankets and decorative pillows to bring your theme to life. You can even get a patterned planner and notebooks to spice up your stationery supplies. These items don’t need to all be the same pattern. These just need to be patterns you enjoy that don’t overwhelm your space. Try to find patterned storage materials such as bins and boxes that fit the theme as well to make organization less of a chore. To save money, you can paint or decorate storage items yourself.


Use posters to tie your space together. Put up posters that inspire you in some way so you can get a dose of motivation every time you look at them. Inspiration could come in the form of an encouraging quote, your favorite film poster or a portrait of your favorite band or musician – no one knows better than you.


The easiest way to make your room feel homey is to fill it with familiar faces. Hang up pictures of your family, friends and your pets. One can never have too many pictures of their pets.

Decorating doesn’t have to be daunting. At the end of the day, it’s about curating your favorite things into one place to make the space special. Remember, your room is a projection of your personality – make it as unique as you are.

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