So, you’ve gone to college, and you’re moving into your new dorms.
Firstly congratulations! It’s a big step to take, especially for a lot of guys who have not lived away from their parents before for extended periods.
It’s a time to establish your own identity, without living in the shadow of your childhood self.
However, a lot of that finding yourself also comes with starting to get to grips with, you know, being a functioning adult. Not an easy feat, but make no mistake!
And one of the things that are often forgotten about is setting up your dorm room.
Sure, you could just leave it barren whilst you are staying there. But if your dorm room going to be the place where you live now, having a next-to-empty room isn’t just going to look dull, but also wear on you, both psychologically and emotionally. It’s your new home, after all. It should feel like it!
So, if you’re looking for some simple solutions to making a dorm room feel more like yours, you’ll be interested in the room ideas that we have on this list.
1. Mini Man Cave
Starting this list with an idea that anyone who loves their own space will appreciate.
At this point, the concept of man caves is pretty widely known and has been rinsed out in a thousand different ways.
Man caves, man sheds, man garages, man bathrooms, you name it, someone has slapped ‘man’ onto the front of it and called it a day.
The concept of man caves is still a cool idea. After all, everyone needs a little space to call their own, so finding a way to make that space in your dorm room is a great step to making the room a little more comfortable.
Obviously, for the idea as presented, the bed that your dorm room comes with is going to need to be raised off the ground a little.
However, if your bed doesn’t have quite this height, having this setup in the corner of the room will also be a viable option for you.
Just make sure to check with your dorm mates before going with this idea, if you have any.
2. Comforting Smelling Dorm Room
This might seem like a weird option at first but bare with us for a moment while we explain.
When first moving into a dorm room, probably the first thing that you will notice is the smell of the room itself.
While it’s unlikely to be bad per se, that newness can be a little off-putting for some, and can sometimes lend to the idea of being in an unfamiliar space or room.
An oil diffuser can help alleviate this issue, creating a smell that both masks that clinical new room odor that may persist, and comforts you.
Some people may point out that the smell will eventually go away anyway, and that is true.
But this is where the oil diffuser also comes in handy, as it will help take the edge off of your smell that will wear into the room over time.
A smell that, while unnoticeable to you after a while, can be pretty strong and even off-putting to others.
3. Record Wall Decorations
This is the perfect decoration idea for the person that is nostalgic for a time before they were even born.
Record sleeves have this timeless quality to them that makes them great collector’s items.
Obviously for the record inside, but also the sleeves themselves, as some of the artwork and designs for these tracks are timeless and incredibly stylish (thick of every iconic album cover that you’ve ever seen and loved).
So, these sleeves make for a great way of decorating your dorm room walls in a way that is both novel, and unmistakably to your taste.
With so many albums covers out there to choose from, this can quickly become the perfect little pet project while you are living in your dorm room, as you collect the best records to hang on your wall.
4. Tapestry Decorations
Similar to the record idea that we covered in the last section, having some kind of iconography on your walls goes a long way to making a dorm room feel lived in like it is a place that you’d want to stay.
It’s especially useful if there is generally a no-tinker rule in your dorm room that stops you from painting or plastering your dorm walls.
Now, if you have the wall space for it, a tapestry is a great way for you to decorate a room with.
After all, not only do most of them look great, but they are also relatively cheap and can cover a big chunk of empty wall space that you may have left over from your other decoration ideas.
Plus, that tapestry can be anything you want. A school or sports team banner. Some great artwork that you want to be immortalized in a tapestry, maybe even a state or country flag.
There are a lot of options available to you with this idea!
5. Printer Setup
This is a great idea for the busybody who likes to be able to cover their own paper needs when it comes to potential supplies for studies.
You’ll likely find quickly in your new study location that you’ll be needing to print a lot of material off for your college or high school studies.
And while many learning institutions will often have a place for printing off these docs, sometimes you need that PDF printed now, and printed quickly.
In which case, investing in a printer for your dorm room, while probably a pricey option for many people, does carry the benefit of benign ready-to-use at a moment’s notice, rather than taking time out of your schedule to get to the printing shop or station your organization may have.
If you’re looking for a model that you should be scouting out, for our money, one of the best printers that a student can have on hand is the HP OfficeJet.
It has plenty of wireless options and is incredibly light and portable for a printer. And it won’t be nearly as expensive as some of the other models that you will find out there.
6. Bohemian Style Bed Setup
While technically the room that this image was taken from wasn’t a dorm room in of itself, you’re lying to yourself if you don’t think that this is the coziest space to live in, and a great way of generating a vibe in your dorm room that is a little more relaxed and chill.
Everything in this room design, from the printed Los Angeles map, to the bedsheet patterns used here, is a room that just radiates comfort like you know that this is your safe space.
It feels like home, which is arguably something that every good dorm room should feel like once you’re set up.
7. Hammock Setup
Now, if you’re looking for a little comfortable space in your dorm, this is a pretty novel way to make that relaxing corner in your room.
While rooms will come with a bed usually, it’s arguably not the best habit to have the place where you sleep and rest be the same place where you spend the rest of your day.
So, it pays to be able to separate your sleeping space from your lounging space.
This hammock is a great way of having a place where you rest and relax that is separate from your sleeping space (even if it is only a few feet above your head, as shown here)!
Of course, you’ll need a pretty raised bed to be able to try this idea out for yourself, so make sure to check that your dorm room will have a setup like this.
8. Discreet Bathroom Cabinet Idea
One of the easiest aspects of preparing to live in dorms is toiletries. You spend all your prep time finding the right decorations for the space around your bed, moving and arranging it all, only to realize that you forgot the bare necessities of the bathroom!
This little cabinet is the perfect place to store all of your essentials.
This is particularly great for dorm rooms where the bathroom and cleaning areas are communal, and you want to make sure that your cleaning products are not tampered with (dorms are a hive of low-level mischief and pranks, after all, so don’t discount this).
If this nifty little idea seems like the kind of item that could help out your dorm experience, then check out this product that you can purchase here.
9. Vintage Aesthetic
Now, if you’re someone that wants a style that is all their own, you can also go vintage with your dorm setup!
If you’re asking for our opinion, the best way to start getting that nostalgic aesthetic is to start with colors.
Browns, beige and deep oranges are all classic design colors of yesteryear, giving them a feeling that feels like being in a place of comfort, like your grandparent’s place, or someplace similar.
Cap off the whole dorm room’s luck with some classic 80s pics and movie posters too. And not posters of movies from the 80s, mind you.
We’re talking classic Hollywood movie posters, the ones that were artist renditions of characters. Think The Empire Strikes Back, or The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly. That kind of look.
If it’s from before 1990, it is free real estate!
10. Shelves Under The Bed
This is a great option to try out if your dorm room is somewhat lacking in storage space, but, happens to have a pretty raised bed.
These under-bed shelves are the perfect way of making the most out of a tight spot, giving you plenty of options for storing anything from clothes, to devices, to… well, anything that needs space!
Plus, they also make for an easy and quick way of clearing floor space if you have a habit of leaving stuff out, and need to quickly tidy up the place.
What should you put your items in under this space? Anything you want! Storage boxes? Tech? Maybe even a mini fridge? The choice is up to you!
11. Coffee Maker Stand
Now, if we’re talking about shaving all the comforts that you could need in your dorm room, this is a great idea to put into practice.
Coffee is almost the nectar of life for some people when it comes to waking up from a slumber. So, having a coffee machine on-hand would be pretty handy, wouldn’t it?
Plus, being able to make coffee right next to your desk or bed isn’t just convenient, but helps add to that comforting energy that you should be looking to build in your dorm room, whether you’re on your own, or sharing the room with someone else.
For our money, one of the best coffee machines that you can grab as a student is the Keurig K-Mini Single Coffee Maker.
It’s small, easy to transport and move around, and it is a pretty inexpensive option for you as a student.
12. Cozy Blue Sanctuary
Sometimes, if you’re looking to have a good dorm room setup, it pays to have a theme in mind when collecting the decorations and items that you want.
This room is a perfect example of this idea, with pretty much every major item in this room contributing to that light blue seaside aesthetic.
It’s certainly a nice image and place to come back to after studying or work, especially when the light hits the blue just right.
While this is an easy idea to follow through on if you live on your own, make sure that you check with your roommate if you’re sharing the room with another.
13. Snack Time-Out Area
Remember how we discussed how your room should be separated between a sleeping space and wherever else you do your business?
This is a similar concept, with your emergency snacks being stored away from your bed so that you aren’t just constantly snacking in your bed (as fun as that might be from time to time).
This particular setup is pretty great, with the snacks being placed in a handy handing shelf/sleeve system that can be hung over any tall object, such as a dorm room or bathroom door.
14. Emergency First Aid Kit
While many of the ideas that we have posted and talked about here are great additions to a dorm room, few of them have been essential to living on your own and away from family.
If we’re talking about being ready for emergencies, you cannot go wrong with a good first aid kit.
Especially one that can cover most light or minor ailments that, whilst not too serious overall, from cuts and gashes to minor sicknesses like colds.
Heck, even if there is a serious injury in your dorms, these emergency tools could be the difference between a quick visit to the emergency room with next to no hiccups, and something much more serious
Of course, these more serious emergencies are few and far between, if they ever do show up in your dorm.
But that’s why they are emergencies, and you don’t want to regret making a cutback on safety that could cost you or someone else dearly.
If you take nothing else away from this list, remember that safety is a crucial thing that you’ll need to consider when living in a dorm.
If you’re looking to stay prepared in your dormitory rooms, check out this First Aid kit pack here.
15. Movie Poster Minimalist
Who doesn’t love a good movie poster in their room? Not only are they a great reminder of your favorite silver screen hits, but they also bring a ton of life to any room that they are brought into.
This concept is very similar to the record cover concept that we covered a while back, only here, as the name implies, you’re decorating your walls with movie posters.
It’s a pretty clear way to send a message to your dorm roommates about what your interests are, and serves as a neat icebreaker too.
If you like posters, but don’t like to pin or stick them to a way directly in case you damage them, you may want to consider framing them instead.
Find a photo or art frame that is the right size for your poster, place it inside, and hand it up, and you’re all done!
Just make sure to find a way of hanging them up without damaging the walls themselves!
16. Above Desk Storage Space
We’ve talked about ways that you can help save and create storage space in your dorm room, and a lot of that emphasis has been in, under, or around your bed.
However, most dorm rooms will also come with desk space, and that is a part of the room that should also be taken advantage of, especially when it comes to creating space for your needs.
The only issue you may run into with this idea (outside of maybe the wishes of your dorm roommate) is that you probably won’t be allowed to tamper with your dorm walls.
Fortunately, many products can help increase storage space without the need to get out the hammer and nail, like with these Cube storage spaces.
(Also a fun note, they could also work as a pretty good set of shelves on their own around your room, so don’t discount if you’re not sure they’ll fit over your desk!)
17. Packing Enough Power Outlets
This is another issue with your dorm room that will be less about the look, but the functionality of it.
We’ve likely all experienced it at some point: We’ve been stuck in a room where, for whatever reason, there are maybe two wall sockets at most for you to use.
Having enough power outlets is essential if you want all your energy-guzzling devices to be ready to use at any time.
From your phone or laptop to a TV, game console, maybe a printer or heater. What about that coffee machine that we mentioned earlier?
There are a lot of day-to-day items that are going to need power, and unless you’re prepared to cut back on what you need, you’re going to need this for sure!
18. High School Dorm Vibes
Now, if you’re feeling nostalgic for a simpler time that probably wasn’t even all that long ago, this is the dorm setup for you.
Everything in this example just smells like teen spirit, in the best way possible.
From the bed nestled in the corner to the TV/desk and futon setup that can be unfolded into a second bed on the opposite side. It just feels like home, like you’d be comfortable staying here for a good long while.
So what if some people say that this room is just a stereotype of what teenagers’ bedrooms are actually like? That’s the whole point! To create an aesthetic that you both love to look at, and want to live in!
19. Ceiling Decorations
While wall decorations are often the most popular way of adding detail and color to a dorm room, let us not forget about the massive amount of space that ceilings afford you for styling!
If anything, ceilings are the surface that is often most forgotten about when it comes to interior decoration.
And you’ll be spending at least a decent chunk of time looking up at it, so you might as well get creative with what you put up there!
It can be anything, from posters to banners. Just make sure that the material holding them up there is strong enough to hold them!
20. Workout Dorm Space
Why spend 100 bucks on a gym membership that you may not get the most use out of when you can create your own workout space in your dorm room?
Not only are these a great way of staying fit, but they can also break up the monotony of being in a room with just a bed and desk. It gets you away from your screen to focus on your health!
21. Cotton Towel Collection
There’s an old saying that the towel is the most important item that a guy can carry on them. And by old, we mean about 41 years old, in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Still, the point stands: Toiletries and towels, are often the first things to be forgotten when moving into a dorm room, so make sure that you’ve always got your towel handy for when you need it!
Hopefully, we have given you all the inspiration that you need to make a great dorm room!