Dorm Decor: 101 To Making Your Space Feel Homey


It’s been 2 months since the academic year started, and that goes hand in hand with moving in somewhere new.  Some of us are in apartments and some are in dorms but one thing is all the same,  we’ve all left our homes. But this change is more than an address- its a shift into the challenge of transforming a new place. A well-decorated, comfortable room can boost your academic success and well-being. Moving into a new room  and trying to fix it up can feel like staring at a blank canvas. There is overwhelming potential and so much to do. But let us take a look at a few space-conscious things that you can do to make your area feel more homey and visually inviting. 

Bedding & Beyond

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One of the first things you consider when moving into a room before you even think about decoration is the bedding. Your bed is one of your best friends and is arguably the centerpiece of a cozy space. It can be an element of decoration too, and size is not a limit to this aspect. Patterns and textures add character to a space. Having a plush comforter alongside a fluffier throw blanket can help you achieve that. But it doesn’t stop there. Another thing that can really make your space feel super cosy is a rug. They do add dimension and personality and you can play around with colors, fabric, cuts and size; whichever variation tickles your fancy.

One last fun thing to play around with could be your cushions or plushies. These add a touch of whimsy and create positive associations. They can also complement a specific theme you might want to establish with your bedding.

Art & Photos

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This one is a classic. You can never go wrong with photos and artwork and there are lots of ways you can go about it. The variations of where and what you can put on your walls are practically limitless and probably the most versatile option. You could have a large centrepiece by a headboard and above a desk. Or you could do a collection of smaller photos, on a portion of a wall or on a cork board. 

Regarding the “what”, themes are a great way to help you go about deciding. Maybe it’s photos from a specific holiday, family & friend groups or your favourite music. Consider incorporating cultural or personal elements into their decor to make their space truly unique; such as traditional art/ patterns and of course, a flag!

Scents & Aromatic Ambiance

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One great thing about scent is that it takes up virtually to no space! Lots of research has shown that there is a strong connection between your memory and scents. Leveraging this connection means you can evoke certain memories and feelings through various scents.  Perhaps, back at home, you’re accustomed to earthy incense, or your space might carry more floral scents.  Maybe it would help to think of a scent that you smell a lot of the time or maybe it’s good to think of a sin that you associate with a certain time. Warmer smells like pumpkin and cooler seasons like now or bright and fresh scents when it’s warmer.  Playing around with this can help you explore a more sensory aspect of your environment.

Lighting & Illumination

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There is so much potential for lighting.  It’s a very underrated aspect of adding warmth to a space but in a lot of houses, the lighting you have already given can be quite restrictive and harsh. Fairy lights are a solid option,  they’re dynamic and fill up the surroundings. But there are plenty more options. Beyond this you could explore sunset lamps, famous LED strips, tea lights and on certain occasions even candles, the list goes on. 

Beyond what lighting you choose you should also think about where you choose to put this lighting. Lower-placed lighting tends to be softer and embrace a room better than sharp bright overhead lighting.  Lighting can be ambient on bed sides or desks on a lamp that can shine on a large area too such as a wall. You can use your very lighting to highlight certain areas or certain pieces.

Colors & Homey Hues

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This last one is more conceptual but a lot of times we associate colors with evoking certain emotions. However what colors evoke what emotions is very culturally and individually determined. So take a moment and reflect on what colors you associate with feeling cozy, mellow or energized.  We aim for our room to have a positive ambiance, and being mindful of what colors we choose to feel our space with can really help Foster that feeling. For example, if you’re a lover of the color green (like me), you may try and incorporate that in your beddings, wall decor, as well as your lighting.

Look to places like Lapostalera or home shops like Tedi and IKEA, you can acquire anything and everything you’d want to decorate your room with. There are endless sources of inspiration for colors, textures and layouts on Pinterest.  At the end of the day,  how you decide to decorate your dorm is ultimately up to you. You may take some of this advice or none of this advice. Either way, keeping in mind the kind of ways you could explore your room’s aesthetic to make it personalized, atmospheric and familiar can go a long way- especially as the weather gets colder and your time away from home gets longer.

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