How To Make Your Dorm Room Feel More Home-y

There’s a pretty big stigma around the idea of a dorm room that says that only so much can be done to it, and in the end, it will still just look like, well, a dorm room. Dorm life is unlike anything that you have ever experienced growing up, and it is unlike anything that you will experience for the rest of your life.

Even if you have shared a room with a sibling in the past, adapting to a confined space with someone that you probably don’t know can be extremely challenging – but look out for a post on how to have an awesome roommate experience. You want your dorm room to be a place that you actually enjoy being in because you actually will be spending a lot of time there.

If you are anything like my roommate and I, you will try to do everything in your power to get rid of the “institutionalized” feeling that your dorm gives you when you first move in, but depending on the space, that can be pretty challenging. I hope these tips help you have a dorm room that you love to spend time in, feel comfortable inviting your friends to, and ultimately don’t want to move out of at the end of the year.


  1. Lighting Lighting Lighting. The lighting in your room is probably the most important part to achieving that home-y feeling when you walk into your dorm. For the most part, the overhead light in your room is going to be bright and unappealing – so don’t use it! We hardly ever turn our actual light on, and instead, we purchased many smaller lights to hang around the room. This is in the form of lamps, long string lights, hanging light-up stars, and lighted balls that hang from the ceiling. Yes, it is a pain to go around the room and turn all of these on and off, but they make such a difference in the overall look of the room! Depending on your color scheme, try to stick with lights that have warmer tones to them to avoid the same harshness that your overhead light gives off.
  2. Get a rug that covers as much of the floor as possible. Whether your dorm has tile flooring or carpet, getting a comfy rug that covers most of the floor really brings the entire room together. This can be a little pricy, but it is so worth it to not have to step onto tile first thing in the morning. We went with a giant white rug for the first semester (our color scheme is white, rose gold, and grey), and while it did make the room look adorable, it evidently got trashed from everyone walking on it. This semester we have pretty much the same one in a silver/grey tone and it looks even cuter!
  3. Get creative on the layout of your room. This one definitely depends on the room itself, but the way your beds and desks are set up really makes a difference overall. We do not have our beds set up in the traditional way – and that is because we have an awkward shaped room, but I definitely think that it wouldn’t look as nice if it was! Look on the bottom of this post to see our layout.dorm
  4. Cover up empty wall space as much as possible – without looking cluttered. In such a small space, it is so easy to make your room look cluttered by just having too much stuff. However, don’t be afraid to hang things on the walls to make you feel more at home! In my opinion, larger items such as flags, canvases, and large statement frames do the best to cover up wall space without having the room look cluttered.
  5. Cover your bed with as many pillows as you can. Comfy throw and oversized pillows that match your color scheme can go a long way for the room. Most likely, your bed will be a twin, and you can easily give it the “day bed” look by lining up your pillows along the long side. This looks so much comfier than having a bare wall – and so much more inviting for people to sit on your bed!

Believe it or not, there actually is a lot that can be done to that small room to make it feel like a place that you can call home – or at least a home away from home. I have about a month left in my freshman dorm room, and the only thing that I can say is appreciate the time you spend in it because it is so short lived! Moving out is honestly something that I am dreading because of the memories that I’ve made there, so take the time to invest in a room that you’ll actually enjoy spending time in!


This article has been originally written by Erin who runs her own blog – Absolutely Erin C. Follow Erin on Twitter and Instagram.

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