7 Dorm Room Design Tips That Cater to Personalization

By Toll Brothers 3 minute read

Last updated on May 15th, 2024

With your child off to college soon, you may be wondering how you can help them start the first year off right. Help them settle in by decorating and turning their new dorm into a haven. A smaller area may be challenging to design around, but there are plenty of dorm room design ideas that can be used to personalize and maximize their space. Here’s how you can get started.


1. Design Vertically

When there’s little square footage, the only thing to do is design upward. Use the vertical space to your advantage in your child’s dorm room design by utilizing every square inch of the walls, up to the ceiling. Wall shelves are ideal for creating additional storage. Consider creative ways to bring in decor that enhances overhead space as well. Hanging small planters with artificial succulents, string lights, faux floral garlands, or geometric mobiles will infuse the room with whimsy.


2. Use Small Scale Furniture

If the dorm room doesn’t come with a standard-issue desk, consider a slim desk with a couple of drawers and a hutch. And a clear “ghost” chair would look invisible and visually take up no space at all. A butterfly chair would be another great addition because it’s light and foldable, while a bean bag lounger can double as seating and then fold out into an extra bed. A floor cushion beside the bed is a fun way to inject a little color and personality into their domain. It also provides a spot for your child to rest their feet or for a friend to hang out for a while.


3. Utilize Space-Saving Storage

Since there may not be a lot of room in the closet (or any closet at all), organize items so that they look neat and tidy. Stash easy-to-slide storage bins under the bed. If there isn’t enough room below, lift the bed with bed risers and create the space needed. Hang wall shelves for picture frames and decor to keep objects from cluttering the nightstand or desk. Include bookcases with cubbies and fabric storage boxes for books and school supplies. Place ottomans, storage bins, and file organizers on casters that can roll around to create a stylish way to store belongings.


4. Make It Feel Like Home

Textiles make any room feel cozy and inviting, and they’re the easiest way to make a dorm feel more like home. Bedding is probably the main thing people will see; choose colors and patterns wisely. If your student has time to consult with their roommate, they can try to coordinate their colors and themes together. Tossing pillows on top of the bed or using a wall-hung tapestry can add a personal touch. Use curtains to divide space, create privacy, or block light. And keep in mind that vinyl for seating and storage ottomans are easy to wipe down and keep clean.


5. Create an Inspiration Board

Every student needs a catch-all memo board, so why not turn it into a whole inspiration wall? Hang an oversized cork bulletin board to the wall, making it easy to pin items such as pictures, postcards, notes, and more. A memo board can keep the student motivated and on task, while also providing a way to keep things organized. Or, tape everything on the wall using strips of washi tape for an artsy mood board look.


6. Add a Temporary Pop of Color

There’s no need to keep those walls bare when there are so many stylish and temporary ideas nowadays to customize them. Find ways to introduce more color to the dorm with products like peel-and-stick wall decals that can create the look of tile or reclaimed wood paneling. Another option is removable wallpaper with the design style that your college student wants to create. These quick-fix ideas won’t leave behind any residue and can be changed up quickly to update the theme.


7. Decorate the Desktop

The desk is another spot to transform with character and personal style. Select colorful organizers, storage trays, baskets, boxes, and bins to match the design theme and disguise clutter. For the final touch, accessorize with a pretty desk lamp, a special picture frame, a small potted plant, or a framed inspirational quote.

A well-planned dorm room design can help your student feel comfortable and confident while they’re at school. With a few simple ideas like these, a dorm can be an enjoyable place to relax and study.

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Embracing an unwavering commitment to quality and customer service, Toll Brothers currently builds in over 60 markets in 24 states nationwide, and is a publicly owned company with its common stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: TOL). In 2024, Toll Brothers marked 10 years in a row being named to the Fortune World's Most Admired Companies™ list.* Toll Brothers has also been named Builder of the Year by Builder magazine and is the first two-time recipient of Builder of the Year from Professional Builder magazine. For more information, visit TollBrothers.com. From Fortune, ©2024 Fortune Media IP Limited. All rights reserved. Used under license.

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