How to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home

So you're all moved in, now what?

Photo By: Courtesy of HomeGoods

Photo By: Courtesy of HomeGoods

Photo By: Jennie Andrews Photography

Photo By: Courtesy of HomeGoods

Photo By: Courtesy of HomeGoods

Photo By: Jennie Andrews Photography

Have a roommate? Find a common color palette

According to Mike Harrison, a designer who knows a thing or two about small spaces — he designed the dressing rooms for Broadway stars like Dear Evan Hansen's Ben Platt and Hamilton's Leslie Odom Jr. — living with another person doesn't have to mean a disjointed decor scheme. "Roommates can have different styles — one is more boho, and one is more coastal charm — but can find common ground by using at least one unifying color to incorporate different textures and designs," he explained. "For example, a light turquoise can evoke a fresh, beachy vibe while also being a great accent color for an eclectic, bohemian palette. You can even find a throw pillow for one bed that coordinates with the other bed’s comforter."

Save space with double duty items

Harrison, who teamed up with HomeGoods to share his best dorm decorating tips, suggests buying some seating that doubles as extra storage. "Poufs are on-trend and make for great additional seating and storage. Students can use them to lounge when friends are over, then stack them together to save room or store blankets, books or an emergency candy stash for all-nighters," he said. "This is just a clever way to add storage and function while having fun with colors and textures."

Embrace removable decor options

Mini refrigerators are useful, but they aren't all that attractive. Personalize your dorm room refrigerator using strips of washi tape. The HGTV team created an abstract stripe design with metallic gold tape. Chalkboard adhesive over the freezer allows you to further personalize the appliance. A light turquoise stacked shelf creates a cute and useful pantry for food and kitchen accessory storage.

Don't worry about hiding any awkward areas

Harrison suggests embracing those sloping walls or strangely-shaped corners instead. "Small spaces can be difficult, especially when they involve awkward shapes and missing components, like a windowless room or sharply slanted ceiling. Instead of trying to hide or avoid it, use a décor component — think: string lights or paperclipped Polaroids — that will turn it into a highlight of the room’s unique design," he said.

Find pieces that make organization feel stylish

It's all about finding practical pieces that still let you show off your personal style, Harrison explained. "Take the Mason jars someone gave as a graduation gift and use them as a canister to hold pencils, paper clips and other desk supplies," he said. "Decor destinations, including HomeGoods, have a wide selection of fun glass jars and containers that can do double duty. With small spaces, it’s important to think outside the box!"

Keep your personal style on display

HGTV's Crafternoon team suggests putting your style on display by taking your favorite items and hanging them in blank spaces around the room. Your vintage handbag instantly becomes a work of art, and you won't have to worry about overcrowding your itty bitty closet.

Shop This Look