No-Fuss Dorm Room Decor for Dudes

For most guys, dorm-room priorities are simple but exact: storage for lots of snacks, comfy seats to play games, a place to stash game controllers, a bed and of course, a spot to study.

August 05, 2019

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Comfy + Cozy

The average dorm room is pretty basic by design, but with a smart style and storage strategy, your new digs will feel more like a studio apartment in no time.

Storage Superstars

It’s no secret functional dorm-living starts and ends with STORAGE. Staying organized in a small space keeps your place looking tidy and welcoming. Label bins, baskets and storage boxes so finding your favorite t-shirt doesn’t require rifling through the entire closet. And always think vertically to score even more storage! A couple of zip ties and a hanging organizer turned this under-utilized space at the end of the bed into a shoe HQ (plus it adds a little privacy).

Smart Division

Even if you’re rooming with your BFF, you'll need alone time to study or recharge, so if possible, create zones for work, play and sleep. Hang a curtain panel, tapestry or rug to create a sense of privacy. If hanging them from the ceiling isn't an option, you can make a free-standing frame using galvanized pipe. And never underestimate the transformative power of re-arranging furniture to help differentiate one space from another. PS — Hanging curtains can also hide cinderblock walls if you're not into that look.

Coordinated Space

Whether your room comes fully furnished or feels a tad bare, you can dial up the style factor by coordinating decor with your roommate. Yeah, we get it, he may snicker at you when you ask him about his favorite color palette, but if you go for matching comforters or keep everything in the same color family, a coordinated look helps create a pulled-together, bachelor-pad vibe.

Instant Console

There’s more to dorm life than sleeping and studying, so you’ll want a comfy space to stream and binge your favorite shows or play video games. Create a sleek entertainment console with a stylish double-duty chest of drawers. For a balanced look, keep the TV slightly smaller than the piece it’s sitting on.

Game On

Route a power strip with USB ports through the back of the top drawer, so it's easy to charge devices while keeping them out of sight. And make it a rule to store all your gaming gear and remotes here, too. Use the other drawers for clothing or other essentials.

In-Room Dining

Even if your meal plan is a 5-star dining experience, you’ll want to eat in occasionally. Turn a simple utility shelf into a super-functional kitchen by adding a microwave, mini-fridge, toaster oven and coffee maker. We love the wire shelving — it’s easy to add extra hooks and bins on the sides to max out storage.

Kitchen Essentials

Don't forget other kitchen essentials like a water-filtering pitcher, non-breakable drinkware, dishware and utensils. Keep them neat and organized with caddies. Be sure to unbox your favorite snacks and cereals, then store them in airtight canisters, so they stay fresh longer (and look neater).

A Place to Hide Your Favorite Snacks

The more multifunctional pieces you incorporate into a small space, the better! Stow extra storage ottomans where you need more storage, like the kitchen. Until they’re needed, these cute stools are a safe and secure pantry for your most coveted snacks or paper products.

Space-Saving Swaps

If possible, swap a traditional coffee table for a pair of storage ottomans. Try to find ones with dual-purpose lids – upholstered on one side and a tray on the other side. This way you'll have the option of putting your feet up or serving pre-game snacks and bevvies. Items like extra pillows, bedding or lightweight throws stay tucked inside until you need them (aka - sleepovers).

Rugs Rule

Tile or concrete floors can get a little cold, especially in a dorm setting, so warm things up with area rugs. Your bare feet will thank you when the colder weather sets in. Look for a synthetic or indoor/outdoor version that can handle a spill here and there. Layer them up for a textural look and when you have unexpected guests crashing on your floor, they'll be very grateful.

Extra Seating

It’s easier than ever to find small-scale seating designed for studio apartments and dorms. Look for pieces with a low-profile and simple silhouette, so it doesn't take up more floor space than necessary.

Work Zone

College life is exciting, but lest we forget, you’re also there to learn, which requires copious amounts of studying. On the nights when you don’t hit the library, plant yourself at a comfortable desk outfitted with space-saving shelves or drawers. Utilize nearby wall space for corkboards, organizers and calendars.

Underbed Solutions

Always put the space below your bed to work. If there’s a bed skirt, it doesn't have to be pretty — store odds and ends you don't need daily. And if you’re sans skirt, keep the area looking uniform by buying multiples of the same container in a coordinating color.

Nooks + Crannies

You really can put almost any space to work with a little creativity. This bath nook was perfect for the classic soft-sided hanging bins you usually see in closets — thanks to a couple of command hooks. We love the add-on hamper below!

Caddies + Carts

While a shared bathroom scenario isn’t ideal, it IS doable with the right gear. Pare back your hair and skin products to an absolute minimum, then store them neatly in caddies. Keep it all organized in a small shelf unit and encourage your roomie to do the same.

Product Management

Utilize as much bathroom wall space as possible for storing soaps, shampoos and skin scrubs — and that goes for the shower too. Make sure each roommate has their own wall caddy, so you can keep products separated. Hang one on the showerhead, then hang the other from suction-cupped hooks that are tile-friendly.

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