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Where to Start on Dorm Room Decor


The dorm room is a right of passage in the world of decorating.  Well not on a big scale but in the sense of organizational skills, personalization and doing more with less.  It is also the first time starting with a blank slate where Mom & Dad aren’t the primary decision makers.  So how does one end up with a chic looking dorm room when they have never even been there?

Looked the same 29 years ago!

Photo of Western Michigan University dorm via Medievalists

Great bedding is the starting point.  This is the biggest  and most visible decorative surface.  Even if there is a sitting & sleeping room keep the color scheme the same throughout.  Start with the bed and let the colors carry over into the rest of the space.

Pick something colorful and fun.  Here are a few which are easy to work with.

Marimekko Unikko Blue Bed Linens

Marimekko Räsymatto Red Bed Linens

Photos via Crate & Barrel

Make your own color scheme with these limited color basics. Pair this black, gray and white with one other pop of solid color (red, orange, turquoise, purple or royal) for a masculine but personalized decor.

Vintage Camo Duvet Cover & Pillowcases

  Photo via PBTeen

Or for a girl pick lipstick pink, lemon yellow or kelly green for that oh-so-prep vibe with this classic blue & white.

Lilly Pulitzer® Cha-Cha Chains Comforter Cover and Sham

Photo via Garnet Hill

Need more color options?  This hip tropical quilt allows for numerous color variations but pick only one or two to use and focus on.

Wailua Beach Quilt & Sham

Photo via PBTeen

Target and JcPenney have equally exciting bedding options as a basis for dorm room decor.  Of course it is only August and a good percentage of you like my niece Emily (University of Montana) and nephew Charlie (WMU) will slip into cold winters so don’t forget the flannel sheets – which aren’t out in stores yet.  No need to wait on the whole scheme just get an additional set of flannel sheets in a coordinating solid color.  Garnet HillThe Company Store always have fabulous ones in the fall.

The key for great dorm room decor is to Keep It Simple.  Opt for a easy color scheme and focus on 2 maybe 3 colors.  Repeat the main color or colors throughout the dorm room and minimize the accessories.  Forget the oodles of unnecessary throw pillows and matchy odds and ends.  Focus on a great set of bedding and the rest of the decor can fall easily into place.  Head on over to HGTV for some more Decorating Tips for a Dorm Room.

Next week we’ll talk about what to do with those nasty dorm room walls.

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