Colorful bedroom inspiration for small apartments from Dormify
Dormify Team

How to Decorate Your Off-Campus Apartment

So you’ve moved into your very first off-campus space and it’s ALL your own (okay, and your roommate’s, but the point stands). You may be wondering, “What should I bring to my college apartment?” Bestie, we’re here to help. Those extra-long sheets, shower caddies, mini fridges? NOPE. Apartments need a slightly different approach than your dorm room. 

But, exactly how do you decorate a small college apartment? First things first: Decide on your aesthetic. Do you want your room to be chic and feminine? Trendy? Colorful? Y2K inspired? Choose a direction for your look and let that inform the college apartment decor you choose so your space feels cohesive and pulled together. 

Keep reading to get all the college apartment essentials to take your new space from blah to badass.

minimalist boho bedroom inspiration from Dormify

Furniture First

The end of your dorm room era also (usually) means the end of provided furniture, so the first focus for your new space is getting that new furniture look. You won’t be in this space for long, but you’ll want your new furniture pieces to live on for at least a few years (and probably through a few different housing layouts). The best way to make sure your pieces will be easy to fit in anywhere? Stick to basics. You’ll need a bed, nightstands, desk, sofa and living room seating, side tables and a dining set. Look for pieces that offer a bit of personality but don’t overpower, so they’ll fit in with any decor scheme—such as a bed or headboard that’s in a versatile neutral color, but in a sophisticated linen. Furniture in clean, modern shapes and classic designs will work with any decor.

Gray bedroom ideas from Dormify

Add an Accent

Now that your furniture isn’t standard-issue dorm pieces, choose accent tables and chairs that will bring some personality to your space. Try adding fun chairs to create extra seating and develop your space’s aesthetic. We love the idea of incorporating textures, like this sheepskin armchair or faux-fur bench.

Bedside table styling ideas from Dormify

Incorporate Art

For your college apartment wall decor, choose framed prints instead of tacking paper to the wall. You should be able to nail into your walls (as long as you repair any holes when you move out!) so you have many more options.

Choose a selection of prints that feel like they coordinate in color, style or concept to help your space feel more coordinated. One super easy way to do it: collage packs of prints that are already coordinated for you. Once you’ve picked some art, finish your walls with other decor like a chic mirror.

Bedroom styling ideas with plants from Dormify

Go Green

With your newfound extra space, add some items that are purely decorative and give your space some grown-up vibes. Plants are always a great start. If you feel up to the task of keeping a real plant alive, head to your local nursery to get some fresh greenery, which will add life to your space and also help purify your air naturally. More of a black thumb? Choose low-maintenance plants like succulents, or go for faux plants to add some greenery that doesn’t require any care, or try dried plants like eucalyptus or grasses. 

Beachy bedroom design ideas from Dormify

Fab Floors

You’ll probably have a bit more floor space to work with in an apartment than you did in the dorms, so your new space is the perfect place to add rugs for texture and a more finished aesthetic. Try a geometric (washable!) design that’ll go with everything without being boring—or pick a perfectly worn, vintage-inspired rug for instant heirloom vibes.

Need some more inspo for putting together your off-campus space? We have tons of apartment-ready picks here.