Most Common Dorm Room Decorating Questions and Answers
Dormify Team

The Most Common Decorating Questions Our Co-Founder Is Asked—Answered

Designing your first home away from home can be overwhelming. We’ve been there! Our co-founder, Amanda Zuckerman, has lots of dorm decorating ideas—and can weigh in on the most common decorating questions (and decorating mistakes!) from our customers. Dorm decorating for girls? Dorm decorating for guys? We have decorating advice for everyone, right here. Read on for Amanda’s top interior design tips.

What’s the best way to hang posters and wall decor without damaging the wall? I want to get my security deposit back!

Command™ products should be your bestie! You'll find them in this handy kit for creating a damage-free gallery wall. They make decorating quick and easy, and they’re perfect for hanging schedules, posters, calendars and pictures without frames, or as an alternative to double-sided tape. They adhere securely to wood, tile, metal and painted surfaces, but remove cleanly when used correctly—leaving behind no holes, marks, sticky residue or stains.

How should I fill a large blank wall?

A bare wall is the perfect canvas for creative dorm decorating ideas. Some of our favorite ways include mixing and matching your favorite prints and art pieces into a gallery wall, hanging a tapestry, covering your wall with temporary wallpaper, or making a statement with an oversized canvas. Get creative—the possibilities are endless!

How do I layer throw pillows in different patterns, colors, and textures?

To start, pick a foundation pillow like a euro pillow to set the tone for the rest of your look. Pick a neutral or choose a color or pattern you love. Next, add a texture—like a faux fur or knit pillow—to bring extra dimension to your bed. Then make it pop with a complementary pattern or color! We usually recommend three to five decorative pillows for a twin bed. Try out our Bed Visualizer to see how different pillow options will look together on your dream bed!

Throw Pillows from Dormify

How do you decorate a dorm when you have roommates?

Before going shopping, chat with your roommate about how you’d like to decorate. You can be super honest, but also be willing to compromise. One of my favorite ways to collaborate with a roommate is to create a shared board on Pinterest and start pinning anything that inspires you, favorite decor pieces you’d like for your room, and patterns or themes that make you swoon. We're a little biased, but Dormify’s Pinterest page is a good place to start.

Gallery Wall Ideas for College Dorms from Dormify

How do I style a gallery wall?

First, decide on a color scheme or style theme before you start purchasing artwork. For example, you might start with a collection of motivational messages, or a gold and pink color theme. Next, plan out the placement. I like to lay all my prints on the floor and play with the arrangement until it’s perfect. Then start hanging! Position your largest piece first and begin building outward with smaller art pieces. This is where a level comes in handy, but you can also have a friend stand on the other side of the room to make sure that everything looks even.

How do I hang a tapestry in a dorm?

For tapestries, use Command Hooks if there are tabs for hanging. If your tapestry does not have loops, make one with a piece of string and staple it to the back of the tapestry, then use the loops to hang on Command hooks.

Aesthetic Dorm Room with Wall Hanging Tapestry

I'm moving a long distance for school and can’t pack picture frames or anything too big. Any ideas to spice up my wall without taking space in my suitcase?

Washi tape is the best accessory for bare walls. It is easy to remove and adds a fashionable frame to all your favorite photos or prints.

How do I organize all my stuff in a tiny closet space without making it look cluttered?

Your dorm room will most likely come standard with a closet and a dresser. The size of the closet will vary depending on which dorm you're in, so you might have a small closet or one that’s pretty spacious. Check your college’s residence life website to be sure. Either way, use closet organizers to maximize your space. If you have a lot of hanging clothes, buy clothes hangers with hooks on the front. With these, you use the hook to hang an additional hanger, which can double the capacity of your closet!

Hanging sweater organizers with shelves create a lot of space in your closet, too. Don’t forget about under the bed! Use under the bed storage boxes and shoe boxes to create even more storage space.

Do I need to bring desk lamps or other types of lighting?

Most dorm rooms have fluorescent lighting, which isn’t always the most flattering (or easy on the eyes). We recommend bringing at least a desk lamp, but it can be nice to have a lamp on your dresser or nightstand, too! String lights strung along the ceiling are also a stylish touch.

String Lights in a College Dorm Room from Dormify

I’m looking for inspiration to decorate my space. Where can I find ideas?

Starting with our curated collection of rooms is a great place—you'll find pre-designed looks that you can filter by color to get inspiration. Or you can explore aesthetic trends you're interested in, whether that's grunge or cottagecore, preppy or industrial. Looking for more inspiration? Our Pinterest and Instagram are fantastic resources for dorm decorating ideas and more!

Have a decorating question you’ve been dying to ask? DM us on Instagram @Dormify!