The Man's Guide to Decorating a Dorm Room in 6 Easy Steps

by Robert Phillips

  1. Only Pack What You Are Going to Use

Most men entering college bring much more than just the essentials (The essentials being xBox, Huge tv, netflix account, and maybe clothes and a toothbrush). However, much of the clutter associated with living in a dorm room can be eliminated by leaving things that you probably won’t use, such as the 80 xBox games you know you will never play, and clothes that you outgrew in the 8th grade.

By packing light and only including clothes you wear often and games you play regularly, you save yourself and your roommate from living in a world of clutter.


  1. Find Out the Layout of Your Room to Maximize Space

By obtaining a layout of your dorm room (available from most college websites under the housing department), you and your roommate can figure out the best way to arrange the beds, desks (if they are moveable), and where to place your Mini-fridge, television, etc, to create the most open and efficient use of space.

This is key to designing a dorm room, and can change a room from appearing small and enclosed, and create the feeling of openness and cleanliness.


  1. Choose Designs that are Symmetrical

Using a symmetrical layout is one of the biggest factors when trying to create an open feel and clean layout for your dorm room. If possible, try to position the beds and desks in a way that is symmetrical. This instantly creates the illusion of having more space and being more organized.

Most dorm rooms are designed so that the school can fit as many students into a building as possible, and can result in some abnormal room layouts. This is unavoidable for many dorm rooms, but by remembering to space your furniture evenly and trying to keep things as symmetrical as possible, you can improve the overall appearance and usefulness of your room.


  1. Choose A Color Theme For Your Room With Your Roommate

By choosing which color you want to use for your dorm room before you purchase bedding, curtains, rugs, etc…, it allows you to select fabrics that will all appear similar. For instance, if you decide you want a navy themed room, you and your roommate can each select different bedspreads and pillow designs that incorporate shades of navy. combine it with a rug that adds to the color scheme, and your room will instantly appear larger, unified, and organized.

This approach to designing your dorm room will help you achieve the best results, and is something you and your roommate can do to get to know each other better and eliminate any possible problems on move in day.


  1. Carefully Select what You Hang On Your Walls

While it can be tempting to hang posters of perfect 10 models across the walls of your dorm room, take a minute to consider some other options that may serve you better. The use of mirrors is a commonly known method to make small spaces appear larger. By using a combination of one or two mirrors with a few framed pictures of your family, pets, and friends, you can really make your dorm room stand apart from the normal small, dirty, dingy dorm rooms you find all across America.

Also, most dorm room walls are simply cinderblocks covered in cheap white paint, reminiscent of a prison cell. Covering these walls with framed pictures and mirrors provides amazing results, and can really transform a dorm room from looking like a prison to looking like a clean yet cozy living space.


  1. Make Use of Vertical Storage To Decrease Clutter and Open Floor Space

If you try to put everything on the floor of your dorm room, you will end up having an unorganized space with very little room to walk around and get dressed. To offset the small amount of floor space, you must think vertically for storage. offers one product that is excellent at improving vertical storage as well as the overall feel of your dorm room. The Desk Cubby, which is placed on top of your desk and gives you an extra shelf to place books, pens, etc… inside, and is sturdy enough to sit most modern flat screen tv’s on top of. With shelves large enough to house most gaming consoles, games, dvd’s, and books, it is an easy way to increase storage while adding lighting and many more options to your desk.

Another useful tip to maximizing space is to purchase storage bins  that go in your cubbies and underneath your bed, giving you additional storage that can be out of sight when covered with bed skirt panels.