Dorm Room Design

I was so excited when Tenia, one of my loyal readers, emailed me about decorating her daughter’s first dorm room. The challenge couldn’t be more age-appropriate as I’ll be entering my senior year at Bucknell next month. It was so important to me to create a home away from home that reflected my own style as opposed to the typical dorm decor of drinking posters and Christmas lights. 
Tenia’s daughter Emma (isn’t she adorable?) will be attending McNeese State University in Iowa in the fall, where she intends to major in nursing.
Her mom fell in love with this bedroom decorated by Camila of High-Heeled Foot in the Door and admits that this space inspired the palette for Emma’s current bedroom. If Tenia loves turquoise, yellow, and navy and Emma says her favorite color is blue, I see no reason why we can’t use this room as our inspiration for the new dorm room!
In reality, Emma will probably inherit something more along these lines: white walls, wood furniture, industrial flooring, and limited space. Now how do we put a personal stamp on that
For starters, we’ll need to inject a little color onto those drab white walls. Since painting isn’t an option, I recommend hanging Urban Outfitters’ Atlas Tapestry ($36) across a blank wall. Lame college posters can’t compare to the visual impact this will make and the color is positively perfect for recreating the happy vibe of Camila’s guest room.
For a second wall, Emma already owns this print (available at Dazey Chic, $23). Her mom will also be making her a bulletin board to pin pictures of family and friends — how cute!
Let’s fill in that wall with a few more prints like Janice J’s A Scribble in the Sky ($23) Funnel Cloud’s Zinnia Lino Print ($14), and Courage and Cowards’ High Wheel Bicycle ($25) — and of course lots of pictures of family and friends to remind her of home.
Moving right along, let’s talk bedding. I love Urban Outfitters’ Seed Stitch Quilt ($58) for two reasons: the price is great and it’s reversible! Both the white and the yellow will work beautifully in Emma’s space.
Let’s add a couple throw pillows for good measure. Don’t you love Ivie Made’s Aqua Blue Bow Pillow Cover ($44)? Her Turkish Delight Pillow Cover ($34) even incorporates every shade in our color palette!
We’ve got turquoise and yellow covered so now it’s time for a little navy. Why not cover up those linoleum tiles (or worse, old carpet) with something more foot-friendly? I love the price and the print of Urban Outfitters’ 4’x6′ Indigo Geo Rug ($48).

Since you’re all aware of my love for workspaces, you can bet that my desk has always been a focal point of my past dorm rooms. For Emma’s room, let’s begin with Pottery Barn Teen’s Hi-Light Task Lamp ($59 for a limited time only) — I have it in white and love it! 
I’m also a big fan of The Container Store’s desk accessories, particularly their Clear Divided Tray ($10). It’s ideal for keeping desk drawers organized but it’s cute enough to leave in plain view as well!
A cute finishing touch is Urban Outfitters’ Coming and Going Coat Rack ($68), a colorful way to keep rain jackets and winter coats off the floor.
On a slightly more pragmatic note, I also fell in love with Urban Outfitters’ Ruffle Laundry Bag ($36), which will make the requisite chore at least a little more fun.

What do you think of my plans for Emma’s dorm room? I hope she and her mom love it!

36 thoughts on “Dorm Room Design

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  1. I like how the circular wooden table in the first bedroom photo complemented the colors, items and themes in the room. This caught my attention so quickly as I’m looking for a wooden tablet for my dorm room where I can place my books in line for studying or maybe little items where I can easily pick it. I’m still in college so I’ll ask my parents if they can help me buy a wooden table for my needs.

  2. Mackenzie you have chosen such amazing things for her room. It is going to be incredible and fresh!

    I bet she’s going to love it. What a great mom she has!!


  3. I think you’re the only blogger in the series who knew the furniture situation in a dorm room.

    I was a hall director for two years (I now work in a different office at a university) and one of the rules was that the furniture didn’t leave the room. Kids could do what they wanted when it came to arranging it, but it stayed in the room.

    Great series! I’ve actually thought about doing a showcase of dorm rooms from the university where I currently work. 🙂

  4. kenz you kill me with how cute these rooms are turning out. I am literally reconsidering my entire room next bc I like this one so much. wahhhhh

  5. I think you are pretty much a genious. where where you when I was enterting college? I love how you find great deals and quote the prices. I do think that urban coat rack is pricey though. There are a lot on ebay for much less, (I recently bought one of great quality) but then I guess you’d have to paint it blue!!