18 Affordable Decor Pieces for the Coolest Dorm Room Ever

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A college dorm room desk with organizers

The Spruce / Illustration by Amy Sheehan / Wayfair

Textbooks are ordered and your residence hall assignment just came through: now it's time to start designing. The perfect dorm decor meets two requirements: you adore it and it fits perfectly within your budget. Your dorm will be the most important space for you over the next year (if not longer) and therefore you deserve to feel great every time you set foot in it. Part of that comes from decorating a space that reflects your personality and what matters most to you.

School can be expensive and outfitting a new bedroom can cost a fortune. Luckily, there are plenty of chic decor pieces that'll make your dorm the best in the hall but won't hurt your wallet. Shop these affordable pieces below to curate your dream dorm room.

Latitude Run Briar Backrest Pillow

Green backrest pillow

Wayfair

In a dorm, it's likely your bed will be more than just a place for sleeping. It'll probably be a spot where you read, snack, or watch your favorite series, too. Keep yourself comfortable with a chic backrest pillow that'll keep you upright and well supported.

Urban Outfitters Frameless Squiggle Wall Mirror

Squiggle mirror

Urban Outfitters

Sometimes the easiest way to infuse style into a room is by taking a basic piece of decor and finding it in a unique shape or color. This mirror is the perfect example. It serves a functional purpose but also looks fun hanging up on your wall.

Urban Outfitters Icon Photo Clip Banner

Moon photo clips

Urban Outfitters

Whether it's special moments from this summer or family memories, having photos nearby during college can help keep homesickness at bay and remind you of good times when you're stressed. Rather than tape, opt for a pretty hanging method, like this moon clip banner.

Urban Outfitters Kaja Tapestry

Orange and blue tapestry

Urban Outfitters

Dorms are pretty limited in terms of modifications. You might not be able to paint or even nail up artwork, but tapestries are fair play. Find a pretty pattern you like and drape it on your bedside wall or above your desk. It's not too expensive and it really pulls a room together.

Etta Avenue Ember Task Chair

Desk chair in aqua blue

Wayfair

In cookie-cutter dorm rooms, there are a few things that can be customized to make it feel more like you. Typically, one of those items is a desk chair. Find a balance between comfortable and aesthetically pleasing—such as this swiveling option—and your dorm will gain some style points.

Rugs.com Soft Solid Shag Collection Area Rug

Gray rug

Amazon

Don't forget the rugs! Many dorms have cold, hard cement floors or not-so-cute carpeting, to solve this issue, a cute area rug can make a huge impact. Opt for darker neutrals (which look cleaner for longer) or find a pattern that livens up the room.

Costa Farms O2 for You House Plant Collection in 4 in. Decor Pot (3-Pack)

Three plants in a row

The Home Depot

Your biggest asset in college is time, so you don't want to be spending it worried about plants. But, these leafy additions can brighten a room and bring some much-needed life into a small space. Choose more low-maintenance plants to keep it easy for you while still bringing in the benefits.

TreasureDeluxeGoods Self Watering Disco Ball Planter

Disco ball planter

Etsy

To go with those said low-maintenance plants, you need a gorgeous planter, and it's hard to think of a better option than one that looks like a disco ball. It's the perfect pop of sparkle for a dorm room as it reflects light and becomes a perfect home for your newfound green friends.

Opalhouse Designed With Jungalow Velvet Dimensional Chevron Pattern Square Throw Pillow Gold

Yellow throw pillow

Target

The easiest way to bring some color into a bland dorm is through throw pillows. You don't have to overload a small bed with them, but just one or two can work wonders. Even if you prefer a minimalist palette, it can be fun choosing an accent color and finding pillows in that shade.

Fardes Danish Pastel Room Decor Aesthetic, 50pcs

Collage kit

Amazon

Another fabulous way to deck out your walls that won't require paint or nails is a collage set. There is a wide range of colors and themes to pick from and once hung up, they instantly upgrade any blank space into an inspiring gallery wall.

Wrought Studio Isabel Metal Desk Organizer (Set of 4)

Gold desk organizers

Wayfair

A messy desk never fails to cause unneeded stress. To help wrangle errant papers, pencils, and homework, get a set of desk organizers that match the theme of your room but more importantly allow for a tidy workspace (at least most of the time). Drawer organizers are a great investment, too.

Room Essentials Dots Printed Plush Throw Blanket Black/Ivory

Black and white dot throw blanket

Target

Blankets may seem to serve one purpose: keeping you warm. The right throw blanket though can be a style statement. This bold, modern version looks so fun thrown across a couch or laid across the foot of your bed. Think about little touches like this to really bring character into your room.

Twinkle Star 200 LED 66 FT Copper String Lights Fairy String Lights

amazon string lights

Don't let the cold fluorescent overhead lighting put a damper on your style. Set some ambiance with the help of string lights. They're relatively affordable and look lovely when hung up around a room or against a wall with pictures styled between. It feels cozy, especially on chilly fall and winter nights.

Dormify Daisy Charging Storage Cube

Charging storage cube

Dormify

Tuck away ugly cords or piles of paperwork in these sleek bins and use the top as a bedside table. The colors and silhouette are simple but sophisticated. Because it compiles a couple of furniture items into one, your room will feel less cramped and look well curated.

Maxvolador Industrial Table Lamp

MAXvolador Industrial Table Lamp

Amazon

Lighting can make or break the atmosphere of a room. Not only that, but the wrong lamp makes it hard to read, study, and create. Pick a bulb that sheds enough light, or one like this, which can be dimmed and brightened to your liking. Its USB ports make it easy to charge up your phone, too.

The Container Store 24-Pocket Mesh Over The Door Shoe Bag

Over-the-door shoe rack

The Container store

Dorm decor should ideally multitask meaning that it should look good but also serve a purpose or not take up tons of space. This over-the-door organizer is a lovely way to ensure you won't be tripping over all your shoes every time you come home; at the same time, its simple color and design make it pretty to look at.

BedShelfie The Original Bedside Shelf for Bed

BedShelfie The Original Bedside Shelf

Courtesy of Amazon

Not every dorm has enough space for a bedside table, but you still need a way to have your necessities close. A sleek bedside shelf like this latches onto the bed frame and takes up virtually zero space. With the right objects (think: a cute mug, crystals, a notepad), it can look pretty stylish and double as decor.

Mahli Galaxy Essential Oil Diffuser

Metallic diffuser

Urban Outfitters

Most universities won't allow candles or any kind of burning scent products in rooms, so a diffuser is the perfect solution—especially one that looks good. Because of the metallic finish, this option feels like a piece of decor rather than just a functional item. Reed diffusers are also a cute way to bring in some shape (and a nice fragrance) into a dorm.

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