Living in College: Decorating a Dorm Room with Minted

Nothing says college quite like dorm rooms! For today’s post, I’ve teamed up with Minted to show you how to make your dorm room as cozy and as YOU as possible — while still being on a budget. There are many wonderful lists out there of items you should bring — here is a great, comprehensive list (though I’d list to add slippers — you will thank me!). Today’s post is going to be focused on how to create a space you want to be living in. Quick disclaimer! Some of these images are from my junior room this past year but I am completely changing things around for my last year, so stay tuned!!

Having a Statement Piece of Art

If you’re going to splurge on one thing, I recommend a fantastic piece of art, and Minted is the place to go. Based in the Bay Area (so close to me!), Minted gives local artists a platform to share their art. There are hundreds of prints to choose from, and the quality control is amazing. After selecting a print, you choose a frame to have the print showcased in and presto! It will arrive ready to be hung. Having one stand out piece of artwork can transform a room, and I love that art prints are timeless — they’re something you can take to your first apartment and so on. A statement print will set a theme to your room without a lot of leg work. It will make it feel a little more put-together — a little more like home. I personally have been loving these location pieces — you’re going to see a lot of New York in my pictures below, it’s my favorite city!! I can’t get over this print, and I’m so excited to center my room around it this fall!

I Love New York Print

Here are a few of my favorite gold foil pressed maps — great for guys and girls!

New York City // San Francisco // Washington D.C. // Philadelphia // Chicago //  New York // California // Massachusetts // United States // Paris // London // Italy // France & more!

And some other whimsical favorites:

French Bulldog // Colorful Donuts // Ray Bans // Flowers // Dogs  // Pineapple //  Giraffe // It’s Raining Red

 DIY Frames for Under $10

I think creating a gallery with a bunch of framed prints is an easy (and inexpensive!) way to dress up a blah dorm wall and make it yours! Raid your local dollar store and pick out some frames to spray paint whatever color you want (I went with white!). Add prints, cards, magazine spreads, catalog clippings or postcards and voilà! Pro-tip: Kate Spade stores always have the cutest cards for free by the register, which is where most of these featured above are from.

Prints are Seriously You’re Best Friends

I save all of the cute cards, stickers, fortune cookie slips, and cutouts to add to my wall. The trick is lining up the edges so you have a straight rectangle or square, filled with a bunch of differently sized bits in the middle. Don’t worry about blank space! It feels a little odd at first, but it will look perfect when you’re done.

Clothespins & String Can Hold All Your Memories

A jar of clothespins and some twine or string will give you an ever rotating decoration where you can hang up photos and clippings, and switch them out to change up the look as the year goes on. I picked out some burlap flowers similar to these to mark the sides for a more decorated look. I love that you can update the photos as you make more memories!

Get a Rug!

It ties the whole room together and makes for the most perfect thing to sit on when you don’t want to mess up your bed.

Some favorites can be found here:

Navy Stripe Rug // Navy with Red Tassels Rug // Pink Stripe Rug // Light Blue Rug // Baby Pink Stripe Rug // Gold and Black Rug

Create a Memory Box!

This could really be a decorating trip for any room, not just a dorm room, but it was something I love. Annually, my mom and I try to make a girls’ trip to New York (hopefully, I’ll be moving there in the next year!). I had so many pieces saved, so I picked up a shadow box like this one where I added ticket stubs, museum brochures, business cards, gift tags, metro passes — anything and everything! I think making one of these to catalog all college experiences or pieces from around your college town could be cool too.

Create Labels & Utilize Storage Bins

Storage bins are the best!! I use ones like these. You can see here, I use some for winter items like scarves, gloves, tights, and the like (marked Accessories); some for non-perishable food items like oatmeal and granola bars (marked Snacks); and some for back-up tubes of toothpaste and hair products (marked Toiletries — though I do keep everything I use in the shower or daily in a shower caddy in my building’s bathroom). I love that the bins disguise the loose items and keep everything organized. I created these labels by writing on an index card and tying them with a piece of twine.

Keep Bookshelves Clean

This is just an overall tip. I find it so much easier to create a bookshelf space for all roommates to keep their books and school notebooks on. For reference, my shelf in the middle, my roommate’s was the top, and the bottom was communal space. It makes it really easy access for school materials, and you won’t risk losing your bio notebook or running late because you can’t find you copy of Shakespeare quotes in enough time.

Use the Space You Are Given!!

Dorm rooms are small, and not all dorm rooms are created equal. But from the photos above, I’ll quickly deconstruct how I used space:

I had one set of drawers — the first drawer I used for make-up and hair products. There was a mirror on the closet, and I would pull the drawer out to get ready. I kept my make-up brushes on the drawers for easy access. The bottom four drawers were used for clothes in this order: shirts, skirts/shorts, pants, workout clothes/pajamas.

I kept the shoes I wore frequently on the floor of the closet (I changed these as the seasons changed), as well as a pair of weights for in-room work-outs. In the back corner, I kept my laundry basket (like this one) and mesh bag (like this one) and a bin (like this one) of assorted cleaning supplies. I hung my robe, an umbrella, and a few bags on the closet hooks. I pulled out boots and Hunters during their seasons.

I rose up the bed with these (not all dorms allow them!!) and stored other clothes and shoes under the bed in these. These shoe storage organizers are also great.
USE THE SPACE YOU ARE GIVEN!! Maximize everything because it is possible to make a small space neat and organized.

Have Fun With It

That’s the most important thing, right? 🙂

I’ve linked some of the small pieces in my room and similar items that I LOVE here:

Have any other tips? Comment below!

XOXO,

-H

Gallery hanging c/o Minted.

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4 Comment

  1. These are good ways to decorate a dorm room. Everything looks really cute. http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

    1. Thanks, Courtney!! ❤️

  2. This is such a cute post, and I absolutely adore your room. I loved all the framed pieces and all the special touches along with the color pallet your room follows, everything seriously just flows in your room without being absolutely perfect. I really want to include framed photos and some of those collage boards to add more character to my dorm/apartment this year at school! Thanks for the tip.

    1. Thank you so much, Megan!! They’re so fun and easy to make — and a great way to use up cards from loved ones. Send me a picture of what you create, and good luck! 🙂

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