2021 Dorm Room Trends: 8 Trendy Decorating Ideas

Introduction: Dorm Room Trends

As a college student living on campus, your dorm is your place of solace. You want it to be uplifting and comfortable, a room where you feel calm and collected, and space where you can recharge your batteries on low-energy days.

The decor you choose for your dorm room shapes the overall vibe. Personal preferences and needs vary greatly, but generally, you want it to look pretty and stylish.

So in this article, I’m sharing the top trendy dorm room ideas for decorating this year.

Dorm Room Trend Style 1: Boho / Indie Aesthetic

Made infamous by Coachella, the bohemian style embraces eccentricity, individualism, and creativity. 

The laid-back aesthetic incorporates natural elements, bold colors, elaborate patterns, and second-hand pieces. The color palette ranges from earthy tones to vibrant, eye-catching shades.

At its core, boho style could be summarized as electric. 

It's perfect for free spirits with an artistic streak. And for those who feel inspired to follow their heart when choosing decor pieces!

Let’s look at some specific decorating ideas that will help you capture this ambiance in your college dorm.

Macramé Wall Hangings

Influenced by the macramé crazed '70s, bohemian style and macramé accents go hand-in-hand. They're practically synonymous

The beauty of macramé is in its versatility. With an incredible array of patterns, materials, and color combinations—the possibilities are endless. There's nothing you can't macramé! 

Decorative wall hangings and hanging planters are but a few of many groovy ideas.

Should you ever find yourself in a crafting mood, macramé is not only easy to learn but also fun to DIY!

Textured Rugs

An area rug can do WONDERS to transform an uninviting, move-in-day dorm room into a space that feels like your home away from home.

If you're seeking a grounding presence you may lean towards a rug made from a stylish natural material, such as jute. But if you want more pep in your step, a colorfully designed rug bursting with personality might be the energetic aura you're after.

Wherever you land, a rug will add texture, warmth, and much-needed coziness. 

Rugs can be pricey, buuuut you can save some coin by shopping around.

Stay under budget by cruising flea markets, garage sales, swap meets, vintage shops, and local online marketplaces (OfferUp is popular in my area). HomeGoods is another great place to check, their selection of rugs is always changing and I find their prices are usually reasonable.

Vinyl Records

Decorating your walls with vinyl records is very trendy among the college crowd. It's a fun way to let your artistic side out to play!

This type of decor appears straightforward, but there are many ways to go about it. 

Will you express yourself by showcasing your taste in music, or will you curate records based upon a particular look? Do you want to display the record, the record jacket adorned with the album art, or both? 

You could even paint them for added personal flair! 

Don't worry about messing up or changing your mind later because vinyl records are plentiful and inexpensive. Find some at a local record store, a thrift shop, stored in your parent's attic, at a garage sale, on eBay, or on Etsy.

Round mirrors

Round mirrors are very much in right now. This fact of interior design cannot be understated.

From statement to accent pieces, the addition of a circular mirror (or three) adds softness to an otherwise angular space. The curved, organic shape helps balance the sharp lines and edges found in your average college dorm.

Even better:

Including a round mirror in your decorating plans is an easy way to brighten your room and give it a sense of airiness. 

Boho style is essentially a reflection of what makes you happy. So I'd say this decor idea fits the bill. (;

Dorm Room Trend Style 2: Plant Mom/Dad Aesthetic

The plant parent aesthetic is centered around all things plants. Acquiring them, raising them, and basking in the joyous rays of plant parenthood!

As far as decorating, neutral tones and earthy colors comprise the foundation of the color scheme. Shades of yellow and blue are often present to compliment the greenery of the foliage.

Below are some decor ideas to help inspire all you aspiring plant moms and dads out there.


Faux vines are easily one of the biggest dorm room trends of 2021.

Also referred to as ivy garland, decorating with these babies is a simple, yet highly effective way to enhance your space. 

You might hang curtain vines at the head of your bed for a nature-inspired headboard. Or you could strategically hang some in the corner to create a dreamy overhead canopy. 

You can get as creative as you want with them! With decorative vines, your bedroom at college will have the feel of a fresh, tranquil oasis–minus the hassle of controlling actual vine growth.   

I really love the faux vines that integrate fairy lights!

Succulents, Air Plants, and Other Hard-To-Kill Plants

The appeal of a dorm room full of greenery goes way beyond just the aesthetic.

Learning how to take care of your plant children and watching them grow is a rewarding experience in itself. So not only do they liven up your space, but they also have positive effects on your personal well-being!

Here are some low effort, high reward houseplants to consider as a student…

#1 - Succulents - SO hot right now. And with so many different types and their ease of care, they're an obvious choice for any fledgling plant parent. Here are some tips on how to successfully care for indoor succulents. 

TIP: If, for whatever reason, live plants aren't in the cards–take a trip to your local dollar store. You can usually score cute little faux succulents there!

#2 - Pothos - touted as a plant that's almost impossible to kill. These plants are very tolerant of all types of lighting conditions, even artificial lights, making them perfect for dorm life. See this care guide for more info on this trailing, leafy plant.

#3 - Tradescantia - richly colored and beginner-friendly! Also known as the wandering jew plant or inch plant, this flora is fast-growing and easy to look after. This article will show you how to best care for one.

#4 - Air Plant - no dirt required! Ever since I stumbled upon the existence of air plants I've thought they're just the neatest thing. They're extremely low maintenance and so fun to style as decor. See this care guide for all the details on air plants.

Tiered Shelf

Gotta have somewhere to store and display all those plant babies!

Because as your plant collection grows, your options for placement shrink. Open space becomes a scarcity and it would be helpful to be able to use your desk sometimes.

The solution: a trendy, dedicated plant shelf. 

Are there any unused corners in your dorm room? Fill the blank space with a ladder-style shelf or a more compact multi-tiered shelf like this. The pop of concentrated greenery will instantly declutter your bedroom and refresh the space.

Flower Garland

Flower garland with mirror
Credit: delaneybedrosian.com

The flower garland is another botanical motif to have on your radar this year.

Cheerful and pretty, this hanging decor is perfect for injecting different colors and textures into your college dorm. Adorned on even the blandest white walls flower garland is a bewitching statement piece.

Best of all: 

It’s dead simple to make your own decorative flower chain using fresh or faux blooms. This article will show you what I mean, it walks you through the steps to create a beautiful flower wall like the one pictured below.

Imagine how beautiful something similar would look in your room!

Final thoughts on trendy dorm room ideas

As I’m sure you noticed, there’s an overlap between the boho aesthetic and plantcore aesthetic. Decorating isn’t a science, so go with whatever’s calling your name! 

Lean into decor pieces you like and ditch the rest. Stick to one style, mix and match, or come up with your own look altogether. The choices are all yours to make and that’s the fun of it.

I hope these trendy college dorm ideas helped awaken your inner interior designer!

Charlie Lake

Charlie Lake

Charlie is one of the co-founders of college advice blog College Life Made EasyShe is a licensed massage therapist and a stretching enthusiast. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, reading, brainstorming ideas, and befriending old dogs.

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