How to Make Your Dorm Room Aesthetically Pleasing & Homey

Dorm rooms! We all have em! Whether they’re a teeny double or a spacious single, making your dorm room feel comfortable and homey while also being nice to look at is a key challenge for college students. When I first got to Swarthmore, I was unsure of how to decorate my dorm room and how to make it feel less like I was on a trip, and more like I was actually living there. Through years of experience, I believe I have the answer in just a few simple steps!

Lighting lighting lighting! 

I am obsessed with fairy lights. They’re small, easy to hang, and give your dorm room a nice ethereal glow when you’re studying at night or having a movie night with friends! If you want a more colorful option, I’ve had friends use LED lights that change colors with a little remote. I also recently bought a speaker/projector that projects a night sky on your ceiling! There are many options for lighting that help to make your room feel cozier.


Swarthmore has an excellent poster sale usually at the beginning of every semester which will carry posters of movies, TV shows, bands, art, etc. I am obsessed with a wide variety of media so I absolutely love going to this sale and seeing what I can find! Your dorm will have tons of blank walls that you can cover with pictures of friends and family or your own art or posters of things you really enjoy! It’s nice to see something you’re really interested in hanging up when you wake up or go to bed and it’s a good conversation starter for when your friends come over!

Knick knacks!

I collect a wide variety of small knick-knacks that invade my desk, from a POP figure that a friend got me to a cool rock I found on a walk through the Crum woods. Collecting little treasures from your time at Swat will give your space more personality and is a great way to have little memories all around you!

Invest in your bed!

You will be spending a lot of time in your dorm bed sleeping and I think given that amount of time, it is vital to prioritize your bed and make it the most comfortable it can be. I highly suggest getting some kind of mattress topper to lessen the feeling of the springs and provide more support for your back! I got one at Target and I have used it ever since freshman year. It is so comfortable and has helped me sleep better overall. A nice pillow that supports your neck and head also goes a long way!


I personally love to study to music and I have found that putting on soft piano music or Studio Ghibli music really helps to calm me down and makes me feel like my dorm room is a safe space. Put on whatever type of music puts you most at ease to help make your dorm feel comfortable and more like home. Just relax and listen and cozy up under some blankets to feel at ease. 

Throughout my years of living in various dorm rooms, I have found that these five things help to create a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing environment to work and live in and I hope these tips help you out too!

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