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How to Decorate Your College Bedroom: The Essentials

by Pam Silvia

As we’re halfway through September (how time flies!), by now, most college students are hitting the books. Whether you’re “dorm-ing” at home or on campus, we think every collegiate needs a cozily furnished place for both hardcore studying and low-stakes chilling out.

College dormitories are famously small, so with that in mind, we’re bringing you the bare essentials for a modern college bedroom. For the ultimate “going away to school” experience, check out our checklist.

1. Comfortable Bedding

First things first: You’ve gotta get a new set of sheets. Not only will brand-new bedding help instill a sense of a fresh start for the school year, but it also offers you the opportunity to give in to luxury. Our rationale? Part of academic success is ensuring you are getting healthy sleep, and we can’t think of a better way to unwind in bed than with lightweight sheets and a plushy duvet.

Industry experts suggest a good thread count for bed sheets is between 200 and 800—in fact, the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet. Materials like linen, Egyptian cotton, sateen, bamboo, and silk contribute to a luxe hotel experience, not to mention that they are the most breathable for muggy nights. And as breezier weather approaches, you can’t go wrong with flannel.

As far as aesthetics go, we suggest sticking to neutral colors so that you can easily color-coordinate other bedroom accents without relying on your bed as a focal point or worrying about clashing décor.

2. Trendy Bed Accessories

While bedding is a non-negotiable element in any bedroom, we’d implore you to decorate your setup with cozy bed accessories, including throw pillows, a bed canopy, string lights, a soft throw blanket—and more.

Bed accessories pose an opportunity to color code your small college bedroom to give it some pizzazz. If you’re partial to a theme, throw pillows and blankets can help perpetuate it through shapes, textures, and patterns.

You may not realize it, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to throw pillows. In addition to square pillows, there are knot pillows, lumbar (oblong) pillows, bolster (cylinder-shaped) pillows, and round throw pillows—all made from varying materials, including wool, faux fur, and velvet.

3. Small Storage Furniture

If you’re rooming in a college dorm, then you’ll know (or soon learn) that maximizing your space is of the utmost importance. With this in mind, we recommend multipurpose furniture that also serve as hidden storage vessels for anything from books to vinyl records and from study snacks to seasonal bedding.

Sometimes, small college bedrooms don’t afford us ample space for an armoire, chest, dresser, or even a bookcase. Other storage furniture—especially two-in-one benches, ottomans, and poufs—can stow your belongings without contributing to a cluttered appearance or disrupting the traffic flow in your bedroom. As a bonus, storage benches, ottomans and poufs can modernize your room depending on their style.

4. Floating Shelves

Speaking of maximizing small spaces, a floating shelf or two can remove the need for a bookcase, thereby freeing up floor space in your room. If you appreciate trendy minimalist design, a floating shelf is a steadfast staple.

When accessorizing your shelf, we suggest colonizing them with only a handful of props: lightweight textbooks, a miniature plant, a catchall tray for your keys (and quarters for laundry), a candle, a framed photo or print, and maybe a home accent that goes with the theme of your bedroom décor. You know—whatever “floats” your boat.

5. Office Lighting

For late-night study sessions, office lighting is a no-brainer, so you better make sure you get the right kind. This lighting category covers many types of lamps, including task lamps, clip lamps, clamp lamps, or library lamps for your desk, as well as floor lamps to cast broader (yet still dim) lighting toward the rest of your room.

If you appreciate a more modern look, we recommend a clean-looking LED task lamp for your study space. Or if you prefer classic décor, a halogen or incandescent lamp with brass hardware might win you over. And depending on your study habits, you may opt for an LED task lamp with a moveable arm.

Whatever you do, make sure you look over any fixture safety labels for the maximum wattage rating and other hazardous warnings that could pertain to your workspace setup.

6. Desk Organizers

In terms of decorating a college bedroom, you might not think that desk organizers are necessarily conducive to a stylish dormitory. Well, we’d argue that a clean study nook helps foster a minimalist look that keeps clutter in check. Also, many desk organizers are stylized with aesthetics in mind—think gold mail sorters, painted ceramic pen cups, or geometrically shaped file organizers.

You can opt for an eclectic look by scouring individual desk accessories, or you may cultivate a uniform appearance with a matching set that includes everything you need, like a sticky-note holder, a magazine holder, a pen cup, a letter tray, and a mail sorter.

As you gear yourself up for the upcoming semester, don’t forget to check out our mattress catalog to see what our selection of beds can do for you this school year. Call our experts or visit our store today!