Dorm décor has come a long way since I lived on campus. It’s not just the more attractive selections and clever storage solutions available today; there are also a number of services to streamline the process.

Retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond offer a variety of options, such as a college registry, the ability to shop close to home and pick up your stuff near school, helpful checklists, access to a college expert and a chance to shop now, ship later. With choices like these, decorating your dorm room can be more efficient than ever before.

It helps to know that most dorm-room mattresses need extra long sheets, which are available at Bed Bath & Beyond where bedding styles come in categories, like Glam, Cozy NoMad, Relaxed Living and Americana to help narrow down the assortment.

For added comfort, other considerations include mattress protectors, pads and pillows to soften the average dorm-room bed.

The inevitable lack of storage when living on campus forces students to get creative with their living space. Luckily, a number of quick fixes exist, including under-the-bed and over-the-door organizers that can hold clothing, school supplies, cosmetics and toiletries.

For instance, a convenient bedside caddy with multiple pockets keeps shoes and other essentials within reach.

In the closet, spacesavers like the Double Hang Closet Rod and Studio 3B™ Slim Grips™ Hangers let you stash more of your stuff.

A shower curtain with mesh pockets stores toiletries so they won’t take up extra counter or floor space.

Decorative elements, like a faux fur area rug, statement pillows or a wall tapestry let you express your personal style in a standard dorm room.

Lamps that double as charging stations and surge protectors for electrical devices are among the more practical products for laptops and phones.

A floor lamp with a slim profile and convenient shelves becomes the perfect nightstand in a tight space.

Flexible furniture makes a difference in a dorm room, from colorful ottomans to the Modern Butterfly Chair that folds up when not in use.

Some fun wall décor can make a basic dorm feel like a home away from home with items that can be easily removed like stick-on wallpaper and 3M Command Hooks.

Looking ahead

At Kirkland’s, they’ve tapped into some trends for affordable, small-space decorating that can easily transition from dorm room to senior apartment with their Back to Campus collection.

One way to spruce up your temporary digs is by adding metallics. With a variety of shimmering tones, this trend that’s popping up on everything from furniture to picture frames will brighten any dorm room.

Next, you can never go wrong with nature even when it’s an imitation. You can bring the outdoors in with faux-floral arrangements and mini succulents that start at just $8.99. The fact that busy college students get to enjoy these accents without watering them is an added bonus.

Neutrals are another safe bet that can have a soothing effect. These softer tones won’t clash with a roommate’s décor and you’re less likely to tire of them during your college stay because they blend with everything.

The last trend they recommend is stylish storage, like a rolling cart with trays or woven baskets adorned with adorable pom poms. Chic pieces that serve a purpose let you make the most of your living space.

For more inspiration, online sources like Mitzi Lighting and Dormify feature a variety of innovative items that are ideal for those living in college dorms, apartments or any small space.

In fact, the latest products are so impressive they don’t have to be limited to temporary living quarters or modest digs. Instead, they can go practically anywhere in the home.

For information, go to,, and

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at



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