“Would string lights be a good accent for my dorm, or would they clash with my succulents? Should I spend a month’s paycheck on a PBteen duvet or find a bargain on one that will tear after one late night romp in bed? What the hell even is a duvet? Forget it, I have a date with a new season of Orange is the New Black.”
-Diary of a Mad College Freshman
We’ve all been there. Some of you are even there right now. One of the most exciting parts about college (aside from getting an A+ education, of course) is finally getting that first ounce of freedom by being able to decorate your dorm room exactly how you want it. The power to go with an all white, minimalistic chic space or a cozy abode with fairy lights and fluffy throws is all in your hands. With so many possibilities, it can be difficult getting started and finding good, affordable places to shop.
Decorating your dorm can quickly become an expensive and complicated venture without proper planning and knowing the right stores. Since I’ve been obsessed with decorating my dorm since I got accepted to college, I’ve done my fair share of research and have compiled a list of my top 5 stores that abound in the perfect dorm decor without breaking the bank.
Dormify takes the cake when it comes to getting inspiration for your dorm and shopping affordable decor. Their store comes with a free design plan that allows you to take a quiz and shows you really cute rooms that they think would best fit your style. You can then shop the products shown in the rooms. I easily identified a color scheme and theme for my room from the quiz. Even though I didn’t buy all of my decor from there, it helped me narrow down my search by far. My favorite products on there would be their decorative pillows (which come already stuffed) and their tapestries.
If you’re into the more mature, authentic living, New York apartment meets nature vibe, this is the store to shop. They have really unique decor that will transform your dorm from heavily used closet to Instagram-worthy hangout spot. Their duvets and quilts are on the cheaper side compared to their counterparts such as Urban Outfitters and Free People so I would definitely splurge on one here and it will last all 4 years.
Although more on the expensive side, even their smallest decor items are sure to pop in your room. If you’re chill and feeling the boho look, I’d definitely look here for some inspiration. They definitely have more mature-looking products that will make your dorm feel more like a nice apartment than a borrowed room. The great thing about UO is that they’re always having sales and you get a 10% off student discount through UNiDAYS so their products can quickly become affordable.
Etsy has hundreds of great stores in their fold, and they’re often buried beneath the more mainstream mega-stores like Target. There are so many cute handmade and vintage items that you can purchase from Etsy vendors who make their products with love. A lot of the time you can get things personalized too! Take a look through there and you’ll find a lot of what you need without feeling like your money is disappearing.
Ikea is your one stop shop for buying all your dorm basics. Things like duvet and pillow inserts, storage, and hangers will all be here for extremely affordable prices. Not much needs to be said about this place, it’s a must on your shopping list.
There are still way more stores to shop at that you should definitely stop by like Target and PBteen, but you should be able to get most of your decor shopping done with these 5 stores. The best strategy is to spread out your shopping among different stores and watch out for sales to get the most unique and affordable look! Speaking of looks, what is your dorm theme going to be this upcoming year? Tell me in the comments below!