College is about learning, growing, and discovering yourself as an adult, and honing a sense of style is a key component of that growth. Keep interests on display as conversation starters; framed family photos, favorite books and movies, and sports memorabilia all let you showcase your tastes and help break the ice.
Small enough to fit under a lifted bed or in a dorm closet, this four cube organizer can be a miniature dresser for the well organized, a bookshelf in a study area, or the focal point of shared space in a dorm or apartment.
You can brighten up the walls with these self adhesive decals, but they’re also an easy and clean way to add a pop of color onto appliances or other furniture.
Dorms, especially freshman-oriented dorms, are rarely the nicest, most up-to-date living spaces, so being prepared for warm summers, cold winters, and everything in between can make for a cozier living situation. These Oeko Tek certified 100 percent cotton sheets help you stay cool and comfortable, even if the A/C situation has you steamed.
Body pillows are a staple comfort of the college crowd, making XL Twin beds cozier. If you’ve knocked your funny bone against a brick or block wall one too many times, grab a soft, cuddly friend to cushion the blow, and add some personality to your space.
Solid colored and subtle, this quilt is neutral enough to go with a variety of sheets, shams, and pillow cases, so your style can shift and grow over the years without having to change everything.
Extremely customizable, clip-on collages let you add photos, ticket stubs, and other memorabilia onto this easy-to-display photo wall. Though it’s designed to be permanently mounted, there are plenty of design hackers out there with ideas for keeping art on display without sacrificing your deposit; using zip ties, Command hooks, or BluTac, there’s always a way to showcase your aesthetic without your wallet suffering too much for it.
Making every inch count is essential in dorms or student housing. Closet organizers are a great way to keep out-of-season gear, like boots and coats, easy to find when the weather changes.
Designing your entire design theme around your major is a stretch — unless you’re in art, theater, or music –but the STEM students can get in on the action with these anatomy-themed coasters.
Plastic laundry baskets aren’t exactly fashion-forward, and the shorter you are, the harder they are to lug to the laundromat. This backpack-style laundry bag can hang on a cute hook near your bed or bathroom, and makes it easy to lug your laundry when it’s time to wash. Bring along a pair of Ziploc bags — one with powdered or pod detergent and one with quarters — and you’re all set.
Sensory tools are great for de-stressing, and having something soft and furry to squeeze can help lower stress levels during exam season. Since most student housing has strict no-pet policies, grabbing one of these faux fur blankets may be the easiest way to have something to pet without sacrificing your deposit.
Rep your hometown teams or show you’ve adopted the local squad with some area-themed merch. Join the local LAN parties or collegiate teams to get plugged into the gaming scene; you’re sure to meet everyone from tabletop to FPS players if you look around.
The Pillowfort line is designed to be kid friendly, but there’s no reason to think they’re kid exclusive. With fun pops of color and tons of personality, you’re sure to find something to put a stamp on your whole design theme, like this rainbow bath rug.
Keep clutter contained! A see-through bin makes it possible to know at a glance where you’ve stored your books, towels, or even snacks.
Patterns hide stains better than solid color bed sets, so if you’re concerned about highlighter marks, makeup mistakes, or technicolor drink spills, something with a busy design is your best bet.
Brighten up any space with some cheery string lights; you can even swap them out seasonally at Target, with summer cactus, fall pumpkin, and winter snowflake themes.
A communal kitchen makes it easy to bond with roommates over shared recipes, whether you’re heating a frozen meal or cooking from scratch. Leave out a plate of cookies for snacking and you’ll make some new BFFs in no time.
Building healthy habits starts with having a beautiful space, and making time for sit-down meals is an important skill to learn during the rush of college life. A pretty placemat, some comfortable silverware, and your favorite dishes all set the scene.
A busy pattern with tons of color keeps a bathroom from needing to be too “matchy.” With plenty of options for complimentary colors, this plant-themed shower curtain vibes with a ton of different accessories, like rugs or towel sets.
Stackable storage makes it easy to capitalize on every inch of space, and see-through bins help prevent surprises, especially in the kitchen or bathroom. These organizing tools are great for storing everything from seasonings and spices to makeup and skincare.
Frameless art with bold colors and sharp geometric lines cut through the bland, overpowering neutrality of white walls and neutral colors. These three-piece sets are effortlessly stylish enough you’ll keep them even after dorm life.
Classic comic fans don’t have to lug their entire collection with them to school to display their favorites. Small enough for dorm living but certainly not subtle, this color changing LED night light helps you navigate your way through a new home more easily at night.
Contributing design to shared spaces, like a kitchen, can brighten up a space, but for big purchases, like furniture, it’s always a good idea to consult roommates before springing huge changes on them.
Getting used to the sounds in a new city can take a while, and it can be a struggle to rest and drift off to sleep. A tranquil waterfall sound machine is nice, but a real mini fountain can be pleasant to watch as well as listen to.
Lightweight but sturdy, this portable three-shelf bookcase can fold up and slide under the bed when it’s not needed, and unfolds in a snap when it’s necessary again. With no tools required and light enough to be moved by a single person, it’s an easy way to bring along favorite books or movies from home on your new adventures.
These vintage-inspired travel posters intersect so many interests, from space exploration to art and design and more, that they’re an awesome choice to decorate common areas. The eight-print pack is large enough to create a unifying theme or art wall, whether they’re framed or simply tacked to a wall.
Watching the seasons change in a new city can be an exciting time, and making new holiday memories and traditions as an adult is one of the best parts about having your own place. Just one or two decor pieces in fall colors can make your space cozy and cheery when the weather gets chilly.
If you’ll be in a dorm with an en-suite bathroom, you’ll have to provide a lot of essentials yourself. A shower caddy, waterproof radio, and this cute accessory set all combine to make it homey.
Dorms usually include desks, but you’re often on your own for seating. You’ll probably spend quite a bit of time doing homework — or watching Netflix — in a computer chair, so pick something with good ergonomics.
If you live in a college town and plan ahead, you can buy one of these used when students move out at the end of the school year and save it for August, otherwise they’re available year round online. Great for anyone with food allergies or religious considerations that require them to keep certain foods from mixing, they’re also useful if your roommates keep eating your last snack without asking.