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If you're like most college students, living in a dorm is the first chance you've had to live on your own, without parental supervision. And even though you probably still rely on your parents for a lot of help, living on your own sort of officially makes you an adult. 

But does your room look like an adult lives there?

Sick of your college dorm room looking like a child’s room? Wondering how to be more grown-up? If you’re ready to give your place a whole new look, keep reading. Here are 15 ways to make your college dorm room look more mature.

Join Forces With Your Roommate

roommates chatting

This can be challenging freshman year when you’re matched with a stranger that has the opposite sense of style as you. But in your sophomore, junior, and senior years when you get to pick your roommate, coordinating should be easy! 

Choose a color scheme that you both like. Your bedding doesn’t have to match, but if you can choose items that look blend well together, your room will look cohesive and more sophisticated. 

Invest in Quality Bedding

Forget about that $50 bed-in-a-bag set from Bed Bath & Beyond. They may be convenient, but they don’t exactly scream sophistication.

If you want a grown-up room, invest in high-quality sheets and a coordinating blanket or down comforter. The more matchy-matchy your set is, the more juvenile it can look. 

And if you’re going for a mature vibe, you’ll want to bring in elements of luxury wherever possible.

Add Some Throw Pillows

women throwing pillow

Throw pillows come in every size, shape, color, pattern, and print imaginable. The trick is to add pillows that coordinate with your bedding but don’t match with it.

Combine as many colors, patterns, textures, and fabrics as you can to add depth and create an ultra-cozy feel. Your room will instantly feel like a comfortable, inviting space – and that’s exactly what a mature home should feel like!

Hang Actual Art on the Walls

It’s time to ditch the posters hung up with sticky tack. Adults don’t do that. Adults display artwork in frames.

Frame your art prints and frame your photos in lightweight frames, then attach them with Command strips. That way, they’ll be easy to move and reposition and you won’t have to worry about making holes in the wall. 

Add Some Wallpaper

There’s no reason to live in a dorm that looks like a prison cell. And just because your school won’t let you paint your own colors doesn’t mean you can’t give those walls a fresh new look.

With peelable, removable wallpaper, you can.

You can find peelable wallpaper in just about every pattern, color, and print you can think of. Pick a bold print to add some life to an otherwise dull room or opt for a solid, dark color to add some drama. 

Just make sure you know how to remove it when you leave at the end of the year.   

Make Your Desk Functional

A clean, functional workspace always looks more mature than a desk covered in a mess of papers, books, pens, and office supplies.

Add a desk organizer to hold small items such as staples and paperclips and invest in a few storage bins or document trays to keep important papers. All you really need on your desk is a laptop and a printer!

Choose Your Colors Wisely

Have you ever walked into an adult’s home decorated in turquoise, fuchsia pink, or bright purple? Probably not. Regardless of what your favorite colors might be, certain hues are much too juvenile for an adult’s home.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t incorporate some pops of color throughout your room. You should - just do so in little touches, such as in artwork, throw pillows, and small accents.

Add an Area Rug

area rug

There’s a good chance the existing rug in your dorm room is pretty gross. (They almost always are).

Instead of living with that nasty old brown carpet, add an area rug. The bigger the rug, the easier it will be to disguise that ugly floor underneath. An area rug will make your room look better and add a much more luxurious feel!

Get a Real Lamp

Forget the clip-on desk lamp and the built-in fluorescent panel overhead. Get an actual lamp or two.

Put one on your desk and put one of your bedside tables (assuming you have the space for a bedside table). If you’re really limited on space, a floor lamp is a great way to add ambiance without taking up too much room.

Get Some Double Duty Furniture

women shopping for ottoman

You might not have enough room to add a couch and a coffee table, but you might be able to add a few ottomans. Look for ones with lift-top lids that offer hidden storage. 

The more room you have to store and conceal things, the easier it will be to keep your dorm looking neat and tidy. And that’s the true mark of an adult!

Get Creative with Storage

Neatness is key, so try to create a storage solution for every item you have. Get rid of those milk crates and stackable plastic bins. Instead, hang wall shelves, add under-the-bed storage bins, or add hanging shelves in your closet.

In your closet, get some matching hangers so your wardrobe looks uniform. Add some decorative storage boxes to hold bulky winter sweaters or the flip flops you wear to the beach. 

The more your organizational accessories coordinate, the better your closet will look. 

Avoid Juvenile Themes

Hearts, butterflies, clouds, stars, Disney characters, unicorns … they may be fun and cheerful, but they are the exact opposite of mature. If any of these themes exist in your dorm, pack them up and ship them home – they belong in your childhood bedroom, not your grown-up dorm!

Decorate with patterns and motifs as opposed to specific themes and prints. You can still be quirky and show your personality, just steer clear of anything that looks like it belongs in a tween bedroom.

Keep it Clean

Do you know what adults do that most college students do not? They keep their home clean.

Make sure that trash gets put directly in the trash can, that empty beer bottles aren’t strewn about, and that dirty clothing isn’t in a pile on the floor. 

Assign a place for everything and keep everything in its place. The dirtier and messier your room is, the less mature it will look. 

Add Some Plants

variety of potted plants

Living plants aren’t just a trend – they’re a way to show that you’re responsible enough to take care of something other than yourself. And there’s nothing more adult than that!

Add a few plants in colorful flower pots on your windowsill or hang one or two from the ceiling. They’re the perfect way to add some life to an otherwise blah dorm.

Lay Some Ground Rules

Let your friends, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers and suite mates know that your room is NOT the one they can destroy. Some college students revel in the fact that their room is the party room – but you don’t have to be that person.

When you do invite people over, let them know that they can’t make a mess of your space and that they have to follow your rules! 

How Can You Make Your College Dorm Room Look More Mature?

With these tips and tricks, turning your college dorm into a grown-up space will be easier than you thought.

  • Steer clear of juvenile colors and themes. 
  • Add framed artwork, peelable wallpaper, throw pillows, and plants. 
  • Decorate with quality bedding, add an area rug, and add some real lamps. 
  • Create smart storage solutions, organize your closet, keep your desk neat, and keep the room clean. 

Follow these rules and you can bank on one thing: your mature room is about to be the envy of everyone in your dorm!

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Posted 
Jan 17, 2020
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