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Start the School Year Right: 4 Trendy College Apartment and Dorm Room Decor Ideas

Back-to-school season is upon us, which means it’s college dorm decor season! Time to start shopping for all of your dorm and apartment essentials! Whether you’re moving back into the dorms, or you’re planning college apartment decor for your first-ever college apartment or house, you want your place to feel like home and be a reflection of you! You’ll need some fun decor ideas to make your space your own, and Campus Colors has a list of all the best trends in college decor!

Decor Themes and Ideas

  1. Flower Walls
  2. Tapestries
  3. LED and Fairy Lights
  4. Neon Signs

Flower Walls

A flower wall is a fun way to liven up your dorm or college apartment (and serves as a great content backdrop for Instagram or TikTok). Flower walls can take up as much or as little space as you want them to and can go anywhere you want them to go, making them great college wall decor.  While they may seem complicated, flower walls are not nearly as hard to create as you might think and make a great project to complete with your roomies — you can make a whole day out of shopping for supplies and putting the wall together!

There is more than one way to make a flower wall, but the processes are pretty similar. All of the components can be found in local craft stores like Joann’s Michael’s or even the craft section of Walmart. Before you do anything else, you’ll want to use a tape measure on the wall (or portion of the wall) you want to decorate to find its exact measurements. After that, you can take your pick of the different ways to create your flower wall!


The first method involves styrofoam and fake flowers. You’ll want to find a styrofoam sheet (or sheets, depending on how much you want or need) that meets your measurements, something sharp (like scissors or a knife), an optional hot glue gun and plenty of polyester flowers (a good rule of thumb is to get more than you think you’ll need — you might end up needing more than you initially planned). 


Start by cutting your flowers down to just the flower and about an inch of the plastic stem, and lay your styrofoam flat on the ground and lay your flowers on top in the pattern you like to get a feel for where things will go. Then you can start poking holes through your styrofoam where the flowers will go (leave a little bit of room to start, then you can poke more in to make your flower wall to appear fuller). As you start putting the flowers in the holes, you can put some hot glue around the stem in the back to secure it, and wait for the glue to dry before placing it against your wall!


The second method requires caged netting or fencing instead of styrofoam (make sure the holes are small and the netting is sturdy). Put your flowers through the holes of the netting, trim as needed, and if you want a little extra hold, use some hot glue to secure them in place. Always wait for hot glue to dry before mounting your flower wall. Once the glue is dry, mount your wall and enjoy one of the most trendy and unique college room decor ideas!


If you’re living in a dorm room, hang the flower wall over your bed or prop it up on your desk for a blooming view while you study. If you share an apartment or house with some roomies, keep it in the common area for impromptu photoshoots when friends come over!


Tapestries

Let’s face it, almost everyone and their brother has a tapestry. While it may be one of those tried-and-true college dorm decor ideas, tapestries can be so much more than just your generic college dorm wall decor. While many people opt for tie-dye or tribal-looking prints on their tapestries, there is so much more you can do with them!


There are plenty of tapestries you can find in different prints or patterns other than the ones you see on every Pinterest board or must-have list! Look for patterns like cheetah, snakeskin or cow print, or find ones with a slogan you like! Lots of retailers have branched out their tapestry selection, so you’ll have plenty to choose from. 


Tapestries can be funny, too, or show off your favorite shows and movies. You can buy tapestries with “the note” from Jersey Shore, the to-do list from Spongebob, or just about any show, movie, or pop culture reference you can think of. Tapestries can also be customizable, so if you can’t find one you like, plenty of companies offer services to create your own tapestry!


The fun thing about tapestries is that they can go anywhere in your space and aren’t specific to just one room of your pad! You can pick one you like specifically catered to your tastes for your bedroom or dorm, and use it as a room divider or an impromptu curtain. If you’re sharing an apartment or house, pick one out with your roomies for your living room or common shared space!


LED and Fairy Lights 

LED lights or fairy lights are another college room decor staple that remain trendy year after year. might sound like an obvious choice, but there are a lot of different ways to utilize them in your apartment or dorm!


If you’re living in an apartment or house, team up with your roommates to string them in the hallways and common area of your shared space, or even along the cabinets for a fun and funky way to light your house or apartment, especially if you’re hosting a nighttime gathering. Vote on a color you all love, or go for classic white LED lights for a glowy look that compliments most other styles of decor! If you’re living in a dorm room, fairy lights are one of those college dorm wall decor ideas that brighten up even the drabbest dorm. Try stringing the lights vertically in rows to brighten up your small space. Add a personal touch by using clothespins to attach photos and other mementos to the strings of lights. 


Neon Signs 

Neon signs aren’t just for your favorite bars and restaurants any more! You can find your own neon signage pretty much anywhere you shop for decor to add a little something extra to your space. 

 

Lots of different retailers sell neon signs with cool slogans and phrases that are perfect for your dorm or apartment. Whether you’re looking to put them in your kitchen, living room or bedroom, there’s a sign for every spot in your pad. Signs don’t just have to be words, either — you can find them in fun shapes like lightning bolts, clouds, the moon, flamingos, your initials — you name it, you can find a neon sign for it!


Neon signs also don’t just have to hang on your wall, either. There are plenty of smaller options that fit on your desk, coffee table or counter top as a plug-in or are powered by batteries! They can be used as a fun little decoration, night light or conversation piece! While a bigger sign may make a splash in a big, shared college apartment, smaller signs are perfect if you’re living in a tiny dorm, and they’re also usually less expensive, which your bank account will love. 


Neon signs don’t have to be expensive but can prices can certainly run the gamut. Some neon signs will be on the pricer end of the spectrum, especially if you’re looking to get one custom-made or one that’s large in size. If you get something classic that you love, though, your neon sign can have a life beyond college dorm room decor. Whatever you choose will definitely liven up your space and look great paired with LED or fairy lights. 


Whether you’re an incoming freshman searching for your very first college dorm decor ideas, or you’re a confident rising senior debating with friends about how you’re going to decorate your very first college apartment, we hope this list was helpful. Have an awesome start to your semester and enjoy decorating your home for the school year!