Minimalist Dorm Room Ideas + How To Make Your Dorm Room *Totally* Serene

Do you love the thought of a minimalist dorm room for college? Learn how to create a light, airy, and serene space with these simple and easy minimalist dorm room ideas!

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image of a bedroom with a small white bed and minimalist decor

Minimalist Dorm Room Ideas

When it comes to decorating your dorm room, less is definitely more. Try sticking to minimalist designs and using calming colors to create a relaxing and serene space. White is an excellent color for creating a bright and airy atmosphere. 

At the same time, natural wood tones and greenery can help warm up the space. If you’re looking for inspiration, read on for minimalist dorm room ideas that will make your college years a little less stressful and definitely more comfortable!

image of a white clean bedroom with minimalist decor and a plant

The First Step to Creating a Minimalist Dorm Room

The first step to creating a minimalist dorm room is to know what you’re working with. While you may not always have the chance to see you’re actual dorm room before you arrive, you can find out the size of the dorm room and what is included.

For example, most dorm rooms have a bed, desk, chair, and wardrobe. Some may also include extras like nightstands and lighting; however, this will depend on your university.

Once you know what you’re working with, it is time to start shopping and putting together the perfect minimalist dorm room.

image of a wooden desk in a white room with plants around it and minimalist decor

What should a minimalist bring to college?

If you consider yourself a minimalist and are headed off to college, here’s what to do and bring:

  • First, take inventory of what is already provided. Check to see what you’ll already have in your dorm room, then you won’t risk taking doubles.
  • Second, consider the essentials you use on a daily basis. Towels, toiletries, bedding, and clothing. You’ll won’t likely need more than a handful of outfits, so don’t bother bringing your entire wardrobe. Consider making a capsule wardrobe and then switch it up every semester.
  • Third, consider what will make your life easier. A small laptop or tablet may be all you need for schoolwork, saving you space and money. Also, a mini fridge to keep drinks and snacks, a safe for securing valuables, and a fan or an air purifier can be really nice to have. 
  • Keep decor to a minimum. A nice plant, a couple pieces of art, a throw pillo, small rug, and a chic lamp might be all you need to liven up your space, but keep it feeling calm and uncluttered. 
image of a small bed in a room with white sheets and neutral accents, and a wood peg board on the wall

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How do you make a minimalist dorm room?

Now that you know what to bring, it’s time to start putting your room together. The key to creating a minimalist dorm room is to keep things simple and functional.

First, start with the bed. Choose bedding that is comfortable and easy to care for. Crisp white linen or cotton sheets are always a good choice and can make you feel like you are in a nice hotel. If you want a pop of color, opt for a simple duvet cover or throw in a calming pastel hue.

Next, move on to the desk area. You may already have a desk and chair so keep things simple with neutral desk accessories in natural tones like wood, browns, and whites. Add a plant to bring in some greenery, and a chic wall organizer to hang the essentials. 

image of a white room with a wood and white desk and simple minimal decor

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Next, hang some simple wall art or add a few framed photos to personalize the space, but keep it minimal. Too many knick-knacks will make the room feel cluttered and small. You can also create your own dorm art to personalize your space – get inspired with this list of cute drawings

shop dorm wall art:

image of a desk in a bedroom with white walls and a minimal gallery of art and some plants

Finally, don’t forget about lighting. A simple lamp on the desk will suffice, and you can also add a string of fairy lights or an LED light to make your dorm room feel serene.

image of a wooden desk in front of a white wall with neutral, minimal decor and a rattan chair and gold lamp

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How can I make my dorm room unique?

One way to make your dorm room unique is by adding personal touches like a gallery of framed photos and wall art from home. You can also bring some accent pillows and throws in your favorite calming colors or patterns. 

While keeping things simple is essential, you’ll also want to make your dorm room feel like home. If you love animals, you might be surprised to know that many college dorms allow fish! Make your space even more unique and get a small fish tank for your shelf or desktop. Then, find yourself a little finned pal. 

Or, go patriotic with this DIY wood bead garland with stars. Whichever way you choose to personalize your space, make sure it reflects your personality and makes you feel comfortable.

After all, your dorm room should be a place where you can relax and unwind after a long day of classes.

image of a white wall with a wood peg hook and a wooden stool with minimalist accessories

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What do you do with empty space in a dorm room?

If you have empty space in your dorm, you can use this opportunity to create functional spaces for yourself. One idea is to create a dressing area for your accessories and outerwear. Use a peg hook and a floor mirror. This is a great idea if you have a space near the doorway to hang up your hats, handbags, scarves, and other accessories.

Another idea is to create a yoga or meditation corner with a yoga mat and a green plant. You can even set up a small tabletop fountain or small zen garden to bring a bit of nature into the space.

More Minimalist Dorm Room Ideas

You can find inspiration from anywhere when designing the perfect minimalist room. Look for photos on Pinterest, for example, of minimalist rooms. 

They don’t have to be dorm rooms specifically for them to work in your space. Here are some examples we put together to help you get started.

Neutrals + Pops of Pattern

image of a white bedroom with a small bed with a white and black dot duvet cover and minimal decor
source unknown

get the look:

Your bed is easily the focal point in your dorm room, so why not have a little fun with a duvet and throw pillows. 

You can easily keep your bedding neutral by layering different white sheets with a white and cream duvet. Or add a pop of color with jewel tone throw pillows or a simple black and white patterns duvet cover.

You can also add some charm with a homemade piece – try these easy DIY pillow covers

Add a Statement Plant

image of a wooden desk and chair in a room with a large green plant on the desk and a vintage Turkish rug

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Adding a statement plant for some greenery is excellent for creating a minimal yet serene space to call home. 

You can also hang some greenery from the ceiling or set potted plants on windowsills and dressers to bring the outdoors in. Plants not only look good, but they also help purify the air and can boost your mood.

Add Coastal Touches

image of a serene bedroom with minimal color tones and a white desk with brown wooden chair

get the look:

Go with a neutral color palette – white bedding, white walls, and a simple white desk. Next, add in driftwood accents and light blue coastal hues in a throw blanket. 

Finish with a serene photo of an ocean scene to keep your dorm room feeling fresh and minimal. 

Make a Hanging Mirror Gallery

Try hanging moderately sized mirrors around your dorm room. This is a great way to give the illusion of a larger and brighter dorm room. 

You can hang them above your bed or dresser or prop them against the wall.

shop mirror sets:

Add Simple Modern Art Prints

image of a white bedroom with a neutral color pallet and geometric wall wart

get the look:

Framed or canvas art prints are minimal but unique (as well as budget-friendly!), and they really jazz up your space without making it look cluttered. Look for prints in neutral tones and opt for one larger statement piece, or a gallery of some smaller pieces. 

Look for prints with unique geometric shapes which will go great against your dorm’s white walls. This is a great way to transform your room instantly while maintaining a minimalist vibe.

Try a Scandinavian Approach

image of a brown desk with a minimal stack of books, plant, and wooden shelf above

get the look:

Nobody knows how to do minimalism right like the Scandinavians. Glean some inspiration by searching Pinterest and using the image above.

Light wood tones, minimal touches of simple decor, and pretty branches can make a dorm room feel mature, calm, and peaceful. 

image of a wooden bed with neutral sheets and minimal art on the walls
source unknown

shop the look:

Best Stores for Dorm Decor & Furniture

If you are wondering where to find good (budget-friendly) stores that carry decor and furniture you can get for your dorm room, we have a great list for you! 

Our favourite retailers include:

  • Dormify – Cute lighting, small storage, bedding, decor, and more. You’ll find everything you need PLUS a free dorm checklist at Dormify.
  • Wayfair – You can find absolutely everything you need for a minimalist dorm room here including cute baskets, classic white sheets, and chic decor, for low and high budgets. 
  • Urban Outfitters – For cool art, boho-style decor (that’s still minimal), rugs, lighting, bedding, and more, check out the Home section of Urban Outfitters. 
  • H&M Home – For more trendy, earthy decor, textiles, linen bathrobes, and all the best baskets, look no further than H&M Home. Oh, and as a bonus, they offer student discounts! 
  • Target – Good, trusty Target is always a great place to source out furniture and decor to liven up your space. 
  • Amazon Home – Shop online at for all kinds of decor and storage solutions for your dorm room.
image of a woman laying on a bed with linen sheets in a linen pyjama set

Minimalist Dorm Decor Ideas: Final Notes

With some creativity and some inspiration from the minimalist dorm room ideas we’ve provided, you can easily create a minimalist dorm room decor that is both calming and serene. Just remember to keep things simple and clutter-free and focus on creating functional spaces for yourself. 

Use your empty space wisely to avoid clutter, and use light and natural accents to bring in nature. Don’t forget to add some personal touches to make the space your own. 

And most importantly, have fun with it! 


More Style Guides You’ll Love:

12+ Incredible Serena and Lily Dupes

13+ Websites Like Wayfair You Need To Know About

Effortless Year-Round Minimalist Wardrobe Capsule

How To Be Ruthless When Decluttering Clothes: Tips for a More Minimal Wardrobe


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