It’s that point in the year where you might be feeling overwhelmed about how you’re going to decorate your dorm room. Think: too many Pinterest boards, an array of magazine clippings, and endless amounts of online window shopping. A fresh new space is daunting in its empty walls and countless possibilities. You might also be thinking about trying to rack up the least amount of money on your new decorative purchases. Trust me, we all know how expensive dorm décor can be. That’s why I’ve rounded up a few options for affordable dorm decorations depending on your personal style. This guide allows you pick and choose your favorite pieces from each category because if you’re anything like me, then your personal style doesn’t fit neatly under one label. Whether you’re already moved into your new space or just about to embark on a move, check out these affordable dorm room decorations under $100.
For the plant mom
I like to consider myself a plant aficionado. Now, that doesn’t mean I know how to properly care for them. Just ask my sister — she will gladly explain how I killed a cactus she brought me from her recent trip to Arizona. Anyway, I find incorporating natural elements into any space is a sure way to make the room feel cozier and brighter. Although natural elements may be the preferred way to breathe life into your room, I also know that remembering to water every one of your little green babies can slip your mind. To avoid any plant casualties, I would recommend blending real and artificial plants into your space. Maybe consider using artificial greens to decorate your desk and bedside table. Then, have your real plants placed along a windowsill or near natural light. Wall art is also a great way to add pops of green without having to worry about any watering duties. I included a few small decor items that lend themselves to an earthly and plant-friendly atmosphere. Now, you’re well on your way to having a total plant mom dorm room.
Get this look: 3-Piece Canvas Prints of Green Leaves ($20), Plant Stand with Three Pot Holders, ($30), Cactus Stitched Throw ($20), Metal Cactus Sculpture ($17), Ivory Watering Can ($10), Artificial Potted Plant with White Pot ($2)
For the literature lover
There is something special about a warm, well-lit room and a cozy nook to enjoy a good book. I am definitely someone who loves to spend hours pouring over a new book or reliving a favorite. To craft the perfect book lover’s dorm room, you’ll need some shelves to showcase your beloved texts. You also may want a few wall art pieces that tastefully express your love for literature. One of my favorite items I’ve listed is the printed quote on vintage paper. The best part is that there are tons of options—you can choose the quotes that speak most to you! Adding string lights will give you that warm atmosphere while providing you that extra bit of light so you can keep reading even when your roommate has gone to sleep. Now you’re all set to create your perfect dorm room, fit for reading to your heart’s content.
Get this look: “Just One More Chapter” Throw Pillow ($10), Unframed Typography Book Page Print ($11), Hidden Floating Bookshelves ($32), “There Must Be Something in Books” Printed Quote ($10), 3-Piece Set of Framed Shakespeare Book Covers ($17), Book Pages Coasters ($15), String Lights ($5)
For the sporty chic star
On and off the field, these dorm decorations under $100 will set you apart from the rest. I’ll admit I’ve never been one to play sports. I do enjoy watching a good game of something every once and awhile. These items will bring the energy into your dorm room and get you pumped for anything. The wall hook in the shape of a golden bicycle will be a great addition to hold your go-to caps and all those keychains that usually end up lost. The burlap banner is a great way to add some flair and it is completely customizable. The possibilities are endless with this neutral banner. Maybe you’ll want to spell out your favorite team name or a cute cheer. Another way to decorate the banner would be to add buttons and other memorabilia from sporting events. (School sporting events always give out freebies!) I added some prints that will get your wall game scoring some extra points. Get your game on, and try out these options for your dorm décor!
Get this look: Vintage Vogue Tennis Cover Print ($17), “Rah!” Sequined Pillow ($13), “Hustle” Led Wall Decor ($13), Bike Wall Hook ($17), Burlap Banner ($6), Mini Marquee Mirror in Gold ($20), “Currently, Kicking Goals” Wall Decor Print ($5), Wall Decor Quote ($5)
For the modern minimalist
A minimalist space offers tasteful décor without being too overdone. I prefer the simplicity of minimalism with a few pops of warmth and color. Looking to get that clean and modern vibe? I think a real showstopper is a wall covered with the faux brick wallpaper. This décor piece will make a statement without cluttering the room. Simple wall art is a sure way to have a consistent yet modern dorm room. I chose a couple pieces of wall art that will breathe personality and maintain that clean look all minimalists love. I added a couple hints of gold to bring in warmth without comprising the bright and clean palate. With just a few items, you can bring your minimalist dreams to life.
Get this look: Woman Framed Wall Art ($15), Brick Peel And Stick Wallpaper in Grey ($40), “Inhale, Exhale” Printables ($12), Artificial Small Plant with Gold Pot ($8), Black and White Quilted Throw Pillow ($20)
For the color-obsessed
We’ve all been through that phase of our life where our rooms look like a hot mess of color and chaos. Don’t let your pre-teen bedroom horror story stop you from experimenting with color for your dorm room. Having a mix of colors add vibrancy into your space and give you the dose of positivity you need to start your day off right. Choosing wall art that uses color as a way to enhance the piece rather than call too much attention is a good place to start. Playing with a few bold colors will help your dorm room from turning into a dizzy collection of color. I chose a bright throw pillow and rug to add space between colors. I know color can be intimidating, but you’ll see that coordinating your color scheme will give you the bright dorm room you’ve always wanted.
Get this look: “Should, Could, Would, Did” Wall Decor Print ($5), Framed Abstract Watercolor Wall Canvas ($34), Solid Braided Jute Round Area Rug ($20), Solid Textured Throw Pillow ($20), Led Light Box with Trend Icons ($13), “Grow Through What You Go Through” Wall Decor Print ($5)
Opening image by Stella Pyles.
This post was originally published on September 28, 2018, and has since been updated.