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How to Decorate Your Maximalist Dorm Room

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

The minimalism trend just isn’t for everyone. White walls, pastel shades, and clear tables may lend to some really nice dorm rooms, but it’s not for everyone. If you don’t enjoy this trend of home decor, chances are: you would prefer maximalism. A maximalist room is full of color, things, and life. It’s a style that works toward expression, vivaciousness, and livability. If that’s what you want for your dorm room, this is for you.

Color is critical.

You cannot have a maximalist room with a plain white wall. Decide on a series of 4-6 complementing and contrasting colors – these can include shades of the same color and maintain the proportions of each. While maximalism is about letting go of control, consistency and cohesion are important to maintain a sense of aesthetic balance. 

In your dorm room, carefully select bedsheets, wall-cloths/tapestries, and floor rugs. It’s the big things in your room that should feature the primary colors of your choice. The less important colors should be in the accent items. 

Your inspiration should come from the things you love.

Books, records, photographs, and artwork are all examples of potential decor items. Things like these are infamously colorful and bring character into your room like nothing else can. Don’t just keep them in your room, display them. Maximalism is about expression and you can use your room as a canvas. 

In your dorm room, try pinning up pictures or print-outs of album covers on a wall or soft-board. If you have a larger desk, stack up a few books, and place other objects over this. Find a dorm-suitable way to hang prints over your bed – none of that cheesy stuff, something more meaningful and colorful. 

Keep things outside.

Storage in a dorm is complicated. With limited space, you’re not going to keep everything neat inside. And if you’re a maximalist, that works out perfectly for you. Minimalism has everything securely hidden, but sometimes that doesn’t work for everyone. Find ways to keep things outside. They’ll make your room feel more lived-in and practical. 

In your dorm, choose everyday objects that you need easy access to, purchase them in a color that matches your theme and decide a way to keep them outside. I, personally, prefer to keep my towel hanging outside, and so, I bought one that matches the color of my bedsheets. You may consider displaying your makeup. 

While you may be a maximalist, you could find yourself facing issues with your room, which is perfectly normal. No decor style is completely functional or practical. Each has its flaws, but you should know your way around them. 

It’s not difficult for a maximalist room to get cluttered and even messy. The best way to work around this is to live in your room for a while and then decide what inconveniences you. You don’t have to “Marie Kondo” things, but if something is causing more issues than contributing to your aesthetic, it has to go. 

Don’t fall into a habit of being disorganized. Maximalism is about expression and release, but there is order in that chaos, and you should not harbor too much of a mess or hinder liveability. 

Sometimes the best way to live in a room is to not live in it at all. Ensure that you’re not spending too much time in a maximalist space. Sometimes, being around too many things can make you feel stuffy and cramped. Try being in all kinds of spaces throughout the day. 

The maximalist style has no rules and is about the individual living in the space. On a basic level, fill your room up with things you love and represent. Pour your personality on the walls. Make your space a home. 

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Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.