Taking online classes isn’t for the weak; if you’ve moved back to campus, it can be disheartening to be stuck in your dorm, especially when you’re so close to your classrooms. Staying home all day is, of course, not ideal, but it’s the safest way to keep your campus open throughout the whole semester — which means that you have to make your personal space the most comfortable and inspiring it’s ever been.
No more empty coffee cups sitting on your desk, and no more blank walls. You need to invest in your little nest, both financially and emotionally. Besides, the world is a scary place right now, so you may as well make your small shelter a comforting one in which to take refuge from the news. With that in mind, here are some simple cozy decor pieces that are guaranteed to bring some much-needed softness to your dorm.
- A comfortable reading pillow to help you study
Let’s face it: even though you plan to study at your desk, your back may get tired of sitting there all day. For those long study evenings by yourself, you’re going to want a little more support, and a reading pillow is perfect for that! These pillows are also called husband pillows, because they are supportive and have arms that wrap around you. They’re super comfortable for reading or studying in bed in an upright posture.
Reading pillows enhance the comfort of your bed by making it a cozy and inviting spot. They also help you feel supported and right at home when you wish you could be in your friends’ or partner’s arms. If you miss your significant other or your family and need some extra hugs, a reading pillow can make a difference in your day.
You could keep a reading pillow on your bed or place it in a corner of your room if you plan on putting together a study fort under your lofted bed. For a super affordable option, check out this $13 faux fur pillow from Walmart. For an upgrade, this $99 amped fleece boo pillow from Urban Outfitters is super soft! Alternatively, if you have space in your dorm and want to go all out, this $119 back cushion from Urban Outfitters seems like an absolute dream.
- Soft throw blankets and pillows to make your bed a comfortable (and warm) haven
If you’re attending college in the northeast, you know it’s about to get really cold. So, don’t wait to bundle up! Look for cozy throw blankets before the university’s heating system breaks down, again. I got this $60 mauve amped fleece fringe throw blanket from Urban Outfitters two years ago and it’s kept me warm ever since, but this cream tufted throw blanket is at the top of my wish list.
When you’ve had a long, hard day, throw blankets give you some much-needed comfort. You can wrap yourself in them and feel safe from the craziness of the world.
Throw pillows are another must for the many Netflix nights you’re about to have with your roommates on Saturday nights — no parties, everyone! This $40 round pintuck pillow from Urban Outfitters is perfect to add a touch of color to your bed, while these $49 rumi shag and tufted pillows are a little more neutral and soft-toned.
- Beautiful prints to upgrade your blank walls
Artsy prints help take your mind off the horrifying pictures you see on the news and focus on the big picture. They foster your imagination and set the tone for a calm and inspiring space, where creativity meets softness.
If you want your room to look cozy, I suggest going for soft tones like beige, cream, light blue, or millennial pink. Head to Etsy or Society6 to get some gorgeous, affordable prints and support small creators. FornStudio on Etsy has eye-drawing (and downloadable) prints to offer under $10. Society6 has beautiful options too, such as this $19 poster of an Italian phrase that means “Find Art Everywhere.” Some of my personal favorites also include this $22 arch art poster and this $31 “She’s Beige” poster.
- A floor pouf to relax on
If you’re putting together a relaxation space in your dorm with pillows and throw blankets, poufs are the perfect addition. If you’ve never heard of them before, poufs are soft, large, round or square cushions with no back or sides.
Having a comfortable cushion to sit on, aside from your bed and desk, makes your room a space you can relax in, not just study or sleep in. It’s perfect to sit on when you’re drinking tea in the morning, journaling, or calling a friend.
- Basket planters or hangers to showcase your favorite plants
Bringing a touch of nature into your room helps to bring you back to reality after a long day of online classes and virtual events. I find that setting ~earthy~ vibes in my room brings me stability and inner peace. But plants alone don’t make or break your space! You need some basket planters or hangers to put your plants on display.
I love this $39 three-tier hanging basket from Urban Outfitters, this $20 Nazar hanging pot and this $24 Terracotta Animal Planter from Anthropologie. For an easy decoration that doubles as an excuse for a DIY night, you can also learn how to make your own macrame plant hanger to give your room a bohemian chic look. But if you’re not the best at watering plants, go for a bunch of dry tail grass in a vase instead.
- A wooden wall mirror to check your makeup before class
Mirrors are amazing statement decor pieces to feature in your outfit selfies on Instagram. A woven mirror adds a soft, calming touch to your room that stands apart from generic, plain mirrors. This $24 woven mirror from Urban Outfitters is by far my favorite, but if you have a tiny dorm and want to organize your room, go for this $34 storage mirror from UO to hang your bags on for easy access as you run out the door!
- Trinket trays to hold your keys or jewelry
It’s no fun to be constantly looking for your favorite ring in a mess of textbooks and papers lying around. It’s super comforting to know where things are at all times and to put them on display rather than throwing them in big drawers. Do yourself a favor and get a cute small plate to put your keys or favorite ring in. I love these boho ones from Urban Outfitters. Anthropologie also has cute trinket dishes to display your rings and jewelry, such as this stylish $16 one with abstract female forms printed drawing and this one inspired by the sun on the horizon, worth the $14!
- A statement piece to hang on your wall
Again, no one likes a plain dorm wall! A statement piece can make your dorm look homier. I find that an empty space often feels cold and not personal, as opposed to one with a couple of original decor pieces. To make your room feel reassuring and soothing, you’ll want to go for fabric and woven hanging wall decor, as it has a traditional, simple, and earthy look.
Right now, my heart is set on this $16 rainbow wall hanging from Amazon! Rainbows are trendy right now, and for good reason. Their bright colors bring much-needed joy into our lives and foster good vibes.
If you want to go for softer tones, check out this $15 macrame moon dreamcatcher from Amazon to help you catch those ZZs. It can be hard to fall asleep during a pandemic, in the weeks leading up to an election, and while in school. But keeping on hoping and dreaming is crucial, and a good dream catcher is great for that.
Together, these pieces create the ultimate comfortable and soothing space. But don’t forget about soft string lights, rugs, and curtains for the finishing touches! The less plain and modern your furniture and walls look, the better.
Making your dorm a soft and safe haven for you to relax in will help you make the most of the last four months of 2020. Remember to take care of yourself through meditation sessions, walks in the city, or virtual hangouts with friends. Room decor is exciting, but it’s not a replacement for self-care. Happy Fall semester!
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