The Best Modern Dorm Decor Under $100 – Design Milk | Candle Made Easy

While everyone’s college experience is different, one thing has remained largely the same over the years – the dormitories. Step into any college campus and you’ll likely come across the same 230 square feet with the same white brick walls, cold linoleum floors, and bulky furniture that makes you just a little sad. As drab as most dorms are, we like to think of them as blank canvases for your own creative expression. Since you’re forbidden from making permanent changes (so you don’t end up on your RA’s bad side), decorating your dormitory is a very special adventure. Think of flexibility, color and comfort as important keys to success – after all, it’s your second home, so your dorm room should be a place you feel comfortable retreating to after long days in class. Another important key? affordability. So that you can make optimal use of your dorm room without taking out another student loan, We’ve rounded up our favorite dorm room decor items under $100. Visit the Design Milk Shop for more information!

Poketo’s Spectrum Wall Planner is equal parts decorative and functional – perfect for a college dorm room or home office. Each sheet of this poster-sized wall calendar is a different rainbow hue, adding a vibrant pop of color to lifeless brick walls. The oversized dial gives you an up close and personal view of the month ahead, so you never miss an important due date! Hang a month or an entire semester at a time for a colorful display that doubles as wall art.

Shop Now >>

Society6 pillowcases

Not to be dramatic, but bedding can make or break your dorm decor. To counteract the criminal lack of color, opt for something with a vibrant, mood-boosting print like these cushion covers by Budapest-based artist Sandra Poliakov. The abstract shapes and bright color palette of the cushions catch the eye immediately, adding lightness and playfulness to your decor. To complete the look and maximize the positive vibe, get the matching duvet cover here!

$50.25 (25% off!)
Shop Now >>

Gingko diffuser lamp

Most halls of residence prohibit students from having candles in their rooms – but that doesn’t mean that you have to do without a solid room scent. Enter this diffuser lamp from Gingko. The Smart Diffuser Lamp is exactly the kind of multitasker that living in a dorm demands. It is a portable light and oil diffuser in one compact, modern package. Complete with 3 light settings, a rechargeable built-in battery and a natural wood finish, this stylish lamp projects a warm ambient light and gently diffuses your favorite scents throughout the room. Just add a few drops of essential oil to the copper plate and enjoy!

Shop Now >>

Areaware Kirby vase with flowers

Having flowers nearby is an easy way to make a drab dorm room feel right at home (did you take our biophilic design crash course?) — we recommend opting for a bouquet of dried flowers to mark the time survived without care. The Kirby Vase is the perfect starting point for any arrangement, with a unique, organic shape that will add whimsy and curves to any corner of your dorm room, and even looks great as a sculptural accent. Choose your player from Kirby’s playful variety of shapes.

Shop Now >>

Claudia Pearson Cairn Canvas Art Print

Inspired by a meditative moment on a riverbank, the Cairn Ebb + Flow Canvas Print is an abstract reinterpretation of a delicate stack of river rocks. The piece features a heap of organic forms in delicate balance, along with curvilinear details that give the dorm room walls a bold yet accessible graphic look. Hand screen printed at illustrator Claudia Pearson’s studio in Brooklyn, this contemporary canvas is ready to hang with the included oak hanger.

Shop Now >>

Sticky Notes made from Temppaper

These dry-erase sticky notes stickers are an easy way to liven up boring dorm room walls and keep important notes and acknowledgments in mind. Just stick them to any smooth surface and when it’s time to take them off, they peel off instantly without damaging walls or leaving any residue. Scatter them around your dorm room for small pops of color, or arrange them in a tile-like formation for a colorful and functional wall statement. Plus, the dry-erase design means you can reuse them and save paper in the process!

Shop Now >>

Flower pot with succulents

To add some texture to your dorm decor, check out Mind the Cork’s Bloem Planter. This compact cork planter is the perfect size to house small succulents (a low-maintenance plant option suitable for dorm living) while also serving as a storage container for small items. Something about the playful, artisanal aesthetic of the cork material also feels particularly good for campus life, making it a fun and clever addition to any dorm room! Arrange it on your desk for small succulents or school supplies, or on your bedside table for everyday staples.

Shop Now >>

open spaces medium containers

Dorms are notoriously short on storage. Not to mention, the storage space you have is often highly visible, exposing your clothes, snacks, and other dorm essentials, making the space feel cluttered. Open Spaces storage bins are the perfect solution thanks to their opaque body that keeps all your bits and bobs organized and out of sight (you can easily attach a label to the bins’ crescent accents). They’re durable, easy to clean and stackable – what’s not to love?

Shop Now >>

Brown alarm clock

Sure, we all have smartphones, but there’s a reason design lovers everywhere love Braun watches. Its timeless, modern look enhances any surface, and its reliable, user-friendly functionality makes it a trusted staple. We love the curved shape of the BC22 alarm clock and the contrasting hands. It’s the coolest analog clock out there and only requires AA batteries, freeing your bed from extra wires and clutter.

Shop Now >>

Drooling art print in large flowers in a large vase

This illustration print by London-based textile artist and graphic designer Els Jennings brings an energizing, psychedelic look to tired dormitories. “This piece represents my love of color and the beauty, form and utter obsession I have for plants and flowers,” says Jennings. Between the wavy, abstract floral pattern of the print, the intersecting shapes and the fresh, complementary color palette, Big Flowers in a Big Vase brings feel-good energy to your walls.

Shop Now >>

Buying one of our dorm ready decor? Show us how you style it and tag us @designmilk for a repost on our Instagram!

This post contains affiliate links. So if you buy through an affiliate link, we get a commission. Thank you for supporting Design Milk!

Alexa is Commerce Editor at Design Milk. She lives in Miami, Florida with her fiancé Alex and retired greyhound Phoebe. A longtime art and design enthusiast, Alexa’s first stops in any new city are the art museums. When she’s not writing about her favorite DM shop recommendations, she might be buried in a book, watching reality TV, or going on adventures around her town with her partner and their pup.

Leave a Comment