For some dorm dwellers, interior design means a cork board, a bean bag chair, and an Animal House poster held up with unreliable sticky tack. The students living in these residence halls went above and beyond to decorate their homes away from home. Even if your college days are long behind you, these photos will make you nostalgic for loud roommates and instant ramen.
1. THE DORM FIT FOR ROYALTY // UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
Competing to have the most extravagant room in the residence hall has become something of a tradition at Ole Miss. Freshmen roommates Lindy Goodson and Abby Bozeman gave their classmates a run for their money this semester when photos of their luxurious digs (pictured above) went viral. According to Buzzfeed, their supplies were sourced from spots like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Pottery Barn, and local furniture and antique stores. The headboards, pillows, and bed skirts were all custom-made. If the furnishings survive a year of freshman shenanigans, Goodson and Bozeman plan to reuse them and give some away as hand-me-downs.
2. THE FAIRYTALE READING NOOK // SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY
Interior decorator Dawn Thomas’s body of work includes some seriously fabulous dorm rooms. Each fall she works with students from southern colleges including the University of Alabama, the University of Georgia, and Southern Methodist University. In this SMU space she transformed in Fall 2014, the lower bunk served as a cozy seating area complete with fairytale string lights. After living with that for a semester or two, we imagine it would be hard to study any place else.
3. THE HOTEL UA // UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
Thomas was also the mastermind behind this sharp look. According to her, furnishing a college dorm to look like an upscale hotel was easier than you might suspect. She wrote on Facebook, “Alabama has the smoothest dorm move in, it should be a model for all dorm move ins.”
4. THE COZY CORNER // ABILENE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
The collection of pillows on display on this bed give the room some serious character (though it might make getting any actual sleep a challenge).
5. THE MINIMALIST PARADISE // LIBERTY UNIVERSITY
The resident of this dorm has found a way to make the white, sterile walls of her building look high-fashion. String lights wrapping above and around the loft bed soften up the room, while house plants add pops of color.
6. THE DREAMY RETREAT // HYPER ISLAND
This student enrolled in Hyper Island’s Motion Creative program in Sweden knows the importance of good lighting. The gorgeous light fixture creates the perfect atmosphere for curling up and taking a nap between classes.
7. UNDERGRAD CHIC // UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
Out of context, it’s hard to believe this picture was taken inside a college dorm. The fun and sophisticated style of this Ole Miss room wouldn’t be out of place in a luxurious apartment.
8. PRETTY IN PASTEL // UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
If the room above looks like it’s been ripped from a furniture catalogue, that’s because it belongs to a student with a mom in interior design. With a playful mix of patterns and a splash of midwestern charm, it’s easy see to this room becoming the envy of UAB’s Blazer Hall.
9. THE BOHEMIAN HAVEN // UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
Any dorm room with a lava lamp and a tapestry can pass for “bohemian,” but this room at the University of Arizona takes the style to new heights. Hopefully the Christmas light/billowy fabric combination is up to the building’s fire code.
10. THE SNUG SANCTUARY // UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
It pays to have a parent with an eye for design. When Julia Grant moved into her Ole Miss dorm room this semester, her interior decorator mom lent her expertise to revamp it into the comfiest space on campus. The beds have been topped with fuzzy throw blankets and pillows perfect for snuggling up with at the end of the day. Even the furry rug looks more comfortable than the beds most college students are forced to sleep on.
11. ON-CAMPUS LUXURY // UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
This photo further proves that no college does dorm decorating better than the University of Mississippi. From the monogrammed pillows to the plush headboards, the glamorous design features in this room would make it hard to feel homesick.
Header/banner images courtesy of Instagram.