The Best Modern Dorm Decor Under $100

While everyone’s college experience is different, one thing has remained largely the same over the years: dorms. Walk into any college campus and you’ll likely encounter the same 230 square feet with the same white cinderblock walls, cold linoleum floors, and bulky furniture that will make you feel a little sad. As most dorms tend to be, we like to think of them as blank canvases for your own creative expression. Because you’re prohibited from making permanent changes (lest you’re on the wrong side of your AR), decorating your dorm is an adventure in its own right. Consider flexibility, color and comfort as the main keys to success – after all, it’s your home away from home, so your dorm room should be a place you’ll love to come back to after long days in class. Another major key? Affordability. To help you make the most of your dorm room without taking out another student loan, we’ve rounded up our favorite dorm decor items under $100. To find out more, visit the Design Milk Shop!

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

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society6 pillowcases

Without wanting to be dramatic, bedding can make or break your dorm room decor. To combat the criminal lack of color, opt for something with a vibrant and stimulating print like these pillowcases by Budapest-based artist Sandra Poliakov. The cushions’ abstract shapes and bright color palette immediately grab your attention, injecting lightness and playfulness into your decor. To complete the look and maximize the positive vibes, get the matching duvet cover here!

$50.25 (25% off!)
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gingko diffuser lamp

Most dorms don’t allow students to have candles in their rooms – but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a solid air freshener. Enter this diffuser lamp from Gingko. Just the kind of multitasking dorm life requires, the Smart Diffuser Lamp is a portable light fixture and oil diffuser in a compact, modern package. Featuring 3 light settings, a built-in rechargeable battery, and a natural wood finish, this sleek lamp casts warm ambient light while gently diffusing your favorite scents throughout the room. Simply add a few drops of essential oil to the copper plate and enjoy!

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kirby areaware vase with flowers

Having flowers around is an easy way to make a drab dorm room feel more like home (did you take our crash course in biophilic design?) – we recommend opting for a bouquet of flowers that will stand the test of time without any maintenance. The Kirby vase is the perfect base for any arrangement, with a unique organic shape that adds whimsy and curves to any corner of your dorm room, and even looks great as a sculptural accent. Choose your player from Kirby’s range of playful forms.

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claudia pearson cairn canvas art print

Inspired by a meditative moment by a river, the Cairn Ebb + Flow Canvas Art is an abstract reimagining of a delicate stack of river rocks. The piece features a bunch of organic shapes in a delicate balance, along with curvilinear details that bring a bold yet approachable graphic look to dorm walls. Hand-screened in illustrator Claudia Pearson’s Brooklyn studio, this modern canvas is ready to hang with its included oak wood hanger.

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tempered paper sticky notes

These dry erase stickers are an easy way to spruce up bland dorm walls and keep important notes and affirmations in mind. Just stick them on a smooth surface and when it’s time to move, they’ll peel off immediately without damaging walls or leaving any residue. Scatter them around your dorm room for little 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!

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flower planters with succulents

To add texture to your dorm room decor, check out the flower planter from Mind the Cork. Perfectly sized to accommodate small succulents (a low-maintenance plant option suitable for dorm life), this compact cork planter doubles as a storage container for smaller items. Something about the playful, artisanal aesthetic of the cork material also seems particularly suited to campus life, making it a fun and smart addition to any dorm room! Carry it on your desk for small succulents or school supplies, or on your nightstand for everyday staples.

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open spaces medium trash cans

Dorms are notoriously tight on storage. Not to mention, the storage space you have is often in plain view, exposing your clothes, snacks, and other dorm essentials, making the space more cluttered. Open Spaces storage bins are the perfect solution thanks to their opaque body that keeps all your odds and ends tidy and out of sight (you can easily add a label to the half-moon accents of the bins). They’re sustainably made, easy to clean and stackable too – what’s not to love?

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brown alarm clock

Sure, we all have smartphones, but there’s a reason why design lovers everywhere continue to love Braun clocks. Their modern, timeless look enhances any surface, and the reliable, user-friendly functionality makes them a trusted staple. We love the arched shape of the BC22 Alarm Clock and the high contrast clock hands. It’s the coolest analog clock around, and only requires AA batteries, freeing your bedside from extra wires and clutter.

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slime art print in large flowers in a large vase

This artwork print by London-based textile and graphic artist Els Jennings brings an energizing, psychedelic look to a tired dorm room decor. “This piece represents my love of color and beauty, form and complete obsession I have for plants and flowers,” says Jennings. Between the print’s wavy abstract floral pattern, overlapping shapes and fresh, complementary color palette – Big Flowers in a Big Vase brings good energy to your walls.

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Shopping for one of our dorm-ready decors? Show us how you style it and tag us @designmilk to repost on our Instagram!

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Alexa is a business writer at Design Milk. She lives in Miami, Florida, with her fiancé Alex and Phoebe, a retired greyhound. A lifelong art and design enthusiast, Alexa’s first stops in any new city are art museums. When she’s not writing about her favorite DM store picks, she can be buried in a book, watching reality TV, or venturing around her town with her partner and pup.

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