The Hm Guide to Dorm Room Furniture and Decor

dorm room furniture

Spring is officially here! For some, that means more than just flowers blooming and sunshine. It also means wearing a cap and gown on graduation day and preparing for your next big adventure –  college!

Moving into your own place is exciting, even if that means moving into a small dorm room or college apartment. Soon, you’ll be meeting new people, working toward a degree and creating a home away from home. Plus, with move-in day only a few months away, there is no better time to start working on that college dorm checklist.

Shopping for dorm room furniture that fits your already crammed living space can be difficult. That’s why Homemakers is here to help with five college dorm room furniture essentials that are both functional and stylish!

Before-You-Shop Tips for Buying Dorm Room Furniture

dorm room furniture
  • Check with your college or university. Some colleges will provide students with furniture pieces like beds, dressers, and desks. Checking to ensure you only buy what is needed will save you both space and money!
  • Measure your furniture. Your space is limited, so pay attention to logistics. Prevent buying pieces that won’t fit in your room by measuring furniture. Contact your college and ask for the room’s measurements as well, including wall lengths and doorframe widths. That way, you won’t have any last-minute move-in day issues.
  • Communicate with your roommates. If you have a roommate, check beforehand to see if he or she is using a specific color scheme or pattern in his or her bedding and décor. By coordinating with each other, you can avoid creating a space that clashes.
  • Create an inspiration board. Search through your favorite social media channels for pictures of furniture pieces you love and create a mood board. This will give you a better sense of how the finished space will look and an idea of what you might be missing.
  • Prioritize durability. Over the course of the next few years, your dorm room furniture will be constantly moved from place to place. It will likely be spilt on, jumped on and bumped into a few doorframes along the way. Therefore, it is very important that your furniture not only be budget-friendly but also durable.

5 Dorm Room Furniture Essentials

dorm furniture

Whether you are living in a cramped 10-by-10 dorm room or sharing a two-bedroom apartment with four of your college peers, you can still make your space feel cozy. We’ve put together five furniture and décor essentials you’ll need to create a functional dorm room that looks and feels fantastic.

1. Futons for Your College Dorm

dorm room furniture

Primo International Tulsa Futon and Mattress

When it comes to living in a small space and making new friends, you can never have enough seating or places to sleep. That’s what makes a futon the perfect addition to any college dorm room or student apartment.

Futons and klik-klaks can be used as a sofa during the day and a comfy bed at night. They transition smoothly from one to the other, making them adaptable furniture pieces that are perfect for smaller spaces.

Plus, you can take your futon with you when you graduate college and move into your first off-campus apartment. More than ever before, futons are created to look stylish and sophisticated.



Whether or not you can fit a futon in your dorm room will depend on layout. Lofting your bed can help make space, making room for a futon underneath. Most beds offer this capability, but if lofting isn’t an option try hiding storage containers under the bed to make room for a futon elsewhere.

2. Study with Desks and Office Chairs

dorm room furniture

College dorm rooms are not just about socializing and entertaining friends. You’ll also utilize this space for late-night study sessions. That’s why having a small desk and office chair is vital.

When choosing a desk, look for a heat, scratch and moisture-resistant top that can withstand your laptop, coffee mug and writing tools. Also, desks that can be easily adjusted to fit different layouts and desks with storage space will save you money in the long run, as they are multipurpose.

Once you’ve found the perfect desk, it’s time to shop for a chair. Choose chairs with features like casters for mobility, fully padded seats for comfort and adjustable height for versatility. You might be sitting in that chair for hours at a time, so comfort is key.



Don’t forget to consider office ergonomics! Sitting at your desk for too long can cause fatigue and prevent you from being productive. How you position yourself, your organization and your surroundings all make a big difference in how well you work.

3. Bookcases for Textbooks and Storage

dorm room furniture

Since you’ll be so busy studying (right?) you’ll need a place to store all of your textbooks. That’s where bookshelves come in handy. Whether you are using every shelf for yourself or sharing it with your roommates, you’ll want to look for one that is versatile and able to fit in small spaces.

If you find that you have too many shelves but not enough books to fill it, then that’s even better! Add a drawer or decorative tray to one of the shelves so you can store your school supplies too.



4. Multi-Functional Storage Solutions

dorm room furniture

College dorm rooms are not known for being spacious or having ample storage space. To create more room and make your dorm feel well-organized, shop for multi-functional storage solutions wherever possible.

Want a coffee table in your dorm room? Try using a storage ottoman with a decorative tray on top. That way, you can use it as a coffee table, entertainment surface or as additional seating. Or, if you dream of creating a dorm room where friends can gather, we even have a coffee table that doubles as a foosball table!



5. Accessories and College Dorm Decor Ideas

dorm room furniture

Once you’ve found your main furniture pieces, it’s time to consider accessories! Your dorm room decor ties the room together and showcases your unique personality.

Shop for a rug that complements your color and decor palette. Brighten the entire room with a stylish floor and desk lamp. Choose bedding that is both trendy and warm. Cover your wall with photographs and wall art. No matter how you accessorize, make sure each piece adds function and makes a statement.


Shop All Accessories
Feeling Inspired?

At Homemakers, we have everything you need to create the college dorm room of your dreams. Check out our dorm essentials page for more ideas for styling and arranging your dorm room. 



Do you love your dorm room furniture? Is your apartment décor Instastylist-worthy? Show us your space using the social media buttons below. Make sure you subscribe to Hm etc. so you’ll never miss another post!

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