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8 Dorm Room Layout Ideas for Single, Double, and Triple Dorms

For many college students, it has been a year of navigating non-stop changes and learning how to learn at home with family members around. Now finally, they can slowly and safely head back on to their university campuses. And for many students, that also means returning to college dorm life, where they’ll be sharing rooms with friends and classmates.

As much as dorm living is a rite of passage, so is decorating a dorm room. It’s about finding a dorm room layout that works for everyone in a small space. While most dorms come with the usual suspects of college furnishings (desk, twin XL bed, dresser, and a bookcase or dresser), there are endless ways to personalize and arrange the space so that it’s comfy to live, relax, study, and sleep in.

For some inspiration and guidance, in this special edition of our Layout Guides series, we’re breaking down the best dorm room layout ideas that do it all while making the most of a compact shared space with roommates. Read on to get our tips for designing a stylish and functional college dorm room for one, two, and three people.

Can’t decide on your dorm room furniture? Check out our roundup of dorm room decor ideas. Also see our studio apartment layout ideas for the best small-space tricks, along with our design tips for small apartments for more inspiration.

Single Dorm Room Layouts

If you manage to score a dorm room all to yourself, lucky you! While it’s all yours, these rooms are usually smaller so it’s just as important to maximize the space. Here are two layouts ideas to do just that!

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Single Layout #1: Classic Dorm Room For One

This typical college dorm room layout divides the space into two optimized sides: One with the bed and the other with a desk and dresser for function. It’s a setup that allows for maximum floor space while still leaving room for underbed storage and a nightstand that provides extra room for essentials.

arieal veiw of a dorm room layout

The Key Decor Elements

  • Storage boxes and lidded containers that can be neatly stowed away underbed is essential since you can’t hang or add any additional bookshelves.
  • A fuzzy rug is great for bringing in a touch of color, texture, and comfort. It will also help unify the separate sleep and work areas.
  • Draperies are often overlooked in college dorms, so hang some up yourself to add privacy and control the amount of daylight you get in the space—especially after those all-nighters!
  • For a single dorm room, personal touches, like plants and artwork you love, can make it feel more like your own studio apartment.

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Single Layout #2: A Live-Work Dorm Room for One

For a college dorm room with a slightly more grown-up feel, consider this layout, which has double the floor space and incorporates a small living corner. The lofted bed opens up the space in two ways: It allows for a desk and “study zone” to be created underneath the bed; and it frees up the rest of the room, making it possible to add a small seating area.

The Key Decor Elements

  • A lofted bed definitely has its pros and cons, but in a dorm room, it’s definitely worth the climb into bed every night if it means more overall space. Place it in a corner (versus floating it) to make your sleep space feel cozier up top.
  • Consider a sleeper loveseat instead of a sofa. It will come in handy when friends from study groups need to sleep over during midterms and finals.
  • Round out your seating area with moveable pieces: A small pouf, floor cushions, and a low table. They’ll complete the corner as a place for relaxing, studying, and hanging out.
  • Decorate your walls with art, garlands, and other hanging decor that reflect your personal style.

Double Dorm Room Layouts

These are the most common dorm room configurations. A dorm room for two people means double the furniture with almost the same space as a single room. Depending on how you and your roomy plan to use the space, here are some stylish and practical layouts to choose from.

double dorm room layout suggestion

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Double Layout #1: A Symmetrical Dorm Room Setup

The most popular (and practical) layout, this is the standard university dorm room for two people. It’s the perfect layout for dividing a space up evenly, so both roommates have their own sleep and work areas.

The Key Decor Elements

  • A patterned rug that extends across both beds not only adds comfort but it also helps define the sleep zone from the rest of the room.
  • Layering in luxurious accents, like a pouf and a cowhide rug can help make the space feel less like a college dorm room and more like a studio apartment.
  • Make existing furniture do double-duty, such as using a dresser for a shared nightstand between the beds and footing the beds with the desks to maximize space.
  • From paintings to colorful pillows, balance out the cookie-cutter college dorm room setup with small personal touches from each roommate to make it feel more homey.

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Double Layout #2: A Zoned Dorm Room For Two

For a more focused dorm room setup for two, try this layout that sections off each side of the room for a purpose. A bunk bed along one wall delineates the sleep zone, desks against the window serve as the study and work area, and the dressers lining another wall function as both storage and a display area. The result is a room with good flow that also still has lots of space.

birds eye layout of single bed drom room

The Key Decor Elements

  • If provided the option by your college, a bunk bed can be a great space-saver that lets you and the roomie add a lounge corner dressing area, or a bookcase.A floor mirror can change the look in a dorm room instantly and give you a changing zone. Choose one with an eye-catching frame or design to offset the dormitory furniture.
  • Two dressers placed side-by-side makes for practical clothing storage while also providing a wide surface that’s perfect for all those college textbooks or setting up a TV.
  • An easy way to set apart each roomie’s space is to bring in distinctive pieces to your respective spaces, like different table lamps that reflect their respective styles.

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Double Layout #3: A Study-Optimized Shared Space

This approach is similar to the typical college dorm room layout for two, except this has lofted beds that provide more floor space. Now each roommate has a dedicated study nook under their beds, which they can use for storage or lounging—it’s up to them! This layout also makes the most use of every wall and corner, and every piece of furniture fits neatly into a spot while serving a function.

The Key Decor Elements

  • The lofted beds are arranged to face opposite directions, which helps to differentiate the two sides of the room. This setup brings a bit of visual interest to the layout.
  • A rattan hanging chair can make for a statement piece that introduces a new focus to the standard dorm room setup and it will also help even out all the wood furniture.
  • A pair of poufs and two layered rugs offer both visual balance and added comfort to both sides of the room. They ground the room and draw the eye to the center.
  • The nearly facing dressers at the end of the beds lets each roommate have their own storage area that can also double as a changing corner with two floor mirrors.

 

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three beds in a dorm room layout

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Triple Dorm Room Layouts

For most university dorm arrangements, three is usually the max number of people in one room. It’s also the tightest use of space, so you have to really be considerate with your layout and furniture arrangements. Here are three layouts to help you set-up a three-person dorm room!

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Triple Dorm Layout #1: A Highly Personalized Setup

For the most space-saving approach, this lofted bed approach gives everyone their own study, storage, and sleep space. The lofted beds are placed in three corners of the room, freeing up the entire room for use. Here, the open space is turned into a seating area for everyone—or you float the sofa and set up a TV against the wall for a full entertainment area.

double bed dorm room layout aerial view

dorm room storage

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The Key Decor Elements

  • With all the open floor space, there’s plenty of room to add in an extra storage cabinet or armoire where the sofa is to hold college sports equipment, laundry detergent for all, and other living supplies.
  • There’s lots of room between beds, which is perfect for adding a bookcase or, in this case, a cabinet with a coffee bar that makes for a mini kitchen counter.
  • The common area helps define the entire room, with the rug, futon sofa, and poufs being the central focus. This makes for an easy flow both visually and physically.

Triple Dorm Layout #2: A Sectioned Sleep-Work Space

This dorm room layout is all about smart division of space. The bunk bed functions as a room divider that also separates different desks and study areas. Similarly the single bed is separated from the entrance by the desk being used as a divider. This configuration also allows for the common seating area to get tucked away into a corner for a cozy hangout spot.

Dorm room layout suggestions

The Key Decor Elements 

  • The mix of a single bed and a bunk bed means it’s actually trickier to make the space work. Using them as anchors along walls and as room dividers is the best way to make the most of these functional pieces in a room for three.
  • Make each dresser surface work, as a catchall, as a display area, and even as a coffee bar. It will make their freestanding arrangement feel less random and more purposeful.
  • With the space divided up into many zones, each area offers more privacy for each person, even the common area, where the futon can easily flip into a bed for friends!

three beds in a dorm room layout

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Triple Dorm Layout #3: A Free-Flow Arrangement

This one breaks out of the standard college dorm room the most. With a layout that feels more aesthetically and spatially balanced, this configuration has a more open concept living space vibe to it. Still, it does factor in all the college needs, with a stylish work area, a tucked away seating corner, and smartly positioned beds for comfortable TV watching.


The Key Decor Elements

  • The double desks flanking a dresser with the coffee bar is an efficient use of wall space that also creates a productive and functional office area.
  • With two lofted beds, a tall floor lamp, large painting, and other wall decor will help even out the focus of the room, drawing the eye up. It also balances out the height of the TV on top of a tall dresser.
  • More like the living room in a home shared by three good friends, the shared use of all the furniture, from the dressers to the desks, and the sofa, makes this a great layout for best friends or people who want to invest in a slightly more grown-up dorm room setup.

Find more inspiration with our Teen Bedroom Design Ideas!

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14 Easy and Stylish Dorm Room Decor Ideas for College Students

With college students heading back to campuses in droves, many for the first time, it’s time to start thinking about dorm room decorating ideas! When you live on a campus where thousands of people have the exact same room and furniture as you, it’s worth spending a bit of time to make your space feel more unique. And, more than that, to make it feel personal and homey! After all, what you really need is a space where you can crash between classes, get some studying done, and a place where you can hang out with your new friends!

So, to help you out, we rounded up 14 inexpensive dorm room decorating ideas that will help you personalize your space, transforming it into a home away from home! You can also check out our dorm room layout ideas for more inspiration!

Bonus: For those of you who live in off-campus apartments, these dorm room ideas still apply—though you can also check out our design tips for small apartments as well!

1. Layer Up on Cozy Bedding

Bedding is the most practical way to add comfort and style to your dorm room decor. You can keep it simple by opting for a duvet set that comes with a matching duvet cover and pillowcase. But you can also add extra style, color, and texture with a mix of throw pillows! And be sure to add a throw blanket to the end of your bed for some added comfort, color, and coziness.

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2. Bring in a Nightstand

A lot of dorm rooms don’t come with a nightstand—but this piece of furniture is essential in any bedroom. After all, you need a place to set your water glass, phone, glasses, and anything you want to reach from bed! If you don’t have space for a full-sized nightstand, or if it’s not in the budget to buy one, you can always use a nightstand alternative like a stool or even a utility cart. When styling your nightstand, add a small lamp for reading in bed, and layer on a plant for a homey feel!

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3. Create a Gallery Wall

Nothing adds personality to college dorm rooms quite like a gallery wall! It’s the perfect way to decorate a large blank wall in your dorm room while adding color to neutral walls, along with some personality and style. You could create your gallery wall with photographs, polaroids, prints, framed art, tapestries, or a mixed media wall that brings in a little of everything! (And check out our guide on how to hang art if you need some help getting started!)

Designer Tip: If you can’t use nails, choose art that can be hung with command strips or putty. (Which also makes for easy removal at the end of the school year!)

4. Style Your Dresser Top

Dressers in a dorm room can easily become a surface where you dump books, toss clothes, or simply waste by letting it sit empty and collect dust. But it’s a perfect space to utilize and bring in some dorm room decor. Use the surface space on your dresser to add personal touches from home—like art, books, and a lamp. This is a great space to showcase momentos and another great space to inject some personality into your dorm decor!

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5. Set Up a Coffee Station

Having a coffee maker in your dorm room can save a ton of time and money! And it’s also nice when you need coffee but don’t want to leave your room but just need one more cup of coffee. (Or if you’re burning the midnight oil trying to finish up a research paper before that morning deadline!) So, set up a coffee station on the top of your dresser or on a utility cart. All you need is a coffee maker (either a regular drip machine or a Keurig or Nespresso!), plus a tray to corral some mugs, your coffee grounds or pods, and any cream or sugar! You could also hang a small wall shelf or tiered organizer for your coffee accessories. A coffee station is also a fun dorm room idea for when you’re hosting friends and family!

6. Accessorize Your Desk

Ok, so you came to college to get a degree, and studying is how you expect to spend a lot of your time. But that doesn’t mean it’s always fun! However, adding personal touches to your workspace can make it more comfortable, cheerful, and a place you want to spend time! You can accessorize your desk by adding framed photos from home, setting up an inspiring letter board, or styling a tray with your favorite flowers, a candle or diffuser, and a colorful task lamp. Just make sure you strike a balance of practical and decorative items so that your desk is still functional for homework and studying.

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7. Create a ‘Getting Ready’ Zone

If your dorm room doesn’t come with a full-length mirror, this is a piece you’ll definitely want to purchase! How else will you be able to check your outfit before you leave?? This also allows you to do your makeup and hair in your room so you don’t have to get ready in a crowded bathroom every morning!

To create a full ‘getting ready” zone, add hooks and bins nearby, along with some cute boxes to house your hair styling tools, makeup, and jewelry. You could even add a rug to zone the space even more and add a pouf to sit on while you get ready!

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8. Get a Multipurpose Pouf

Speaking of poufs—these are amazing inexpensive and multipurpose pieces that are a perfect addition to your dorm room decor. As we already mentioned above, they’re great for sitting on while doing your hair and makeup, but they can also be used as an extra seat when you have friends over, as a footrest if you have another chair in your space, or as a makeshift side table—basically whatever you need them to be. They’re also super durable and can easily be moved around as needed.

9. Hang Drapery

Your dorm room windows probably came with aluminum blinds—but they tend to be old and dusty and feel pretty sterile. An inexpensive way to add personality and style to your space is to hang drapery in front of your blinds. Curtains bring texture, color, visual warmth, and a touch of hominess to your dorm decor. And they can also help with temperature control! You can go bold with bright or jewel-toned curtains, or keep things more neutral (which is a great option if you and your roommate have different design preferences!).

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10. Add Greenery

Plants can bring a lot of life and texture to your college dorm room. And you don’t need to have a green thumb to be a plant mom! Just start with one or two low-maintenance plants and set them on your windowsill or another surface where they can get enough natural light! (You can even mix faux plants in with real ones if you want the look without the maintenance!) Bonus: Plants naturally help with air quality—which is always nice in a shared living space!

11. Try Out Layered Rugs

A lot of college dorm rooms either have cold concrete floors or old, ugly carpeting. Give your dorm room a facelift by adding some area rugs to the floor! Rugs add comfort underfoot, but also are great for making your room feel warmer, dampening noise, and adding some color and pattern to your dorm room. They’re an especially good addition to your dorm room decor if you like sprawling out on the floor or walking around barefoot! If you want to take it a step further, you can layer a more decorative rug on top of a more neutral, durable rug—which also gives you a stylish, layered look.

Designer Tip: On a budget? Opt for a natural-fiber rug, which is one of our favorite cheap decor ideas that gets you the look you want for less!

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12. Add a Comfy Chair

Want a place for reading, studying, or just chilling that’s not your desk or your bed? Bring in a comfy accent chair! They’re great when you want to study or read in your dorm room but you need something more comfortable than the standard wooden chair that goes with your desk! For some added practicality, place a C-table, which can double as a desk while sitting in the chair, next to the chair, as well as a floor lamp for additional lighting.

13. Create a Hangout Zone

If you have a loft bed, we love the idea of creating a hangout zone underneath the loft. It’s great to have a place where you can chill and hangout with your roommate and friends. To create a comfy seating area, start with a loveseat or smaller sofa, then add in a small coffee or side table to give you a place to set food, drinks, and even laptops for a movie night or study group. This is also a great place to layer in a pouf, as well as rugs, pillows, and throw blankets to make it extra cozy and homey.

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14. Hang Up String Lights

What is it about string lights that makes any space feel more cute and cozy? String lights are the ideal dorm room decor! They’re a great way to add ambient lighting when you don’t want the harsh fluorescent overhead lights on, which are standard in most dorms. Plus, they offer the perfect amount of light for movie nights!

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Dorm Room Ideas: Stylish Decor Tips College Students

Dorm Room IdeasBack-to-school season is here and that means it’s back to the dorm rooms for many college students. When you think about dorm rooms, you immediately think of the one room with the blank walls and the flimsy bed(s). It’s what works, but not the least bit inspiring.

Decorating your dorm room is not as uncommon as you think, but it’s definitely no walk in the park. Why settle for a boring college room when you can deck it out like a real apartment and make it a space that’s both productive and comfortable for you. Dorm room days are over? Put these ideas to work when designing a bedroom for two!

Together with our friends at Lonny, we cooked up 5 stylish dorm room ideas that are sure to be the talk of campus.

Dorm Room IdeasThe Look: Atomic Industrial

More masculine with a moody palette, this look leans into lots of leather, metals, darker woods, and industrial accents. This one’s for you if you find yourself gravitating towards colors like grey, black and tan.

And even though it might look super sophisticated and serious, all the pieces here are super comfortable. It’s a great space for both studying and kicking back with friends!

Dorm Room IdeasWhy It Works:

  • This space is perfectly tailored for two, making it a great blueprint for most college students since shared rooms are the most common. Not to mention it’s super stylish.
  • The bunk bed is a space-saver, so you’ll have room for a sofa and a TV and stand. This bunker is also nicer and likely sturdier than your standard college double-decker beds.
  • Matching desks and chairs, all on wheels, means that your workstation can be moved around and turned into tables for hosting gatherings with friends.
  • More space means you can have more poufs and ottomans, which means you can have more seating. Plus, you can stow them practically anywhere and turn them into an extra side table or foot rest in a pinch.

Dorm Room IdeasThe Look: Rustic Traveler

To sum this look up in the words of our Director of Style, Alessandra: “This room is where a classic college bohemian would thrive!”

Collected yet casual, this look features a combination of pretty weathered pieces, warm wood tones, woven textures that all play up a sense of zen.

Dorm Room IdeasWhy It Works:

  • If you’re not sharing a dorm room, this arrangement for one takes advantage of every wall and corner in the room. That means more space for accent pieces, like side tables and poufs.
  • The single bed makes this room seem like you’re living in your own grown-up studio apartment. And let’s face it: That’s basically the ultimate dream when you’re in college.
  • You have dedicated areas for storage, lots of desk space to get work done, and room for an extra armchair for reading and putting up your feet.
  • The vibe of the room makes it the perfect kind of space to just sit and drink Matcha tea and have thoughtful conversations with friends.

Dorm Room IdeasThe Look: Mod Visionary

Think of this as Mid-Century modern meets California cool. It hits every dorm room decor note, mixing tons of textures and woven materials along with warm yet sleek furniture. Overall, it’s a space that feels both comfortable and lived-in. Plus, it’s functional AND stylish, so it’s sure to make for the best looking room on campus, hands-down.

Dorm Room IdeasWhy It Works:

  • The lofted bed with no sleep compartment of any sort underneath is game-changing since it adds lots of extra space. Add a beanbag chair there and you have reading nook.
  • The under-bed nook can be great for your desk, turning it into a mini office that saves space.
  • If you really need to, add a lower bunk for a space that can then accommodate two people.
  • This room is entertaining-ready and will likely be the talk of campus thanks to its sleek sofa and hangout nook under the bed—your friends should expect a waiting list to get in.

Dorm Room IdeasThe Look: Mod Collector

Artistic, bohemian yet modern… this room is all of the above. It’s a stylish mix that combines eclectic and modern touches, making it the perfect space to balance morning meditate with afternoon study sessions.

Dorm Room Ideas

Why It Works:

  • This is a multifunctional setup for any college student with their own dorm room.
  • Everything in the room has its space and purpose, meaning you have a designated work space and a seating area so it doesn’t feel like a kids room.
  • Bookshelves galore! You’ve got plenty of shelving and storage for your enormous textbooks.

Dorm Room IdeasThe Look: Chic Collector

Who knew a pair of twin beds could look so sophisticated? This isn’t just your classic dorm room layout though, it’s styled for those who love to make a splash wherever they go. Think glamorous statement pieces with eclectic decor and a feminine palette. This is the best set up for you and your college BFF, if you ask us.

Dorm Room IdeasWhy It Works:

  • It’s a standard dorm room layout with two twin beds side by side that can work in any college space – and it’s got tons of style and color to boot.
  • You can easily mix up the chairs and accessories to keep it feeling personal and not cookie cutter.
  • The beds can be pushed together for a slumber party-style movie night with friends and wine.

 

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