Most dorm rooms are truly depressing places. Which is why it’s important, when doing your back-to-school shopping, to do whatever you can to make your space a little more comfortable and a little more festive. Below, we gathered a whole slew of décor, both functional and fun, that will make things slightly less horrible — without going full-on Ole Miss crazy, and without sending you further into debt. And remember: A funky trash bin can go a long way!
For the Desk
Ikea Classic Work Lamp
This mint-green Ikea desk lamp will make the harsh overhead lighting a little less harsh. (And, yes, it’s only $20 at Ikea, but you can’t actually order it online, hence the markup on Amazon.)
Note: There are only a few of these left from Amazon, but here is the black Ikea version and here is another cute teal option.
YiaMia LED Cactus Light
For something a little more fun: How about this cactus light?
Alera Elusion Series Mesh Mid-Back Swivel Chair
A comfortable desk chair is key. (You will be spending a lot of time with your butt in it.) This ergonomic offering from Alera gets very positive reviews.
Cotton Food Seat Cushion
And you can zhuzh it up a little bit with this delightful toast-shaped seat cushion.
For the Bed
HAG Art & Craft Kantha Quilt
This handmade Kantha quilt will (elegantly) brighten up the place.
Pinzon 300-Thread-Count Percale Sheet Set — Twin Extra-Long
Not the most exciting purchase you’ll ever make, but you’re going to need some extra-long twin sheets. (For more sheets we like, click here.)
Wamsutta Extra-Firm Standard/Queen Side Sleeper Pillow
Pinzon Hypoallergenic Overfilled Microplush Mattress Topper — Twin Extra-Long
More comfortable than an egg crate, this plush mattress topper (which comes in extra-long twin) is one of the best-reviewed (7,269 comments and counting) on Amazon.
Zober Flexible Zippered Underbed Storage Bag, Pack of 2
Closet space tends to be limited in dorm rooms; these under-the-bed storage bags will help keep things organized.
SLPR High Pile Rectangular Faux Sheepskin Rug
Keep this fuzzy guy at the foot of your bed.
Chakir Turkish Linens Luxury Hotel Towel, Set of 4
A cheerful set of towels that your roommate won’t accidentally confuse with her own. If you just want to buy some basic white towels and be done with it, might we recommend these organic ones.
For the Rest of the Dorm Room
Entryways Watermelon Nonslip Coconut Fiber Doormat
A watermelon doormat that says, “Come on in and distract me from writing this philosophy paper.”
Sauder Soft Modern Tower Bookcase, Yellow Saffron
This bright-yellow steel bookcase that will do a lot for even the bleakest of dorm rooms.
9GreenBox White Bird of Paradise
You know what would look nice on that shelf? This plant.
Dar Living Retro Wood Stool
A little side table to keep by the bed, on which to rest your phone-slash-alarm-clock.
Dokehom Laundry Basket
A non-hideous, foldable laundry bin that has two handsome leather handles as well as a drawstring.
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Lantern Press the Supremes — Lincoln Center Vintage Poster
Do not — we repeat, do not — buy a Starry Night poster. Buy this Supremes at Lincoln Center one instead.
Cavallini Papers & Co. Vertical Vintage Poster Kit
And hang it with this stately poster frame.
JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Yamazaki Home Tower Leaning Ladder Rack
A very easy way to add some “tone” to your room: this clothing ladder, on which you can hang or stow your most frequently worn Theta sweatpants.
Umbra Mezzo Swing-Top Waste Can
DHP Emily Futon Couch Bed
This isn’t the most beautiful futon out there, but it’s cheap, totally inoffensive, and has over 3,000 rave reviews.
Krishna Mart India Pillowcases, 2
Gussy it up with these orange pillows. (If you need some inserts, here you go.)
Home Essentials DII Cotton Chevron Herringbone Throw
And this easy, goes-with-anything throw.
Divano Roma Furniture Tufted Velvet Futon
Another futon with a little more built-in personality.
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