This post is sponsored by Target, but all text, images, and opinions are all my own! Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Thou Swell running.


I’m excited to share the design board for the dorm I decorated with Target and some tips for designing your dorm! I wanted to keep my design gender-neutral, to inspire both guys and gals to create a personalized dorm from their huge selection of college decor. It can be hard to approach the design for an entire dorm at once, so I started with the throw pillows on the bed to get a sense of the whole room’s palette. Blue is a classic and easy color to work with, and there’s a huge selection of throw pillows to choose from. From there, I added some gray and a pop of metallic, plus some decor accents and art to create a complete look.

The bed is often the centerpiece of a dorm since it’s the part of the space that’s completely yours, so it makes sense to use the bed as your starting point when decorating. The trick to making it super comfortable is layering pillows and mixing colors and patterns. Stick with an odd number of throw pillows – either one or three, but indulge in two standard pillows instead of one for extra comfort. Choose a neutral duvet, then layer on a quilt and throw blanket for extra layers. Your throw blanket can double for a picnic blanket or as an extra layer when studying!


A good way to approach your bedside table is as your relaxation hub. Leave your school supplies on your desk and keep your bedside table clear for a little aromatherapy and midnight brainstorming. You’ll want a lamp for reading, a scented candle, diffusers, or a nicely scented hand cream, and a little bit of green to bring some life to your morning view. You can also keep a notebook and pencil for capturing those midnight brainstorms…


Lastly, give your walls some love! Filling your walls can make a huge impact in your dorm, and Target has a huge assortment of prints and posters that make it easy to do so. Mix in a wall clock and some gold urchins to create a sophisticated assortment and you’re good to go. Pro tip: for lightweight pieces like posters, use a poster tack adhesive to hang, and if your walls are drywall you can use thumbtacks to hang clocks or framed pieces.


Still don’t know where to start with your dorm decor? Hop on over to Target’s MadeForU site and take their style quiz to get a personalized shopping list! Then use the tips here to plan the perfect dorm, plus check out my favorite organizational pieces and tips.

TARGET_LOGO Check out Target’s College Styler at to find you and your roommate’s ultimate college style.


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