11 Minimalist Dorm Room Ideas to Maximize Your Space This Semester

Article by BlissLights LLCMon, Aug 08, 22
11 Minimalist Dorm Room Ideas to Maximize Your Space This Semester

Minimalism can transform your small dorm room into a space that feels roomy and comforting. A great minimalistic dorm room will include a few personal touches, a good organization system, and a mellow color scheme. Follow this guide to minimalist dorm room ideas to bring low-key style to your space.

How do you make a dorm room minimalist?

There are three core parts to minimalist college dorms.

  • Simplicity. You should only use what you need in your dorm room decor ideas – and no more. That’s not to say you shouldn’t include any wall art or potted plants. Instead, you should arrange these items in an organized way while leaving ample space and dimension to your dorm.
  • Lighting. In a minimalist dorm space, you should let the built-in ceiling lights do most of the work. Then, bring in wispy string lighting, compact LED lights, and galaxy projectors so your room can feel immersively lit yet spare.
  • The room’s purpose. If your desk is where you study, use desk organizers to store your desktop items and add a tiny pop of color to your space. If you’ve been cramming non-clothing items into your closet, use organizers there or under the bed. Your goal is to maximize your room’s functionality and minimize the space your items occupy. Your room will feel more open and crisper to the eye.

How to maximize space in a dorm room

Minimalism goes hand in hand with maximizing open space. Here’s how to do that.

  • Downsize. Minimalist rooms are spare by definition, and the more items you keep in a minimalist space, the less spare it will appear. Downsizing can free up space and help you see your dorm room in a much clearer light.
  • Prioritize multi-purpose furniture. A storage ottoman for kicking back and relaxing can hold your sheets and towels. A shoe bench can come with a small storage drawer for all kinds of little things. These are just two of many examples of how multipurpose furniture can free up space and take you to that minimalist destination.
  • Declutter. With fewer – or at least more organized – items in your dorm room, your eye will perceive more space. That’s why decluttering is the fastest way to add more space to your room without actually changing its dimensions. Getting rid of unnecessary items or figuring out smart ways to store them can quickly embolden and deepen your surroundings.
  • Use mirrors. You can’t knock down your dorm room’s walls, but you can use mirrors to impart the illusion that the walls go on forever. With your room reflected back out at you in every direction, it’ll seem like it’s going on forever. The fewer items you keep in your room, the more you’ll see of your room in every mirror, and the more you’ll elevate your space.
  • Organize everything. Create storage systems for your items with boxes, bins, organizers, and more. You’ll know where everything is all the time, which is great – and just as importantly, you’ll appear to have fewer things. That minimalistic feel can push your room in all sorts of new directions.

11 minimalist dorm room ideas

The below minimalist dorm room ideas can transform a small living space into an open, vast wonderland.

1. Keep your colors simple

Going monochromatic – say, primarily (or only) white bedding and decor – can be a great start for a minimalist dorm room. Of course, you might not have any control over the color of your desk, bed frame, or dresser. But chances are they come in neutral colors, so you can go simple and neutral instead of monochromatic. Wood-colored, black, and white can be a great neutral color palette – any items you add will likely match them and definitely add character.

white desk with laptop and neutral accents

2. Add mood lighting

A neutral color palette can be relaxing, but what if you want to feel even more relaxed while staying minimalist? Ambient mood lighting can help. After all, the effects of colored lighting range include relaxation, and most ambient lights barely take up any space. And what little space they do take up, they make up for with lighting that submerges your whole dorm room in moments of awe.

With the BlissRadia, for example, you can bring any color of the rainbow to your room right from your phone screen. That includes a calming red or a bright white to match your neutral color scheme. You can also use voice control to switch among BlissRadia modes, including a dim night light effect that sets a soothing tone. It’s a minimalistic way to bring a world of possibilities to even the barest dorm.

blissradia smart ambient mood light
blissradia is an led ambient light with app control that shines in multiple colors

BlissRadia Smart LED Mood Light


From desktop to bedside, light the way to concentration, stimulation, or relaxation.

3. Move your furniture around

Have you ever moved a couch or chair in a room and felt like you added more space to the room? This same principle applies in dorm rooms. Try moving your furniture around and seeing what new dimensions you might unlock.

For example, with your roommate’s permission, you could try stacking your bed frames into a bunk bed. After that, you can move your desks or entertainment area into the open space where you used to keep one of the bed frames. However you reorganize, you’ll open your dorm room to new possibilities.

4. Keep your wall art simple

Black and white wall art with simple, line-heavy designs are a great fit for minimalist dorm rooms. This type of artwork is unobtrusive, which is the whole vibe you’re going for in a minimalist space. By contrast, in an uncluttered, well-organized room, a brightly colored, bold print would stick out too much. Low-key art, in low-key frames, can immerse you in minimalism from the door to the window.

simple wall art

5. Space your wall decorations evenly

A minimalist dorm room should have only a few wall decorations that are arranged and organized with intention. A geometric arrangement of small photo prints, for example, can bring character to your room and create a focal point. Plus, since many photo prints come in white framing, you can look at your favorite memories while upholding your minimalist style. You’ll add a touch of personality to your space without adding more clutter.

6. Use storage crates as decoration

A neutral-colored storage crate can be a great home for vinyl records, backpacks, shoes, and anything in between. Spread a few crates throughout your room, ideally in corners or along walls, to decorate your space and store items all at once. Organize your crates geometrically to introduce subtle shapes to your room while taking your space beyond its usual boundaries.

7. Stick to low-key bedding

Dorm rooms typically appear more minimalist with neutral bedding colors. Where bright colors can make a room feel busy, white or light gray bedding can be unobtrusive and impart flow to your space. This seamless feeling can evoke an uninterrupted stream of cleanness and openness. You’ll see your small dorm room in a much bigger light.

minimalist bedspread

8. Set up under-bed storage

Most people entering your dorm room won’t look for – or even notice – the space under your bed. That makes this space ideal for storing any items that would otherwise take up space and detract from your minimalist feel. Use storage bins and other under-bed organizers to keep this area uncluttered as you simplify the rest of your room. You might just clear enough space that your dorm room feels as good as new.

9. Install small floating shelves

Small floating shelves are minimalist staples since they’re virtually one-dimensional, making them unobtrusive. They’re also great homes for a few small decorations such as tiny plants or air fresheners. They’re a great way to check some items off your decor list and take your dorm’s minimalism to the next level.

10. Add a small touch of color with plants

If you want minimalism with just a touch bit of color, plants can be a great decor piece. For starters, their pots and soil are typically in dark or neutral enough hues to mesh with a neutral color scheme. On top of that, the plants you’d normally keep in dorm rooms are small enough that their green leaves will be eye-catching yet subtle. Plants can be a breath of fresh air in a space that’s all about breathing easy.

11. Use special lighting for color accents

Simplicity, clean lines, and neutral colors are the foundation of minimalist style, but you can do a bit more. A quick burst of special colorful lighting can accentuate your space without permanently changing your minimalist aesthetic. A great choice here would be lighting that supplements your main fixtures and occupies minimal space.

The Sky Lite Evolve, for example, can cast simple yet breathtaking nebulas and laser stars throughout your entire dorm room. Turn the lights off, turn the Evolve on, and let yourself be mentally transported to a new realm right from your dorm room. Rotate the Evolve to cast its visions anywhere, then set your own nebula colors and control the Evolve via voice command or your phone. Once you’re done, just turn the Evolve off, turn the lights on, and you’ll be back in your minimalist dorm room. What a trip – all without leaving your dorm.

sky lite evolve in bedroom
sky lite evolve smart multicolor galaxy projector

Sky Lite Evolve: Smart Galaxy Projector


The latest evolution in smart galaxy lighting.

Add BlissLights to your minimalist dorm room

A minimalist dorm room should feel open, spacious, and well-organized, with neutral colors, clean lines, and a pared-back collection of items accentuating the feel. Part of a minimalist dorm room is setting the right mood and throwing in the occasional accent you can then easily subtract to go low-key. BlissLights can do all the above and more. Browse the BlissLigths collection now to explore a new universe of minimalist decor.

About BlissLights

BlissLights has been a leader in the laser lighting industry since the company was founded in 2006. Our team of experienced engineers and technicians helped create award-winning special effect lighting for major theme parks before minaturizing ourpatented technology for home use. BlissLights is dedicated to laser safety and education, and is registered with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).

View all articles by BlissLights LLC

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