College Apartment Decor Ideas (Shop The Look)

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Looking for college apartment decor ideas? Check out this modern off-campus bedroom design that you’ll want to copy!

The typical college student starts their journey living in a dorm room. That way they can make new friends and be immersed in the full college experience.

After a year or two, many decide to move off-campus. They may want freedom from college rules, more space, or to save money.

With this move comes the joy of designing your new space!

You may be feeling overwhelmed with where to start but I’m here to help guide you through the process. The trick is to make a plan and then take action.

Check out this modern bedroom design that includes everything you need to complete your new space.

This post is all about college apartment decor ideas.

READ MORE>>> Room Inspiration On Inspired Design Talk

college apartment decor grey bedding on bed with colorful art and black curtains

College Apartment Decor Inspiration

The first place to start when designing a space is with inspiration. You can find ideas on Pinterest and Instagram. Start off by saving all the ideas you like and then narrow the images down to your THREE favorites.

If you don’t narrow the ideas down it will be hard to stay focused on the look and feel you are after. Check out my Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration too!

Below are the images that inspired the featured college bedroom design. The overall color scheme was charcoal, gray, black, and white. Texture and pattern were added for interest and dimension.

There are touches of gold and pink that were pulled from the retro artwork over the bed. My daughter wanted a pop of color added to the neutral bedroom design and she picked her cool art off Etsy.

College Apartment Decor Pinterest Inspiration

college bedroom ideas pinterest

Below is a side-by-side visual of the previous HPU dorm room concept and the new apartment. The blue from the original design was changed to the black and white color scheme.

College Apartment Design Inspiration

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I might make a small commission at no extra charge to you. Please read my full disclosure here. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

college bedroom ideas hpu
Hawaii Pacific University Dorm Room 2020-21
college bedroom ideas
College Bedroom Off-Campus Ideas 2021-22

The room at Hawaii Pacific University was completed during the Big C and 95% of the items were ordered from Amazon. It took about a week to arrive on the island which is not too bad.

ocean theme dorm room

After you pull your inspiration images and concept board the next step is to create a floor plan. You can do this by using graph paper or an online floor plan program.

You will need to take detailed measurements so you can determine what will fit in your room. Having a floor plan to scale will help you make sure your furniture fits so you can avoid returns.

Below is the final floor plan of the featured college bedroom off-campus. More will be added like the sofa, coffee table, and floor mirror but the sleeping area is complete.

college apartment decor floor plan

After your floor plan is complete you can go on to the design part of the room planning.

College Apartment Before Images

college apartment before
college apartment before

This is where it gets fun and your creative juices can flow. Below are all the resources and details of the apartment bedroom design.

As you can see we tweaked the design to work better with the space and measurements. We were also limited to what could be purchased at Target and Walmart. Furniture delivery to Hawaii is harder to get on Amazon.

Shop The Look

college apartment decor collage

1. Abstract Wall Art // 2. Black Out Curtains // 3. Black Curtain Rod // 4. Mixed Material Nightstand  // 5. Black Pillow Covers // 6. Boho Decorative Pillow Set // 7. Comforter & Sham Set // 8. Bed Blanket // 9. Tropical Beach Art // 10. Pigs in the Pool Art // 11. Live Edge Side Table // 12. Faux Sheepskin Area Rug // 13. Wicker Swivel Chair // 14. Cube Organizer Shelf // 15. Fabric Cube Storage Bin // 16. Himalayan Salt Lamp // 17. Sun Light Sculpture // 18. Pink Planter Pot // 19. Foldable Storage Ottoman

bedroom with gray bedding and color art

Bedding Decor For College Apartment

Memory Foam Mattress

Head Board

7. Comforter Set


Organic Cotton Sheet Set


The memory foam mattress was ordered from Amazon AND a cooling gel mattress topper. Since we knew the new mattress was not super comfy we added an extra layer of comfort.

In the ocean dorm room design, we tried a white duvet from Target. It was pretty but not practical. That said for the apartment bedroom design a grey comforter set was purchased instead.

The extra-deep sheets from Target are the way to go since the mattress and topper are wider than average. If you don’t want sheets that pop off the mattress while you sleep go for the deep pocket set.

The original plan was to use wood crates for the bed frame which would have given the room a cool urban vibe. The problem was they were not so easy to come by and it was going to be a process to finish them.

Long story short we ordered the black metal bed frame from Walmart shown above and I’m SO grateful for the change!!

Not only was it cheap but it was super easy to put together as well.

Related Post: 15 Dorm Room At Home Bedroom Ideas That Remote College Students Will Love

Pillows & Rug Ideas

5. Black Pillow Covers

Black Pillow Covers

6. Boho Decorative Pillow Set

Boho Decorative Pillow Set

12. Faux Sheepskin Area Rug

Faux Sheepskin Area Rug

Since we had all the pillow fills from the previous design we just had to replace the covers with the black and white color scheme. When buying your pillow fills be sure to go 2″ bigger than the cover.

The grey fur body pillow was the only one we kept as is because it worked well with the new design.

My daughter had the grey blanket at the foot of the bed but I linked an alternate option as well.

The fur rug is perfect for the side of the bed when you do not want to add a larger rug underneath.

Wall Decor

1. Abstract Wall Art 


9. Tropical Beach Art


10. Pigs Beach Art 


For the artwork, we decided to keep it simple and not go crazy. Instead of hunting for art that worked with the design we simply purchased the above prints from Etsy. I sent them to OfficeMax and had them printed at 16×20 in the matte finish.

We bought four 16×20″ black poster frames from Target. The two black and white prints we added as-is. The original Pigs in the Pool art is sold out but the color Pigs Beach art would look awesome too!

For the retro abstract swirls, I made a 1″ white border by cutting a 20×30″ sheet of illustration board down to size. The art came out great and the print was ready the same day!

The art was hung using command strips which is new for me but I’ve heard great things about them. Hoping they hold up and nothing falls off the walls.

Related Post: Small Studio Apartment Ideas For Millennials (Shop The Look)

2. Black Out Curtains

black out panels curtains

3. Black Curtain Rod

Black Curtain Rod

17. Sun Light Sculpture


Since the apartment bedroom is ALL white we used black-out curtain panels and black rods for contrast. We used the rods that were existing in the room. I added a link to ones you can purchase if you have to install your own.

The sunlight sculpture was from the dorm room design which we hung in the corner by the chair.

college apartment decor chair

Furniture Ideas

To create a sitting area we used the super cute wicker swivel chair. We were also looking at the hanging chair styles but this is just so much more practical. At the end of the day, who was bolting the hanging chair to the ceiling?! Me?!!

The live edge side table is the perfect accent piece next to the black wicker chair. I am nervous the pink plant will get knocked over but we’ll see how it goes.

We also added cute coasters to all the tables so the wood is protected from sweaty drinks.

11. Live Edge Side Table

Live Edge Side Table

13. Wicker Swivel Chair

Wicker Swivel Chair

4.  Mixed Material Nightstand 

modern wood night table

The original plan was to get a chest of drawers but shipping furniture to Hawaii from Amazon was an issue. Instead, we bought two-night tables and a storage unit with cubbies from Target.

All the furniture had to be put together but it was very easy since we had a starter tool kit. At the bottom of the furniture, we added felt pads to protect the floor and make it easier to move the pieces into place.

college apartment decor storage
Storage Cubbies and Night Stand from Target

14. Cube Organizer Shelf

college apartment decor white organizer shelf

15. Fabric Cube Storage Bin

grey storage bin

If the wicker baskets were available we would have used those but they were sold out so we went with the grey. It actually has more of a modern vibe so I’m happy we went with those instead.

My daughter has t-shirts and sports bras stored in the bins. Overall she would up with plenty of storage. They also have a large walk-in closet they will share.

College Apartment Closet Storage

college apartment decor in closet
college apartment closet decor

For the closet organization, we purchased bins and more hangers from Target. My daughter had some things and then we added a few others.

See below for all things closet organization.

3 Drawer Wide Tower


Clear Storage Bin

Storage Night Stand

Storage Night Stand

We added the 3 drawers wide tower for jeans and sweatshirts. The bins are on the top shelf and hold items that are not needed that often.

The storage nightstand was from the dorm room bedroom minus the bottom drawer that went MIA in the move. Good thing for all the added storage!

Over the door of the closet, we added a decorative rack to hold bags and other items. There is also a combination of velvet hangers from Amazon and plastic hangers from Target.

Decorating Ideas

The below resources are what we had and incorporated into the new apartment space.

Ottoman Cube

Ottoman Cube

 Body Pillow Cover

Body Pillow Cover

Accessories and pillows will add personality and mood to your apartment bedroom design. Since we are all about good energy the salt lamp was a must to cleanse the air.

It does leak a bit so we also purchased a black dish from the Magnolia Home collection.

The ottoman storage cubes are great to help you stay organized. You can store anything from shoes to books or extra blankets.

You can never have too much storage especially when you are away from home. We added the storage ottomans at the foot of the bed for interest and extra seating.

The grey fur body pillow from the original design is behind the new pillow covers for texture.

14 x 22 Pillow Form

Pillow Form

22 x 22 Pillow Form

Pillow Form

21 x 54 Body Pillow Insert

Body Pillow Insert

These are all the various size pillow inserts we had from the dorm room design. They were all used in the new college apartment with new covers. Whenever you are buying inserts always remember to size up 2″.

If your pillows are 20×20 you should purchase 22×22 pillow inserts. This way they will fill the entire pillow cover and look plush.

College Apartment Entry Way


door mat

Shoe Rack

white shoe rack

Key Hook Rack

key holder

We added a doormat at the front door to help keep the floor as clean as possible. There is also a shoe rack to hold sneakers and sandals.

On the wall, my daughter installed the command hood key rack for keys and masks. She used the level we bought and did an awesome job!

That’s a wrap for this college apartment decor bedroom design. I hope this gave you ideas and inspiration for your off-campus housing college design!

Come back to see the apartment bathroom design that will follow in the next day or so. Here is a sneak peek of the finished space.

college apartment black and white bathroom decor

Super cute right?!?!

This post is all about college apartment decor ideas.

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Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Nicole DelaCruz

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