Ocean Theme Dorm Room Ideas (Shop The Look)

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Looking for ocean theme dorm room ideas to create a space you love? Check out everything you’ll need to get the cool beachy vibe!

Designing your college dorm can be an overwhelming process but it doesn’t have to be! The best way to get started is to come up with a plan of action.

For this ocean theme dorm room design, we started by finding images on Pinterest that had the look and feel we were after. Once we determined the vibe of the space we created a concept board that had many of the pieces we’d needed.

The featured dorm room design is located at Hawaii Pacific University and we live in NY. That said we had to get creative with the ordering process.

Most of the items were from Amazon but keep in mind shipping to Hawaii is not the 2-day prime we are used to in NY. It’s more like a week for delivery.

If you are looking for inspiration for your new dorm room check out all the links from this awesome design!

This post is all about ocean theme dorm room ideas for college.

READ MORE>>> Room Inspiration On Inspired Design Talk


Ocean Theme Dorm Room Ideas

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.

As part of the planning stage, I created a packing checklist of everything we needed. You can grab a copy of the list below.

After we pulled together the ideas for the ocean theme room we created a concept board. The below design was created in Photoshop but you can create a similar board in the FREE Canva program online.

Now let’s get into the resources to create a similar look for your college dorm room.

Shop The Look Design Inspiration

ocean theme dorm room collage

Wall Decor

1. Ocean Theme Tapestry

Ocean Theme Tapestry

2. Celestial Sun Light Sculpture

Celestial Sun Light Sculpture ocean theme dorm room

3. Clip String Lights

Clip String Lights ocean theme dorm room

Wall decor is super important in any dorm room decor. Yes, you need the bedding, furniture, and all the essentials but your room will look unfinished with blank walls.

For this dorm room design, we used the ocean tapestry as the jumping-off point. The main colors were kept neutral with grey and white. Navy blue was pulled from the wall tapestry and used in the pillows for contrast.

We used fabrics with textures and patterns for interest as well. Starting with a neutral color palette will help you create a balanced design. Just remember to use your pop or accent color in at least three places for it to make sense.

Pro Tip: Use your pop or accent color in at least three places for a balanced design that flows.


The other wall decor for this dorm room was the celestial sun and string lights. Both these add a playful vibe to the sophisticated color palette.

Ocean Theme Dorm Room Bedding

4. Target Duvet

white bedding ocean theme dorm room

5. Duvet Insert

Duvet Insert

6. Fleece Throw Blanket

Fleece Throw Blanket

For the bedding in this design, the duvet was a white clip-dot fabric. While I loved the look of it when we first bought it in the end white may not have been the best choice.

For the latest off-campus room design, we went with a grey comforter instead of the duvet. That was a better choice since the reality is most college students are NOT washing their comforter.

I thought the duvet would be awesome originally because it would be thinner to wash than a bulky comforter.

After the first year, half of the white duvet was yellow from my daughter sleeping on top of it the entire year. Remember she is in Hawaii so not many nights are cold. Especially now in the apartment with no AC!

If you can go with the lovely white duvet option the link is above. At the foot of the bed drape a grey cozy blanket for more texture.

Pro Tip: Buy a full size comforter or duvet for your dorm twin XL bed. It will cover the under bed storage for the first year(s). After when you move off campus to a full size bed it will fit perfectly.


Dorm Room Pillows

7. Fur Body Pillow + Fill

Fur Body Pillow

8. Navy Fringe Pillows + Fill

Navy Fringe Pillows

When it comes to the pillows we probably went a little overboard but that’s how you get a finished look. The beauty of having pillow covers is you can change out color schemes easily. We did just that this year since the new design is now black, white, and grey with a pop of retro pink.

I did love the texture of the navy fringe pillows in front of the grey fur lumbar pillow. In the new space, the navy was changed out for black printed pillows.

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

9. Stripe Lumbar Pillow + Fill

Stripe Lumbar Pillow

10. Sleep Lumbar Pillow + Fill

Sleep Lumbar Pillow

Adding patterns to your design will create interest and movement. I love the tassel detail on the corners of these navy and white stripe lumbar pillows.

The “sleep” verbiage pillow is super cute and adds personality to the design. In the new black and white design, we went with Morocco Boho vibe pillow covers.

College Furniture

11. Night Stand

Night Stand

12. Storage Ottoman Cube

Storage Ottoman Cube

13. Metal Rolling Cart

Metal Rolling Cart

The furniture in the beach theme dorm was simply white and grey. Hawaii Pacific University provides the bed, mattress, wardrobe, and desk. We just needed the accent pieces.

Next to the bed, the tall three-drawer nightstand was added. Bathroom essentials were stored in the rolling cart. Shoes were stored away neatly in the storage cube ottomans.

In the dorm room design, the ottomans fit perfectly under the bed. At the apartment design, they are at the foot of the bed.

Room Decor

14. Salt Lamp

Salt Lamp

15. Vanity Mirror

Vanity Mirror

16. 5×7 Rug

area rug

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

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

Having a table mirror on the desk is perfect for getting ready especially if the bathroom is in use. This one is awesome because it can be used horizontally or vertically.

For more texture, pattern, and warmth we added the cozy plush 5×7 rug. If you are afraid of the lighter color go for the grey/ white colorway in reverse.

Dorm Essentials

17. Mirror


18. Trash Can

Trash Can

19. Mesh Hamper

Mesh Hamper

Last up are the dorm bedroom essentials. Having an over-the-door or full-length mirror is just a great idea for getting ready. The bathroom can be an issue in the dorms so the mirror outside works perfectly.

Every design should include a small trash can with a cover. No one needs to see your garbage and girls in college can be quite the pigs. Just saying!

A mesh hamper is easy to tuck away and carry when it’s laundry time. This one was a request of my daughter and it lasted the first year with no issues. I’ll let you know how it holds up this year.

Ocean Theme Dorm Room Product List:

Here is the breakdown of all the above products for a quick reference. This is a simple list to recreate this ocean theme bedroom design.

Dorm Room Resources From Amazon

  • Rug 4’x6′
  • Mirror (over the door)
  • Night Stand (3 draws)
  • Metal Rolling Cart
  • Vanity Mirror
  • Storage Ottoman Cube (2)
  • Trash Can
  • Hangers
  • Duvet Insert
  • Mattress Topper
  • Mesh Hamper (her request)
  • Fur Body Pillow + Fill (should be 2″ bigger than cover size)
  • Navy Fringe Pillows + Fill (2)
  • Sleep Lumbar Pillow + Fill
  • Stripe Lumbar Pillow + Fill
  • Photo Lights
  • Hangers

Dorm Room Resources From Urban Outfitters

  • Celestial Sun Light Sculpture
  • Clip String Lights
  • Salt Lamp

When all was said and done this design was about $722.95.

I would say in total we probably spent about $1000 between dorm essentials and decor. For more dorm designs and resources click the link below.

I hope this post will give you ideas and inspiration to create your ocean-themed dorm room. You can always change the tapestry and accent color for a completely different look.

Always start with a neutral palette and then layer in the accents. Trust me… It’s the way to go especially if you like to change out your space regularly.

Have an awesome day full of Unicorns and Rainbows!

xo Nicole

Fun pictures of NY to Hawaii Pacific University.

two girls at the airport
The girls heading into the security check.
two girls at the airport
Bella & Marina
mother and daughter at the airport
Bella & I
two girls and airport attendant
Girls w/ ticket agent
black luggage stacked

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Nicole DelaCruz

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