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Choose a Theme for Decorating a Dorm Room

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Star Wallpaper and Shelves

Shelves are propped up against a starry sky wall for the astronomer in your home.

Coral Nafie

Decorating your dorm room will be easier if you stick to a theme.

Why? Because when you choose "butterflies" as your theme it eliminates all of the Star Wars items (along with a lot more) and frees you to concentrate on the things that will reinforce that butterfly theme.

How do you choose a theme? Start with what you like.

If horses are your passion, then an equestrian classic look may make you feel right at home. Are you interested in skiing, surfing, guitars, movies, TV stars, Star Wars, mountain biking, dancing, ballet, football, classical music, or cars? Start there.

Or do you always choose things that are blue, lavendar, silver, metallic, star-shaped, angel-themed, tie-dyed, or animal printed? Is your ideal room modern, country, classic, trendy, funky, traditional, ethnic, or eclectic? Any of these are good choices for a great room that expresses YOU.

Here are some great theme ideas to get you started:


  • Butterflies, dragonflies, bees, insects

  • Cartoons, Simpsons, Pokeman

  • Celestial, clouds, moon and stars, sun, astronomy

  • Citrus colors (lime, orange, hot pink, yellow)

  • City sleek, trendy, neon

  • Classics or Preppy(solid colors, glen plaids, wicker)

  • Color themes (red, purple, ocean blue, mango, black, etc.)

  • Country casual

  • Denim or chambray

  • Designer (Nautica, Calvin, Ralph, DKNY, etc.)

  • Ethnic, African, Indian, Urban

  • Fake fur

  • Fantasy (feathers, gauzy fabrics, glitter stars)

  • Funky lava and glitter motion lamps, inflatable furniture, poof chairs

  • Glow-in-the-dark, neon, blacklight

  • Hobbies (horses, collections, anything "you")

  • Jungle, safari, animal prints

  • Metallics (silver, metal, brushed steel, tin, mesh)

  • Minimalist a la IKEA

  • Movie posters, TV show themes

  • Music, posters, stereo systems

  • Nautical, beachy

  • Nightclub, jazz club

  • Patriotic

  • Pet themes (dogs, fish, horses)

  • Quotations, sayings

  • Regional: Southwest, islands, cabin/lodge, Caribbean

  • Romantic (sheers, pillows)

  • Sports, school spirit, individual sports

  • Science, astronomy, math, etc.

  • Star Wars, space, science fiction

  • Tie dye, flower power, 60's retro looks

  • Tommy Hilfiger, red white and blue

  • Transportation: cars, trains, planes

So, what happens now that you've settled on a theme? Where to Start

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