Texas College Dorm Room Ideas for Guys {for my Dylan!}

Look no further for dorm room ideas for guys.  I’ve got you hooked up!  Here’s my amazing list on how to personalize a dorm room with color combinations, hobbies and interests, how to show off their personality and quickly find commonality with roommates.

I’ve also shown you how to make DIY State shape signs for state pride as well as DIY photo dorm wall decor.  I’ve spilled all my tips and tricks to make your dorm room perfect for you!

shelf decorating dorm ideas for boys

Dorm Room Ideas for Guys

My goal when decorating my son’s dorm room was to create a home-away-from home atmosphere where he can feel comfortable and special and always feel he is loved.  Here are my dorm room ideas so you can do it too. {high fives}

To save you TONS of time and research, I’ve included links to the exact products I used for Dylan’s Texas dorm room decor.   These links contain affiliate links and you can Click here for my disclosure policy. Those links help support the site as I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  {knuckle bumps}

Shop:  College Dorm Room Shopping List  on Amazon

For your convenience, I’ve added all the college essentials into an Amazon wish list so you can quickly shop and see what products we ended up using.  I hope this helps save you some time, research, and money. {wink}

Texas dorm wall decor for guys
Before and After Dorm Room Decor for Guys

This is what my son’s dorm room looked like before and after at Centre Square apartments at BYU Idaho.

How To Personalize a Dorm Room

How to personalize your sons college apartment or dorm room is so much fun.  Here are some things to think about and elements to add:

1.  Pick a theme
2.  Pick color combinations
3.  Add hobbies, interests, and passions
4.  Show off personality
5.  Personalize their space
6.  Show state pride
7.  Add family pictures
8.  Add comfort items
9.  Bring things from home
10. Place for easily lost items

This may feel like a long list but it will come very naturally as you start to gather things you already have and fill in the gaps of dorm decor you need.

Don’t be surprised if you notice that you only need 3 decorative items.  Typically there’s not a lot of dorm wall space or shelf space.  So this will be a lot easier than you might think.

dorm room ideas for guys BEFORE wall decor is added
Dorm room before wall decor was added

This is what the Dylan’s dorm room would have looked like if we hadn’t added anything to the walls.  Granted this picture was taken before we got the bed risers so the under the bed storage would fit under the bed.  {snicker}

However, you can see how drab and sterile the dorm room looks if you don’t add anything to the walls.

Freshman Tips:  For under the bed storage ideas check out my college dorm checklist for guys.

Dylan in Empty Dorm Center Square BYU Idaho
Dylan in Empty Dorm Center Square BYU Idaho

1. Select Dorm Theme

When planning a dorm room for guys it’s easiest if you start with theme. Does your guy have a specific style or passion?   Whatever they love most about themselves, I would try to highlight that in an overall theme.

My son likes things simple and and easy.  He also really wanted his bull skull hung on his wall.  So we quickly decided a Texas dorm room theme would be perfect.   Dylan bought the bull skull at Walmart of all places a while ago and I hung it using a command strip.

bull head and wood vinyl headboard dorm room ideas for guys

2. Select Your Color Scheme

Next, you need select your color scheme.  Don’t pick more than 3 or 4 colors. Any more than that and things get chaotic and trust me when I tell you that your eye will get confused and it will not look pretty.

Remember that when you are mixing in your fun theme elements that you keep the word “layer” in mind. You want to layer colors, height and textures.

Mixing geometric patterns and shapes and textures is super on trend right now and I LOVE mixing patterns and shapes. That’s why Dylan’s dorm room is mixed and matched. Very strategic. {wink} It will also help make the dorm feel more cozy and warm.

Dylan chose his color scheme of wood, black, and grey subconsciously.  Everything he liked was in those colors so we just went with it.

Headboard ~ Since we drove Dylan’s car from Texas to Idaho we did not have a lot of room to transport everything for his new college life.  Therefore, I ordered a vinyl wood sticker to use as his headboard.  I used command strips to tack it into place.  It’s one of my favorite things.

Arrow Banner ~ I felt like the area above Dylan’s shelf needed a little something.  So I ordered this Arrow Head Garland Tribal Chevron Garland from Etsy in his colors of grey, black, and white.

Freshman Tip:  Unlike a typical bedroom, you’re working with stark white sterile space.  Color will be needed to freshen it up.

shelf decorating dorm ideas for boys

3. Add Hobbies, Interest, and Passions

It will be easier for roommates and new friends to get to know you if your dorm room represents your hobbies, interests, and passions.  This way you can find things you have in common quicker. What do the love?  Cars, gaming, sports, do they play an instrument, etc?  These are great questions to ask yourself to help you incorporate their individual interests for dorm room ideas.

My son, Dylan, loves Dungeons and Dragons, gaming, and wants to be a chemical engineer.   He’s also an introvert.  Which is why I felt it was even more important to showcase the great things about his passions and hobbies.

I was thrilled when he wanted to take his Senior quilt.  I felt this will remind him of all the things he’s already accomplished.  As well as help his roommates get to know him faster.  It added a lot of color and texture into his room as well, thus covering tip #1 and #2.

dorm wall decor for shelf for guys with arrow head banner

4.  Show Off Personality

When decorating any bedroom, I always consider the personality of my son.  Is yours funny, happy, sarcastic, hyper?  I find that it makes my boys more comfortable in their space when it matches their vibe.

D&D Clock ~ Dylan is an introvert but has a quick wit and is hysterically funny with his epic one liners.  Which is why I bought this “This Is How I Roll” dungeons and dragons clock.  I also added his D&D dice on his shelf as those are one of his prized possessions.

It had the wood texture which I love, it’s a necessary item that tell time, but it also shows off Dylan’s one-liners.  {giggle}

Dorm Room Ideas for Snack Containers for Guys

While your’re planning decorations also be sure to think outside the box when you’re decorating a small space.  Making decorations pull double duty as extra storage is a great strategy.

Snack Container ~ I used this 2-tier tin we grabbed at Home Goods for Dylan to store his Combat Crunch protein bars to eat while studying.

5.  Personalize Space With Initials

Adding personalized elements like a monogram, initials, or name is the easiest way to take up space.  You can grab almost any letter, spray paint it, and make it look good in any space.  So if you feel like you need a little something extra ~ grab a letter.

D Letter ~ Dylan saw the D initial at Hobby Lobby when we were picking up the black posterboard for his Texas sign.  Even though it super heavy it was a great size and perfect color scheme.

The D was great because it’s Dylan’s name and D&D for dungeons and dragons.  So it worked great on that small shelf that needed a little height at the end of it.

Texas State dorm wall decorEHprint Download File Here:
Texas Shape for Dorm Wall Decor (172 downloads)

6.  Show State Pride

Another super easy dorm room decorating ideas is show state pride.  Simply hang a flag, licence plate, or state shape of where you are from.  This will help you find carpool rides home for Christmas and find commonality with the people in your dorm.

DIY Texas State Shape

I cut out Dylan’s big Texas shape out of thick black posterboard.  Click the link above if you want a free file for the Texas state shape that I made.  Scroll down to see how I did it as it was so EASY and under $8. You can use this tutorial for any state shape you want. {knuckle bumps}

Texas State corkboard dorm wall decor

During my research I found these state shape cork boards on Pottery Barn and decided this is what I wanted to do for Dylan’s dorm wall decor.

The problem was that I couldn’t find cork that was tall enough at a decent price to create a Texas shape.  Then I realized that Dylan wouldn’t end up using it as a corkboard anyway.  So instead, I make a big Texas state shape.

I found a thick posterboard at Hobby Lobby in the art section for under $8.  It was the perfect size for my Texas.

Materials Needed:

  • thick black posterboard
  • state shape image
  • printer & paper
  • tape and stapler and scissors

Step 1 Texas State dorm wall decor for guys

Step 1:  Find your state shape.
Step 2:  Print it out big on several pieces of paper.

The Texas state shape is small.  However, you don’t need it to be a good quality as you just need the basic shape as a stencil that you can cut out.

I didn’t over think this part and it took me only a couple minutes to find a Texas state shape and print it out bigger onto several pieces of paper.  I clicked the TILED option so that it would print 4 pages wide and 5 pages long.

Step 2 Texas State dorm wall decor

Step 3:  Tape shape together.
Step 4:  Cut shape out of heavy posterboard.
Step 5:  Hang with command wall velcro strips

Next, I puzzle pieced the printed shape and taped it back together.  Once I centered the Texas shape onto the black posterboard, I also stapled the outside of the stencil to the posterboard.  This way the stencil didn’t move as I cut.

Lastly, I cut along the outside of the black state shape.  Yes the shape was very pixilated and not exactly accurate. However, it’s a boys dorm room so I didn’t think it really mattered.

The entire process took less than an hour and I love how it turned out. I slapped on 3 command velcro strips and it hung perfectly as dorm wall decor.  Bonus:  Dylan also really liked it!

BYU Idaho Centre Square Dorm Room Wall Decor Family Pictures and Quotes

7.  Add Family Pictures

In any room, I feel it’s important to add family pictures and religious accents.  However, how on earth do you do that for a dorm room for guys?  Um… I though long and hard about this one.

Some guys don’t care. However, mine did.  He didn’t want any at first.  Which I get. You don’t want to encourage them to be homesick.  However, you also want to empower them with their identity and where they’ve come from.  So to do this I decided to add smaller pictures with motivational quotes on a stick.  That’s masculine enough, right?  {cheezy grin}

DIY Photo Dorm Wall Decor

In retrospect, I wish I had taken the time to hang his pictures using command velcro instead of hooks as it would have looked more polished.  AND I wish I had waited to take the picture with better lighting. However, we were pressed for time.  Ugh.

Freshman Tip:  Originally the plan was to add the pictures above his dorm headboard with the bull skull above the pictures. However, that didn’t work with scale.  So I moved them over by the closet door.

We also ended up having to tape the bottom pictures down because the blew around every time Dylan opened up his closet door.  Issue fixed.

I wanted Dylan to have a well rounded view of himself as he begins this new chapter of his life.  Therefore, I picked funny, silly, and empowering moments in his life in several stages.

Photo Dorm Wall Decor Pictures:

  • Baby
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Experiences
  • Inspirational Quotes

How to Make Photo Dorm Wall Decor:

Step 1:  I copied those baby pictures, family pictures, friend pictures, empowering experiences and inspirational quotes into Microsoft Publisher.  {cuz I’m old school}

Step 2:  Made all the images the same shape, added a boarder.

Inspirational Dorm Quotes For Guys free printable for freshman to decorate dorm walls
EHprint Download File Here:
College Inspirational Quotes (74 downloads)

If you want a copy of the college inspirational quotes that I made click the link above.  I tried to be thoughtful and strategic and find motivational quotes that wouldn’t inflict shame.  But who knows if I accomplished that or not.  {eek}  These motivate me, so hopefully they will your college freshman as well.

College Inspirational Quotes

  • I’ve Got This
  • Be ME Not Them
  • This Is Going To Be Fun
  • Worry Is A Waste Of Time
  • I Was Made For This
  • The Only Way To Fail Is To Quit

Step 4 picture dorm wall decor for guys

This is the photo wall look that I was going for.  In retrospect, I do wish I had made them black and white.  But I was worried that they would be to stark and look dirty in that space.

I couldn’t hang it using 2 small nails so I opted for command hooks because I was worried my stick was too bend.  It wasn’t flat on the wall. I think I could have hung it just fine with command velcro strips. However, we were in a hurry so I just used the command hooks.  It worked and took seconds.

Step 2 picture dorm wall decor for guys

Step 3.  Cut them out on photo paper.
Step 4.  Line Up.
Step 5:  Hang on twine.

I didn’t overthink the arranging process.  I couldn’t find my laser level so I just eyeballed it.  I originally tried to use a stick or measuring tape to make sure all the pictures were evenly spaced. However, that seemed to just get in the way.  So in the end I just tied the twine at the top and taped the back of the photos to the twine hanging down.

Voila.  It was really that easy.

Texas wall decor dorm ideas for guys_TipJunkie

8.  Add Comfort Items

Don’t forget the little comfort items that they are used to.  I get it space is tight and so is money but if you can think of things they they really enjoy at home currently.  Then try to recreate that in their dorm room.  This way it will remind them of home and that they are loved

I go into ALL the details on dorm room ideas for guys and what I purchased for Dylan’s dorm room so click here for College Packing List for Guys if you want those links and details.

In a nutshell, the dorm room comfort items we chose where:

Dylans Desk at BYU Idaho Centre Square

9.  Bring Things From Home

Confession.  It didn’t even occur to me to bring things from home until I saw on of my friend’s move her daughter into her dorm room and they brought things from home. {d’oh!}

What wasn’t I thinking?!?  Seriously.  That made planning so much easier.  I had Dylan grab what he liked the most from his bedroom and I grabbed a bunch of extra things I already had and boom the room came together quickly.

Use systems that they are currently using so they don’t have to start everything brand new in a brand new place with brand new people. For instance, Dylan brought his lamp charger. It holds all the cords he needs and he’s been using that system for years. It works for him now so it should work for him there.

College Dorm Room Organization for Keys and Wallet
What do they loose easily?

10. A Place for Easily Lost Items

I love systems.  I feel like they make life so much easier and comfortable.  That way my brain can think of other more important things.  Now is a good time to think about the issues you have at home.  What are they always losing track of?  What habits are not so idea?

I mention this last because it’s important to understand these things in an effort to help them create a system that will empower them.  At this point trying to change these habits will probably only cause more issues.  So embrace them and try to find a hack for them.

Creating a space for wallet and keys is a great place to start. This way when they come home they know where those go.  If it’s a huge issue you could also add a tracking device like a Tile.  Yep, we have that on lots of Tiles on things in our home.  Ladies, it works!

Just something to keep in mind during your planning.

BYU Idaho Centre Square Dorm Room Decorating Ideas on Tip Junkie

How To Decorate a Dorm Room

Here are are few other things to keep in mind as you’re planning out your room:

  • Gather personalized decorating ideas listed above.
  • What are your storage and space issues?  Do you have a dresser? Are there built-in shelves? shared space?
  • Combine storage solutions into decor. {pretty bins}
  • How are you going to transport all the gear?  {clothing, packages, decor, supplies}  Ikea bags versus big plastic storage bins.
  • What issues will you have while decorating and setting up the college apartment?  What kind of hanging solutions do you need, can you create holes with a nail, do you have time limits?

I’ve detailed all of the answers to these questions on the College Dorm Checklist for guys.  If you’ve already read that post I didn’t want to repeat that freshman advice here and bore you.

Have Fun!

I wanted to have a little fun on moving day and I also wanted to try to prevent an issue that happens in my own home.  When more than one person is doing laundry… things get left in the washing machine and dryer.

Therefore, I ordered this Wii Controller whiteboard with Magnetic Markers so the boys can quickly note who’s laundry is in the dryer, a laundry schedule, or notes like “Empty Me!” {giggle}

Dylan in College Dorm Centre Square BYUi

Can you believe Dylan didn’t want me to do much to decorate his dorm walls.  I will be honest and admit that I was sad about it.  However, I eventually decided to do whatever I would normally do for his bedroom, and then take off half the things on my list.  {giggle}  Yep, this is pretty much how we compromised.

I hope these dorm room ideas inspire you to create a great space.  Good luck and you’ve got this!

More College Prep For Guys

Since this was my first child I had to prepare for college I went a little overboard.  The great thing about these resources is that they are here if you need them.  So feel free to take what you need and disregard the rest. {wink}

Here’s the complete list of my college prep for guys how-to’s:

There are FREE printables with almost every post.  I wanted to you have what I wished I could have downloaded for free during our college prep.

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