Dorm Room Wall Art Buying Guide

Are you moving into your new dorm room in college? It's time to decorate your room with wall art. Prints, paintings, posters and other decorations provide wonderful options to personalize your room.

Types of dorm room wall art


Posters are ideal for sharing what you love and starting conversations with roommates and potential friends. They can cover a wide range of subjects, from your favorite superhero to the music festival you attended last summer. Overall, it's pretty easy to find a poster that relates to your favorite band, celebrity or hobby and stick it up on your wall!

Paintings and prints

Paintings, prints and other more artistic pieces are ideal for those who want an eclectic and interesting room. You can scour your local art fairs, look online at stores involving handcrafted objects, or even visit your local pop culture and comic conventions. You're not shy of options when it comes to affordable art that will spice up your walls.


Photographs are ideal if you'd like to add a personal touch to your room. Some people prefer to arrange their photos in a lovingly organized grid, perfectly showing off their friends and family from back home. Others may tack up a collage of their photos on a corkboard and fill in the empty space as the semester progresses and they make new memories. No matter how you choose to display your photos, they'll add a personal, welcoming touch to your new room.

Vinyl Wall Decals

One popular option for decorating your dorm room is the vinyl wall decal. These are large, removable designs which you can apply to your wall for large, dramatic decoration. You can find anything from animal silhouettes to typographic decor in vinyl form. Using a wall vinyl can be an easy way to decorate a large area, as they can be quite large. However, if you need something of a more manageable size, there are plenty of vinyl options for whatever you're looking for.

Temporary wallpaper

Another option for dorm room wall art is temporary wallpaper, which is easily removable at the end of the semester. You can transform your bland walls with splashes of color and patterns without the permanence of real wallpaper. There are plenty of stylish options available for those who wish to dramatically improve their dorm room with ease.

Pay attention to

Cheaper options

If you're on a college student's budget, you're probably acutely aware of how much everything costs when moving into a new place. There are options for cheaper wall art, like going to your local upscale thrift stores (particularly those in wealthier neighborhoods) rather than buying original artwork or large-scale removable wallpaper. Antique markets are also ideal for finding interesting wall art at low prices. This is probably the most interesting method for finding wall art, as you never know what will show up at a thrift store or antique market.

How will you affix it to your wall?

Colleges are known for being sticklers about damaging dorm rooms. Depending on your dorm's rules, you could be hit with fees if you so much as use thumbtacks that leave a mark on your wall. Vinyls and temporary wallpaper are ideal, because they are easily removable. With items like prints, paintings, and posters, you will likely have to use a removable, putty-like adhesive rather than thumbtacks. These adhesives are available in the school supply section of your local supermarkets and office supply stores. As long as you don't wish to display anything too heavy, you should have no problem decorating your walls while following your dorm's rules.

Size and portability

Moving takes a lot of effort, and the last thing you'll want to do when the semester is over is take down a heavy piece of art. You'll have an easier time if you go for something that can roll up when it's time to leave. Postcards are small and take up little space, while things like posters and wall vinyls can be easily stored away when it's time to move.

How does it reflect your personality?

In a new place, you'll likely be eager to make new friends and colleagues. For this reason, you'll probably want to consider just what exactly your room decor says about you. It's your opportunity to personalize your room and project the specific kind of person you are to the world. You'll project a far different image of yourself if you decorate with posters of your favorite grunge band and photos of bleak desert landscapes, than if you decorate with candy-colored cartoon illustrations and swirling wall vinyls. While both are equally creative and interesting, you can clearly shape how others see you with your wall decor.

Are you sharing your room with others?

You may have to compromise regarding who gets to use what space in your dorm. If you're sharing a dorm with others, you may have to share a common area like a living room, or even the very room you sleep in. Some potential roommates are especially kind and work together to coordinate decor. If you do end up having to share a space, you can work together to make a photo collage and get to know your new roommate.

Top Brands and Product Lines

WallNeedsLove provides a wide selection of quality prints, adhesive posters, murals and wall decals which appeal to both low and high budgets.

SwagPaper is a high quality removable wallpaper provider with a wide selection and variation in size, so you only buy what you need for your dorm room's accent wall.

Society6 provides highly creative and affordable art prints in a wide range of styles and sizes, made by artists from all over the world.