Dorm Room Reveal

Hi friends! Welcome to my college dorm room! This little space of mine has been months in planning, and I’m so excited to finally have the chance to show you around the 12′ x 8.5′ room that I lovingly call my “home” away from home. As a third-year student at The University of Texas at Austin, the idea of moving back into a dorm was comforting. I absolutely loved living in one during my last two years of college, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of leaving just yet. So, here I am giving you a little dorm room tour! The thing that’s changed this year? I’m in a single room – party of one!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

With a slight change of the room layout this year, I was thrilled to start decorating. When I first entered college, I looked up lots of ideas for DIY projects and dorm decorating on my College Dorm Room Pinterest board, but I have since learned that the “less is more” approach really goes a long way in such a small space. The goal was to make the room feel bright, open, and inviting. After long days of engineering classes, study groups with friends, blogging, and student org meetings, I wanted my room to be a place I could escape to strictly unwind and relax.

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Let’s step outside for just a sec! On the door of my room, I kept the foam flower my sweet RA made for all the girls on the hall and stuck a little name sign that I made with a scrap piece of cardboard paper I found at the bottom of my craft drawer. It’s little projects like this that make me really excited to have scrap pieces of cardboard laying around!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

As you probably will see throughout my room, I’m a sucker for tassels. I made this little hanging door pom with leftover tassels from the tassel garland that hangs from my ceiling.

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Upon entering the room, this is the view of the left side. As always, I have to have my bed raised up with sturdy bed risers, because this girl over here has lots of stuff she needs to store and can’t live without under-bed storage with these clear stackable drawers from The Container Store! I love these bed risers from a local company in Austin called Breed & Co, because they’re made out of sturdy PVC pipe and they’ve lasted me a good while. Unlike previous years, I knew I wanted my bed to have the clean and crisp look of white sheets, so I picked up the IKEA SÖMNIG sheet set and this Target bed skirt to achieve just that. 

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

For fun pops of color, I brought my favorite pool blue PB Teen monogrammed pom pom pillow and hung up my homemade tassel garland. My brass floor lamp from Target is within easy reach from my bed and makes for a perfect reading light at night.

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

I love as many pom poms as I can get, so this pink herringbone pom pom throw was such a fun addition to the bed. It’s been my favorite blanket to curl up in for those afternoon cat naps and snuggling up in bed on weekend mornings! I also had been eyeing on a colorful printed rug. Once I saw this NULOOM vibrant floral Persian pink rug online, I had my heart set on purchasing it. It was exactly what I’d been looking for and it only exceeded my expectations once it arrived in person. 

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Behind my regular pillows, I also keep a pool blue body pillow from H-E-B that I love using to sit up straight. Can you tell I have a thing for pool blue/turquoise yet?

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

I can’t forget about my DIY donut hat! This little thing has been with me since my senior year of high school, and I can’t seem to part ways with it just yet. It’s a fun accessory to wear (also a great conversation starter), but it also makes a fun wall decor piece!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

One of the best things in my little space is the warm and bright light that shines through the window every afternoon. A bright space really makes me feel so happy and at home! I hung up these IKEA TERESIA sheer curtains on a gold tension rod for a tad more privacy without compromising the beautiful afternoon light and decorated the window sill with some colorful goblets from Oh Joy! for Target‘s Garden Party Collection that I plan on filling with wildflowers throughout the year! And of course, I can’t forget about the garden string lights (that I definitely plan on using in a future backyard) with these trusty and removable clear ceiling hooks from H-E-B. The string lights not only add extra light to the room at night, but they also make the space feel so charming and cozy! The tasseled balloons are a temporary addition to the room left over from the Teen Vogue Back-to-School Party, and I found a perfect little corner for them close to my closets!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Coming around to the opposite corner of the room is my sink area! I can’t even begin to tell you how convenient it is to have a sink in my room. I love that I can get ready in the morning and at night on my own time. Again with the accents of pool blue, I picked up these turquoise hand towels from H-E-B and hung up a DIY painting I made of Texas with a heart in my hometown of Houston, TX.

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

On the opposite side of the hand towels, I have a handy wall of shelves to keep my daily essentials, including my skincare routine products and my favorite $8 Anthropologie monogrammed mug.

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

My desk area is right at the foot of my bed, and I absolutely love having a space to work that also doubles as a vanity. I typically don’t do much homework in my room, but I do love working on other things like blogging or reading. I wanted to make the area looked as clean and aesthetically-pleasing as possible, so I could feel extra productive. First, I swapped out the dorm chair they gave me with a deep teal colored seat from Target. I next covered the oak-colored desk in removable grey marble contact paper (my big secret!) to maintain the light theme and make the space feel larger. I keep my handy large acrylic makeup organizer and acrylic stacking drawers from The Container Store to organize my favorite makeup products and tools. On the shelves, I keep pictures of my sweet friends and family, a jewelry tree branch organizer (similar linked), and battery-operated flickering candles, since the dorm doesn’t allow real ones!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

I still can’t get over this garland, y’all. How stinking cute is it?! Big thanks to Oh Happy Day Booth for the sweet gift!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

These little details make the room feel so much more special. I love this umbrella ring dish and chalkboard spice jar (unfortunately both sold out!) that some sweet friends bought as birthday gifts. Adding a touch of greenery on the shelves is super easy and pretty with this darling $3 white pot from IKEA. 

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Anddd…to the important area: the fridge! Apologies for the slight mess on top, y’all, but I actually live here. This dorm fridge has served me well for the last two years, and I highly recommend it to any college student – especially one who loves ice cream, because the freezer section is cold. Also, I don’t know what I was doing with my life before getting a Brita filter water pitcher. It’s so convenient, and it’s saved me so many trips to get water, because I can do it straight from my sink! Below is a picture of the room without the balloons and with a chair in its place. I like placing my shower caddy on top of a tile sample I picked up at Home Depot, so it doesn’t ruin the carpet!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

Well, friends! That’s it! My space is small, but I feel really fortunate to have a cozy space to call “home” while I’m away in college. Be sure to stay tuned with the Dorm Decor Series here on The Bella Insider! If you have any requests on what topics you’d like me to cover under this series (or college in general), I’m all ears! I’d be more than happy to give my two cents and share my thoughts. Drop a comment down below, DM me @sarah_thebella, or shoot me an email at!

Dorm Room Reveal | The Bella Insider

As always, you can conveniently shop my entire dorm room under the My Dorm Room tab in the navigation bar or down below:

Finally, for you ladies who are possibly attending The University of Texas at Austin, shoot me an email if you have any questions about dorm living! I so appreciate you stopping by the blog today. Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see all of you very soon.

Thank you to H-E-B for sponsoring the second installment of this year’s college dorm series! To check out dorm organization tips from the H-E-B dorm series, click here

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Leave a Comment


  1. 9.21.16
    Ashley said:

    Ahh I love all the colors Sarah! So colorful and homey!

    Ashley //

  2. 9.21.16
    Sarah said:

    Thank you so much, Ashley! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one.

    XO, Sarah | The Bella Insider | @sarah_thebella

  3. 9.21.16
    Carrie C said:

    Ah, what a fun space! I love it, Sarah!


  4. 9.22.16
    Anonymous said:

    LOVE your room! Way to make the best of a small space! – Jeanine A.

  5. 9.23.16
    Erin said:

    So cute! I love all the pom poms

    Erin // Plaid & Pearls

  6. 11.22.16

    I really love what you did with so less stuff. it's cozy and welcoming. All you need after a long day at college!

    Great work!

  7. 11.23.16

    I love the pool or spa blue. Color of my bedroom. Refreshing without being shocking. I lived 15 years in a same size room, so I can relate. I do love the bed risers and under bed storage.

  8. 4.16.17
    Anonymous said:

    LOVE this! One question- does the marble contact paper come off without damaging the desk or leaving residue? I want to put it in my dorm next year (at UT!!) but I'm worried about hurting the desk and paying for damages