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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Fall in love with these dorm-friendly autumn decorations

Transform your dorm in preparation for fall.
Zarrin Zahid
Graphic depicting fall wreath hanging on dorm door. (Hustler Multimedia/Zarrin Zahid)

From the crisp morning air to newly-placed outdoor pumpkin assortments, it’s safe to say that fall has officially arrived on campus. As an autumn enthusiast, I feel that there’s so much to appreciate about the season. The turtlenecks and boots that seem to elevate my fashion sense and the crunch of fallen leaves beneath my feet are just two examples of why the autumn season is cause for celebration. 

At home, I fall-ify my bedroom as soon as the autumn equinox hits. To give my home-away-from-home a familiar feel, I decided to continue my tradition here. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite dorm-friendly decorations you can also use to embrace fall.

Door wreath

Make guests feel welcome before they even set foot inside your dorm by hanging an autumn wreath on your door. If you’re looking for a fun DIY, try making a paper-plate wreath, complete with construction paper leaves, acorns, pumpkins and Halloween-esque items. 

String lights

I personally find the fluorescent overhead light in my dorm to be an ambience-killer. Alternatives like string lights are easy, effective ways to incorporate both autumn and softer light into your dorm. What’s great about string lights is their diversity: You can find bulbs in different colors (orange or yellow) and shapes (acorns, pumpkins and leaves only scratch the surface of possibilities). Try styling them by lining them around your mirror or hanging them around your desk. 

Blanket and pillow

Keep the autumn chill at bay with a comfy, harvest-themed sherpa. The difference between these items and other decor is their functionality. While some decor simply sits on your desk, you can actually use a blanket and pillow. You can take a more minimalist approach with a solid-colored blanket or go all out with themed throw pillows.


Less commitment than posters but more interesting than a bare wall, banners are a low-effort way to spice up your dorm for fall. Similar to the string lights, they can come in many shapes and sizes. I purchased an inexpensive set of three from Target, which included strings of pumpkins, bats and ghosts. With twine and construction paper, you could also easily make your own.

Fridge magnets

If you’re looking for decor that’s less involved to put up, fridge magnets are your go-to. Small things can even make a space feel more lived-in and homey. Fridge magnets come to mind when I think of items I had at home but didn’t consider bringing to college. The magnets can be used on any magnetic surface, not just fridges, so you can get creative with where you place them in your dorm, such as on your bedframe. 

Miniature pumpkins 

Pumpkins are an iconic symbol of fall, and a fall-ified room would be incomplete without incorporating them somehow. While standard-sized pumpkins take up lots of space, miniature pumpkins can add small splashes of bright orange to places like window sills, desks or corners. Small gourds can also accomplish the same goal. Check out the pumpkin patch in 12 South for pumpkins as cheap as $4!

Gel mirror clings

Add an autumn oomph to your fall Outfit Of The Day pictures by adding festive gel clings to your mirror. Because stickers and other adhesives leave residue on mirrors, it’s easy to simply leave your mirror bare and forget it’s a space you can embellish. Gel clings are relatively inexpensive and easy to install and remove. 

Final notes

While this list is in no way comprehensive of all the items you can use to decorate your dorm, it should be a sufficient starting point. There’s no denying that fall is here, and I’m hopeful that with this guide you can successfully usher in the season.

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About the Contributor
Zarrin Zahid, Staff Writer and Graphics Staffer
Zarrin Zahid (‘26) is a student in the College of Arts and Science majoring in law, history and society and minoring in Islamic studies. Besides The Hustler, she enjoys writing stories, cooking and watching bad horror movies unironically. She can be reached at [email protected].
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Shannon Hoelscher
4 months ago

Great seasonal piece!

Connor McGuffey
4 months ago