Now, you can decorate your room however you like- there are all sorts of styles, and all sorts of guides out there. But we think that a preppy look is always going to work at college. What exactly do we mean by preppy? Well, there isn’t really an exact definition that completely fits what preppy really means; it originally referred to members of well-off families from the North East, and their lifestyle.
There are a few key ideas that underlie preppy-ness, though. Neat and clean cut. Bold patterns and striking colors. And monograms everywhere! If you’re having second thoughts about the kind of look you want to go for, the preppy look will never fail. And these few basic ideas are really easy to incorporate into your design, too.
So without any further ado, let’s take a look at some preppy dorm room ideas!
Bold colors that ‘pop’ are a great look
Our first tip is to make the most of bright, clean colors. These colors can be whatever you like, but if you’re going for a preppy look, the best colors are warm- reds, oranges, pinks, and maybe some contrasting blue. Choose one or two colors that you really like, and splash them around here and there, although only sparingly.
These colors should be contrasted against a clean background, and the best color for that by far is white. Having these colors against a white background helps them to ‘pop’, or in other words, to stand out. It helps accentuate your use of color in the room.
Bear in mind that you shouldn’t go overboard with color, because the preppy look only really works when it’s not too ‘in your face’. The colors should contrast and stand out nicely, but not necessarily be too bright- so a nice normal blue and green is a nice combination. Hot pink might be a step too far, but rose might be nice.
Mix and match your patterns
Patterns work just as well as colors in the preppy look. But again, they should only be used minimally. The pattern can be polka dots, which are an absolute mainstay, or it can be parallel lines or zig zags. These patterns work best with high contrast colors like black and white, or maybe you could use your school colors.
A great example is a throw blanket on the end of your bed. It’s big enough that the pattern makes an impact, but it’s small enough that it’s not going to ruin the look of the room! To help the contrast stand out, you can even have two different patterns, for instance one zig zag and one polka dot.
There are loads of patterns you can pick from, but plaid is a really good option for a preppy dorm. It stands out really well against a plain background, too.
Monograms are a preppy must have
One very common part of the preppy look is the monogram. This comes from how those who are more well off tend to have their initials monogrammed on their stuff: their polo shirts, baseball caps, the front gates to their houses… For some people, they want their monograms on everything!
You don’t have to have monograms on everything from your lamp shade to your carpet, but having one will complete the preppy look in your dorm. The font doesn’t necessarily have to be flowery like on a wedding invite, because big and blocky looks just as good.
You can hang the monogram on your wall, on your door, or anywhere you like. For some reason, monograms look particularly good when they’re over your headboard. If your roomie has a matching monogram, it can create a really nice symmetry in your room.
Show some college pride
College pride never hurts, even if you aren’t going for a particular look in your room! The preppy look is originally based on the set of people who went to particular schools- first prep schools, hence the name, and then the Ivy League colleges of the North East. Preppiness is basically based on college and college styles, so college pride fits right in.
The most obvious way to show school pride is to use the school colors in your design. If you’re unlucky enough that your school colors are a strange combination of bright lilac and red, then you might have to choose something else. But most schools have really nice color schemes like red and white, or blue and orange. These combos look really good in a color scheme.
Alternatively, some pennants fit in nicely on the wall, maybe on either side of the monogram you hung up earlier. Picking decorations related to sports common in Ivy League schools also helps, like lacrosse or rowing. Sporty and preppy go hand in hand, so this would be a great look for you.
Speaking of rowing…
Nautical is good
Nautical isn’t necessarily a big part of the preppy look, but it fits right in. And the good news is that it’s quite popular now anyway! Things like anchors and sailboats are really popular decorative designs right now. Not real anchors, or real sailboats, but pictures of them, or having them incorporated in a pattern.
Things of a nautical theme, quite naturally, fit in with a blue and green color scheme. Matching pattern, color and theme really is the object of design; so nautical might be a good place to start. The good thing is that nautical seems to be everywhere right now, so you’re not going to have any trouble finding inspirational. Just check out Pinterest on any given day!
If you’re not into all things nautical, the limit is really only your imagination. You can pick anything from a number of other themes: beachy works too! But seriously, if you can’t think of a theme that fits, you can always just stick to a pattern like chevrons or plaid. These are really common in preppy circles anyway.