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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

One of the most highly anticipated events of moving into your dorm room is deciding on an aesthetic. Your dorm room is the one place that you get to make your own—it’s where you can relax, unwind, catch up on sleep, and study. This is why a lot of college students put thought into not only how they want their dorm to look, but what kind of vibes they want it to give off. 

If you’ve been wondering which aesthetic is right for your room, perhaps it’s time you considered the indie aesthetic? If you like going against the grain and showing off your free spirit vibes, this could be the aesthetic that’s right for you! If you’d like to learn a little more, keep reading because we’re going to cover:

  • What the indie aesthetic is
  • How to incorporate the indie aesthetic into your dorm room
  • Fun ways to include indie aesthetic items in your everyday

What is the Indie Aesthetic? (and How Has it Changed)

Let’s clear the air and learn exactly what is an indie aesthetic, and what it isn’t!

The indie aesthetic has been around for a lot longer than you might think. Image courtesy of Berklee College of Music.

In order to more clearly understand how you can create an indie aesthetic dorm room, it might be helpful to define exactly what we mean by saying “indie aesthetic.” Originally, the word indie was used to describe music artists who were not a part of a mainstream or commercial record company. They made their music and sold it on independent (indie) labels instead. The first indie bands came out of Great Britain in the 1970s as the punk scene grew. This anti-establishment attitude filtered down into the successors of punk in the U.K. and the U.S., including genres like post-punk, new wave, alternative, and grunge. 

Indie artists were those who weren’t afraid to be independent, and if mainstream record labels weren’t interested in their music or what their band had to say, then they would take a DIY approach and produce or record their music themselves. This kind of attitude has trickled down into more than just music, as you can see with the popularity of the indie aesthetic and indie fashion. Not caring what others think and going your own way is about as indie as you can get. 

The indie aesthetic has always taken a sincere and authentic approach to incorporating different styles—whether that’s vintage, bohemian, modern, and now Y2K. While indie music is an umbrella term that can be applied to a variety of different genres (think indie-pop, indie-rock, etc.) as an aesthetic, it has also changed and adapted a little over the course of the decades. 

In the 1990s and the early parts of the 2000s, when you think of indie aesthetic, you might think of soft hues, floral dresses, muted colors, with an emphasis on charity shop chic—whether clothing items or home decor. Around 2010, the aesthetic included artistic overtones, shabby chicness, minimalism, and a lo-fi vibe that was perfectly captured with Instagram's retro filters. 

However, the indie aesthetic has changed again for the new generation, and into the new decade of the 2020s. When you want to capture the essence of the indie aesthetic now, you’ll find you’re surrounded by bright, neon colors, and happily retro vibes that are throwbacks to the early 2000s. Anything soft, colorful, and most importantly, appealing to the wearer or user can be considered indie aesthetic. 

This shift from the pastels of the earlier indie vibe to the full on color explosion and ironic nature of the new indie vibe happened during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. The intense colors and almost twee fun of this new indie style is believed to be a response to the struggles of dealing with life during a pandemic and living in lock down away from school, friends, and family.

So now that we know a little more about how the indie aesthetic evolved, and where it is today, it’s time to discuss some of the must-have items you can include in your room!

Indie Aesthetic in Your Dorm Room

Our favorite ways to include some indie aesthetic into your dorm room

It’s easier than you might think to introduce indie aesthetic vibes into your room. Image courtesy of Pinterest

If you’re looking to add a little bit of indie aesthetic to your dorm room, we think that’s a great idea! Whether you want to go all out, or just add a little bit of indie design here and there, we have a few tips for you to follow in order to get the most out of your decor. Whether you have the room to yourself, or want to go in on this fun aesthetic with your roommate, here are a few basic styling ideas to keep in mind as you plan your dorm room.

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Fill up space on your walls

One of the hallmarks of the indie aesthetic is to leave no space bare! That’s why indie-inspired decor does so well with dorm rooms. You’re given four bland, white walls, and you get to fill it all with your favorite decor! A classic way to add a cool indie vibe to your room is to take a wall and cover it with vinyl records. Not only does this give you the perfect opportunity to take a trip to your local record store, but it also gives you a chance to find some musicians you may have never heard of before (but will definitely be at home in your Spotify playlist). Whether you take the records out of their case, or go with the eclectic case covers, this is such an easy way to cover up a blank wall.

In addition to vinyl, you could also opt to go with pictures, either framed or not, maps, or even postcards. Just having a theme and going with it is essential to getting those indie vibes in your dorm. 

Posters and wall art are other options—just make sure you’re filling up that space. And remember to keep it colorful. If you’re going for the indie aesthetic this year for your room, this is your chance to incorporate all kinds of fun colors. 

What about adding something a little extra to your room this year? In the spirit of indie creativity, why not bring the universe to your room with a star projector? This is such a cool way to add something to the only wall in your dorm room that won’t be boasting cool art, posters, or even vinyl records—your ceiling! There are all kinds of projectors you can choose from, plus they kind of make an excellent night light. Create a cozy atmosphere with the addition of stars to your bedroom, and you’ll be ready to relax and hang out with friends in no time.

Patterns and colors

In addition to colorful walls full of your favorite decor, why not include a little indie aesthetic into your bed and study area? You’ve got to make sure you have a comforter, sheets, and pillows that are just right for the indie aesthetic you’re going for. Think funky, vibrant patterns, along with a good dose of color. You can choose to have your pillows and sheets match your comforter, or instead opt to go with a coordinating color. 

We love the bright blue pattern on this comforter matched with the pink pillow and a fuzzy, shag pillow as well. Combining textures and colors is a great way to make sure this part of your dorm room pops. If your bed is lofted and your desk/study area is underneath your bed, this is a great place to include a little extra light. Whether you want to go with string lights or a comforting desk lamp, make this area as inviting as the rest of your space!

Keep it cozy

Although your room may be full of all kinds of colors and bright decor, there’s no reason your space can’t be cozy as well! Using pillows on your bed and couch are great ways to not only add color to your room, but they create a welcoming vibe that you’ll look forward to coming home to after a long day of class. 

Another way to add to the coziness is to go with lighting options that create a soft glow. These are great when you’re trying to unwind, or need to catch up on some much-needed self care. Now all you need is some comfy blankets (think shag or in leopard or zebra patterns) and you’ve got yourself an easy spot to chill out in.

You also can’t go wrong with plants in your dorm room. Not only do they add a great shade of green, but they also work to clean the air! If you’re looking for something more, consider picking up faux ivy or pothos and drape it across the borders of your walls. You could also consider hanging the strands vertically, and go with an entire wall of green! Talk about an easy way to make a stand out statement wall. 

Ways to Add Indie Aesthetic to Your Everyday

Keep those easy vibes going with some additions to your everyday

If you love color and eclectic and interesting decor, the indie aesthetic is for you. Image courtesy of Trendey.

Now that you’ve got some ideas for ways to incorporate the indie aesthetic into your dorm decor, there are other must-have items that you might want to pick up in order to bring the vibe of your space with you—no matter where on campus you are!

Stickers and decals

Remember when you were a kid and you loved stickers? You may have even had a sticker book. Well, the time has come again to enjoy the fun of stickers! That’s right, stickers are a big part of the indie aesthetic, and we think that’s great news, because you can put them almost anywhere! 

Take any regular item and take it up a notch with some colorful stickers. Whether your notebooks need a little something extra, or you think stickers would be a great addition to your makeup case, you can’t go wrong with cute and colorful stickers. The best part is you can get stickers in almost any shape, color, and size, allowing you to customize how you style them. Bonus points if they’re styled like those from Lisa Frank

While stickers are fun, sometimes they’re a little more permanent than you want. If that’s the case, go with a decal, that can easily be removed. These work great on mirrors too!


When the weather is nice, why not take your studying outside? Or have a picnic with friends? For either of these activities, you’re going to need a blanket. This llama striped blanket is the perfect mix of soft and comfortable, and it is the ideal size for solo studying, or a get together with friends outside. It’ll fit easily into your backpack or tote bag, and it looks just as good thrown over the end of your bed, or on your couch. 

Laptop sleeve

Up your game when it comes to keeping your laptop safe and protected. There are plenty of cool indie-inspired laptop sleeves for you to choose from, including this adorable and colorful Y2K bears theme. Keeping your laptop in a sleeve is a great way to ensure it stays safe from minor scratches and drops. The foam padding will keep it secure among the rest of your supplies in your bag, and it’s super easy to clean. 

If you’re looking for some must have items to complete your indie aesthetic, consider picking up a few of these options. You’ll be enjoying the colorful coziness that this style offers in no time. What are your favorite ways to incorporate the indie aesthetic into your room? Let us know in the comments!