This Year, Nearly A Quarter of College Families Plan to Spend Over $500 on Dorm Decorations

NEW YORK – August 1, 2019 – As college students prepare for the new school year to begin, their dorm room décor is proving to be of the utmost importance, according to a recent survey from HGTV. The survey, conducted in July 2019 by HGTV and Open Mind Strategy, found that décor impacts both the perception of students’ happiness (82%) as well as how successful they will be in their studies (76%). With 73% of students saying that dorm room decorating gets competitive, and 60% of students admitting they get jealous of other students’ dorm room décor – the pressure is on.

“The dorm room is one of the first ways students will get to express themselves when they get to college. All the inspiration on social media, now more than ever, has shown what can be done and has created an uptick in the desire to have a great-looking room,” said Jillian St. Charles, Senior Vice President of Digital Programming & Video from HGTV and Travel Channel at Discovery Digital Studios. “Decorating their dorm is a great outlet for students to show their unique personalities; and there are many easy and affordable ways to do that.”

In terms of style preferences, students are leaning toward making a dorm more “homey”, bringing items such as throw pillows (47%), strings of lights (45%) or a statement rug (40%) to their rooms. Some (72%) are taking it further, taking furniture from home because they don’t think what the school provides is good enough. They are also keeping their memories fairly close, with more than half (58%) of respondents saying they would like to decorate with pictures of their family, followed by pictures of friends (47%).

Interestingly, more than a third of male respondents (39%) say they want to do a lot of decorating, bringing their own original designs and look to the room. Meanwhile, nearly half of female respondents (46%) are leaning toward a savvier look, adding smaller elements of style to school-provided items. A quarter of respondents say they will decorate in a “utilitarian” fashion, dressing up the room just enough to organize and make everything fit, while only two percent say they will have no style whatsoever.

“Looks aren’t the only thing that matters. Functionality plays an important role in how students use their space,” continued St. Charles. “We’ve seen a rise in searches for things like double-duty storage, DIY desk organizers and dressing up a blank wall without using nails. We’ve got a lot of great ideas to help students get creative and also to use their space in a way that works for them every day.”

For more fun and easy ways to spruce up the dorm room this year, visit


This survey was conducted online by Open Mind Strategy on behalf of HGTV, fielded July 22 – July 25, 2019, among 1,398 people, age 18-64, who can speak to the college experience as either a student or parent.


HGTV delivers the superstar experts, fascinating families, compelling renovations and stunning transformations that make all things home fun. America’s favorite way to get entertaining, relatable and inspirational home and lifestyle content, HGTV offers: a top 10 cable network that is distributed to more than 88 million U.S. households; a website,, that attracts an average of 9.7 million people each month; a social footprint of 16.8 million; HGTV Magazine, a monthly publication that reaches more than one million readers and exclusive collections of home-oriented products through the HGTV HOME™ consumer products line.  Viewers can become fans of HGTV and interact with other home improvement enthusiasts through FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. HGTV is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories, whose portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.