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15 Affordable Boho Decorating Ideas for a College Apartment

Looking for affordable Boho decorating ideas for your dorm, apartment, or bedroom? You’ll love these great ideas that won’t break the bank. From wall decor to bedding, there are lots of ways to add Boho style without spending a fortune!

When I helped my son get ready for his first apartment, I checked with AnnMarie to see what he would need.

After all, she’d already moved her son into an apartment two years earlier!

She didn’t steer me wrong with her dorm packing list of what he’d actually need, so I felt confident we’d be able to get him set up when he moved into his first place of his own.

What you need for a first apartment varies depending on whether it’s a furnished model or not, and how many roommates are sharing the space.

It’s definitely best to coordinate with roommates because they don’t need doubles of kitchen equipment or furnishings for shared living areas.

Figuring out what his roommates were planning to bring was like pulling teeth!

Teen girl standing in front of the door of her college apartment townhouse.

What a different experience it was when it was time to move my daughter into her first apartment.

I don’t know if it’s a boy/girl thing, or if it’s just their personalities.

Planning is the First Step for Moving Into a New Apartment

Shared apartment spaces are very different now than they were when I moved off campus 34 years earlier.

The process of finding a college apartment often begins almost a full year sooner!

My daughter chose to let the rental company choose her roommates because she hadn’t made friends she was close enough that she’d want to live with when she signed a lease in October of her freshman year.

She matched with a fantastic group of young women who had a spot open up in their townhouse because a friend was moving into a sorority house.

Her roommates already had everything they needed in the kitchen and shared living spaces,

We only needed to get her bedroom and ensuite bathroom set up.

Teen sitting in the middle of her bed in a college apartment surrounded by throw pillows with a furry throw blanket.

Katy is always very prepared.

Soon after moving home after her freshman year, she shared her apartment shopping wish list on her Amazon account.

She chose bedding and decorating items with a great boho style.

Wait until you see all her simple and budget-friendly boho decorating ideas.

I was so excited to see how her room would turn out!

This was so much different than my son who decorated his apartment’s bedroom with an NCSU flag and some black bedding.

Posts on Simply2Moms may contain affiliate links which means we may earn a small commission on purchases at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Did you know we have our very own Amazon Shop?! You can find everything we bought for Katy’s room in this section of our Amazon Storefront.

What is Boho Decorating?

The boho decorating style has been around for some time, but has recently seen a resurgence in mainstream popularity.

It’s an eclectic style of decorating that blends a variety of natural elements to create a cozy and inviting environment.

There are a few characteristics that define the boho style:

  • An earth toned color palette combining a neutral background with browns, greens, and rich but muted accent colors
  • Plants, succulents, and faux plants bring a feeling of life to a space
  • Macrame has made a resurgence, but it looks different from the macrame of the 70s!
  • Baskets work as containers, storage, decorative accents, and even wall decor
  • Lots of texture adds to the cozy feel of a boho space: macrame, baskets, textured rugs, caned accents, pottery with artisanal patterns and texture
  • An eclectic mix of styles for a free-spirited space

Affordable Ways to Add Boho Style

Let’s take a look at some budget-friendly ways to add boho style to a bedroom and ensuite bathroom.

These ideas can work for living spaces too!

All of these ideas are easily removable so they’re great for an apartment or a dorm.

Vinyl Wall Decals

Bed with tufted geometric comforter, throw pillows and stuffed animals. A large half circle vinyl decal is the headboard.

You can do so much with the new peel-and-stick vinyl decals!

For instance, the bed provided by the apartment complex didn’t have a headboard.

We didn’t want to spend a lot of money buying a headboard that she wouldn’t use after college.

She found a large Half Circle Vinyl Wall Decal for under $30 that worked perfectly as a headboard and the terracotta color became the basis for the color scheme for her whole bedroom and ensuite bathroom.

College student making her bed during move-in day for her first apartment.

A warm earthy color palette is the hallmark of boho decorating.

It was easy to find coordinating decorating items that worked with that warm terracotta color.

The ivory bedding and off-white walls are a neutral backdrop that let those little pops of color make more of an impact.

If you’re decorating a different room or want a different color scheme, there’s a huge variety of peel-and-stick vinyl decals from Amazon.

Bedroom walls in a small apartment decorated with vinyl decals and wall-mounted TV .

For instance, the colored lines on the other two walls in her room are also vinyl decals!

They come all grouped together on a few sheets, then you space them out and arrange them to add a little pop of color to the walls.

So easy to install and remove.

Add color and texture with throw pillows, bedding, curtains, and throw blankets

Bed with tufted geometric comforter, throw pillows and stuffed animals. A large half circle vinyl decal is the headboard.

Textiles are a great way to add some more color and texture to any room in your home.

The Geometric Tufted Comforter Set adds so much visual interest!

It was easy to add throw pillows in a variety of shapes, sizes, and patterns (Chevron Lumbar Pillow | Round Pom Pom Throw Pillow | Boucle Throw Pillow | Striped Throw Pillow).

She added a cozy throw blanket with a furry texture at the foot of her bed too.

Window with blackout curtains and holdbacks in an apartment bedroom decorated with vinyl wall decals.

We found blackout curtains in a deep rust, a shade darker than the headboard.

They add a little more color, while also being super practical in a college apartment! After all, sometimes you need to take a nap during the day after pulling an all nighter studying.

Add more texture with decorative accents and plants

Nightstand with caned table lamp, candle jar, and small potted faux plant.

We added a variety of textures to her bedroom with decorative accents.

The footed planter with a diamond pattern adds texture and is a great holder for a faux plant.

Pairing the planter with a small caned table lamp and a patterned candle jar shows how you can easily mix and match patterns with a similar color scheme.

Don’t forget the macrame!

Two wood shelves with macrame hangers decorated with photos and small faux plants.

Macrame is seeing a resurgence in popularity thanks to the popularity of boho decorating!

These macrame hanging shelves are a great place to display photos and more little faux planters.

College apartment bedroom decorated with macrame wall hangings with desk next to the bed.

The pair of macrame hangings add some more texture on the other side of the bed and over the desk.

Space is tight in this small apartment bedroom, so the nightstand and desk are very close to the bed.

We added an adjustable wood desktop organizer on top of the desk, a great spot to store office supplies plus a lava lamp.

Small apartment bedroom decorated with boho style using vinyl decals, macrame shelves, and throw pillows.

Placing the drawer units under the bed gave her much-needed floor space in the small room.

Adding these affordable decorative accents transformed a sterile furnished apartment bedroom into a cozy and inviting space that let her style shine.

We carried this color scheme and boho feel into the ensuite bathroom too with a few simple details.

Simple ways to add some boho style in a bathroom

Small bathroom decorated with collage art postcards above a three tiered bathroom shelf.

We added some colorful decorations in the bathroom with 4×6 aesthetic collage cards.

You can get sets of 50 – 100 collage cards with images that all coordinate for so many color schemes for about $10!

Pop them in photo frames, hang them directly on a wall, or prop some up on a desktop or shelf. It’s such an easy and affordable way to add a boho touch to a college dorm or apartment.

Ensuite bathroom with stand over the toilet, ruffled shower curtain, and Get Naked bath mat.

Ironically, AnnMarie and I both ended up picking up the same tiered shelf for our girls!

You’ve got to see how she used one in Emma’s dorm room: it’s such a clever idea.

We kept the neutral backdrop by using a white ruffled shower curtain.

The whimsical bathmat has the same colors used in the bedroom.

A basket-style trashcan adds texture to get that boho feel along with some glass and wood bathroom accessories.

Useful additions for a small college apartment or dorm room

Small apartment bedroom with vinyl wall decals, curtains in hold backs, collage of photos on a grid, and macrame hangings.

Don’t forget to include some practical items in the small college apartment bedroom.

This grid wall panel organizer is a great place to hang photos, lists, and other supplies.

Rolling storage cart with an X box, snacks, and headphones under a wall-mounted TV.

We love these tiered rolling carts for all sorts of purposes!

They’re a great way to corral and organize snacks, office supplies, video games, and more.

This ottoman with a removable lid provides seating and storage in a cramped dorm room or small bedroom.

With a little bit of planning and not a lot of money, you can create a cozy boho style in your spaces filled with practical storage and organization.

Resources and Shopping Links

Did you know we have our very own Amazon Shop?! You can find everything we bought for Katy’s room in this section of our Amazon Storefront.

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Collage of products used to decorate a small bedroom with boho style.

Sources: Chevron Lumbar Pillow | Round Pom Pom Throw Pillow | Boucle Throw Pillow | Striped Throw Pillow | Macrame Hanging Shelves | Terracotta Blackout Curtains | Boho Striped Vinyl Wall Decals | Macrame Wall Hangings | Half Circle Vinyl Wall Decal | Caned Tablelamp | Set of Potted Faux Plants | Rose Gold Desk Set | Geometric Tufted Comforter Set

Click on any image to shop items from this post

Collage of products used to decorate a feminine bathroom with boho style.

Sources: Cream Ruffled Shower Curtain | Set of Potted Faux Plants | Shower Curtain Hooks | Glass Canister Sets with Wood Lids | Three Tiered Bathroom Shelf | Woven Tissue Box Holder | Potted Faux Plant | Boho Wall Collage Kit | Macrame Shelf Wall Hanging | Get Naked Bath Mat | Water Hyacinth Waste Basket | Plush Chevron Bath Towel Set

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