Hey you, yes you! Take a look around your dorm. See that empty white wall? That’s about to change—hear me out. Your dorm isn’t a bland doctor’s office; it becomes a home–away–from–home during the school year, and it should feel like one. While it’s easy to shoot for practicality rather than aesthetic appeal when deciding how to decorate (especially when we’re expected to fit our whole lives into a room the size of a shoebox), utilizing the space as a means for artistic expression and style is the perfect way to make a dorm room feel like your own. Unique, affordable art pieces can spice up your room and take it from basic to sophisticated with minimal effort. Let’s move beyond Dormify and Urban Outfitters art, because everyone you know (and their cousin, best friend, and sister) has the same pieces from these sites. Read on to find out the best outlets for dorm art that will fool your friends into thinking your room is a snazzy city gallery. 

The Art Shop at Moore College of Art and Design

Less than ten minutes away from campus (1916 Race St.) is the Art Shop at Moore College of Art and Design, where you can find original art pieces and prints starting at just $5. Stop by Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and take a look at some of the unique and limited edition pieces that art students are creating. Purchasing dorm art from this shop is a great way to add some style to your room while supporting up–and–coming local art students. Who knows, maybe a piece you buy will become worth a pretty penny someday.


Type in zatista.com in your browser—I promise you won’t regret it. Zatista sells photographs, prints, and unique pieces in a wide range of styles starting at $30. Whether you’re looking for colorful paintings or black–and–white scenic photos, Zatista has something for every aesthetic.

Kids Did It

Want art that reminds you of your younger sibling, but can’t convince them to create something cute and nice looking? Kids Did It has the solution. Buy affordable art from kids aged three to 14 to give your room that nostalgic homey feeling. Take a look and you might be surprised because some of these kids are seriously talented. 

Nice Things HandMade

This Philly craft shop not far from campus (1731 E Passyunk Ave.) sells all things artsy and homemade. Nice Things HandMade frequently features local artists’ photos, prints, and paintings. Pick out some art for your dorm here, and grab a cute handmade card while you’re at it! Supporting local artists is a great way to connect to the Philly creative community. 


Starting at $34, Lumas has art ranging from landscapes to portraits to nude pieces and more. Warning: go to this website and you’ll be sure to get sucked into the plethora of eye–catching art for much longer than you planned. 

20 x 200

With a motto like, “it’s art for everyone,” it’s no surprise that 20 x 200 offers pieces that cater to all styles and price ranges—pieces start at $24. Browse prints, photos, and other art pieces that you can be sure none of your friends will have on this great site.


If you’re looking to splurge on some higher quality pieces, Inliquid is a great source in Philadelphia (400 N American St., #314). They sell quality art starting at $75. A nonprofit that prides itself on being a “virtual hub for the visual arts in Philadelphia,” Inliquid “present[s] dynamic, enriching exhibitions and programs in a variety of flexible public venues.” Support this venture by purchasing a piece that will last you well beyond your college years.


Last but not least is Artstar, a gallery–like shop less than ten minutes away from campus (623 N 2nd St). Whether you order online or shop in store, one thing’s for sure; you won’t be disappointed with Artstar’s selection. With a plethora of art starting at just $20, you’re sure to find pieces to fill that empty white wall. Sign up for crafting workshops while you browse one–of–a–kind pieces and prints!

If you’re looking for a way to give your dorm more of a personal touch, adding art is a great way to customize your space. Having art in your room also inspires creative thinking, relaxation, conversation, and sets the mood with personal style. Use the space you have to turn your plain wall into a gallery wall, and your room may become a hotspot for creative Penn students turned art critics in no time.


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