Dorm Room

I had someone email me recently about dorm rooms. She is sending her oldest daughter off to her first year in college to..... a concrete hole in the wall?

SIP2000507_P

Okay, maybe I'm being dramatic.
 A cinderblock closet.

Believe it or not, I'm not a fan of hiring a decorator to come in and dress up your college room to the nines- it is just a dorm room and is very temporary. BUT, I do think it is important to make yourself at home and let it reflect who you are. 

But no one wants to take a bunch of $$ from their nestegg, right?

THE FACTS
Two strangers are living together.
In my experience anytime you mix girls and dorm rooms you get ------> stimulation overload! Lots of colors coming from clothes on the floor, pictures on the wall, textbooks all over the place, sharpies in every color... I mean, LOTS of color. I say this same thing to clients who want to build kid lockers in a mudroom. They want to paint it a bright, fun color but I have to remind them that everything that is going inside that child's locker is bright and fun. So don't jump the gun on colors because believe me- there will be plenty of it.
IZI0002110_P
Some people like to match with their roommate. But what if you show up and your roommate whips out Sponge-Bob-Square-Pants bedding? I, for one, think it's much more interesting (and realistic) to do your own thing and not worry about matching. After all- two totally different people are sharing a room closet. No reason to hide it...

THE LESSON
You don't want to go overboard but you also don't want to be boring so it's good to decorate your room in moderation. In fact, it's good to do everything in college in moderation.
THE SCENARIO
In this particular case we have a roommate that purchased a black/white bedding set with hot pink piping. I imagine it is a graphic pattern with not much pink involved.
For me? I'll choose fairly neutral bedding and add my own bursts of color throughout. I'm not a big fan of hot pink so I'll probably not include it in my own bedding and just incorporate some black or white.
THE BED
For the bedskirt I'll probably go with this route from the bedroom makeover post- inexpensive, simple, and you can make it as long as you want. {check out the post for more information on how to make it}
Image004  or even a lighter colored burlap: Thom-211-Natural

with this comforter set:
Parachute duvet west elm
from west elm. This kind of thing is easy to wash, simple yet feminine--- and you won't get sick of it!

I'm going to add color with my sheet selection because if I ever experience stimulation overload I can just throw my duvet cover on top and voila! all white bedding. 
Pinstripe percale garnet 
 I'll jazz it up with these fun, pin-stripe sheets..  They come in extra long twin size too- which is what we need!

in blue Blue

And for the pillows I"ll choose something with a graphic pattern to add some interest-
like these fun ones with a hint of blue in them:

Garnet john roshawMore pillows garnet hill
{all from garnet hill}

PB teen has some pillows I like but the blue doesn't really go- so I'll make my own. Plus, it'll be something that no one else has. 
Get a plain white pillow cover Cott_Poly_pillow_insert_16 , buy grosgrain ribbon that matches the blue sheets Grosgrain ribbon, and make your own box frame pillow. You can even monogram it by adding an iron-on letter in the middle. Like this-
Img24m
Don't want to make it yourself? Throw one of these blue ones on there-
Bamboo coversZebra
{both from pbteen}

or if you want to tie in the roomate's black/white theme you could incorporate this pillow somehow... 
Line orchirds pillow urbano

So the bed is done--- and designed in a way that is even better looking when unmade! **you're welcome.
THE STORAGE
Make every attempt to find things that are multi-functional. For example, the bed. Jack it up high and get some storage underneath there! The bedskirt will hide it so you don't need anything fancy.
Even something as simple as this from Ikea:
35777_PE126675_S3
Although, I did find an even better idea- dry erase storage bins! Because, let's be honest, we can't ever make up our mind on what goes where!
Dry erase bins

I also thought this would be a good addition:
Anywhere desk
the anywhere desk from pbteen- when you're not using at as a desk you can use it as a step stool to get up on that high bed of yours... Double function!

THE LIGHTING
I'll bet $$$ that the overhead light fixture is fluorescent. Do me a favor, keep it off. Make it feel like home with a few floor lamps. There probably won't be much room for a bedside table so I would stick with floor lamps wherever possible.
Floor lamp pb
Except on the desk- you can have one of these adorable task lamps:
Hi-light desk lamp
{both lamps from pbteen}

THE WALLS
Usually there is a limit to how many nails you can put in the wall so you need to keep it to a minimum. This is actually a good thing because nothing makes a tiny room feel more cluttered than a bunch of small,framed pictures on the wall. Remember when you used to collage your entire bathroom with magazine tear outs of Jared Leto? (no? just me?) Well, I'll admit- it didn't look so good. For a cleaner look avoid putting up posters, collages, celebrity crush pictures, etc.  

A way around the nail limitation is gluing framed prints together to make one larger piece of art- 
4-6 pictures, 1 nail. Bingo.

Like these from Ikea:
Kort artwork ikea
If you'd rather have pictures of family and friends above the wall get 6 of these frames, fill them with pretty pictures, (*preferably black and white in this particular room) and hang it on the wall:
Ribba picture frame
To tie in the burlap bedskirt we can wrap a bulletin board in that same material and prop it up on your desk area- no nail needed!
Bulletin board staples+ Thom-211-Natural+Grosgrain ribbon
then run that same grosgrain ribbon along the inside edge-

To start off on a good foot with your new roomate it might be nice to make a matching one for her side of the room- different ribbon to match her bedding.

THE WINDOWS & FLOORS

These are the only decisions you'll probably need to make with your roomate. In other words- meet in the middle.  If you want to fool with windows I'd go with something simple like flat roman shades. For this room I would either go with plain white or a more natural material- like bamboo shades.
White roman shadeGrass shade

{both from Target}
and I'd do the same kind of thing for the rug
Natural area rug
A jute rug with black border... it'll hold up well and go with everything.

THE CONCLUSION
Don't think too hard. There are so many things to take into consideration that you will drive yourself nuts trying to piece it together before move-in day. Just remember to decorate in moderation, stick to what you like, and be nice to your roomie (even when she snuggles up in her Sponge-Bob blanket).

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