Friday, August 6, 2010

Dorm Rooms

It's time to start thinking of dorm room decorations! Now, this next year I'll be living in an apartment with some friends (super excited...another post to come on decor for that!), but last year I remember having a blast picking out the cute things for my dorm. You definitely have to get creative when living in a small room. Looking back, I think ours was just about as cute as they come :) When people would walk in they'd be in shock of how well everything went together. Then I'd tell them...

First of all, we went to high school together and have been planning all summer. And second, I'm an interior design major and she's visual communications.

Then it all made sense.

The whole idea was to make it feet like "home" even though I was two states away from my real home. I wanted it to be bright and fun since outside is so dark and rainy. So here is how my process went:

1. Find a graphic bed spread that was affordable and I'd love for my entire 4 years of college. (Pottery Barn Teen had great mark-downs last year around August.)

2. Pick colors. A main color and an accent color.
Purple & lime green.

3. PERSONALIZE! I went a little crazy with personalizing ordinary objects I bought at Target or Michael's, but only because I was so excited :)

Here's just a few of the things I did in my dorm room:

This was my favorite thing in the room. Yes, they are decoration. Yes, I was inspired by Juicy Couture. And yes, people tried to sneak the gum balls when I wasn't looking :)

This is an ordinary bulletin board I covered with fabrics that went with the theme of the room. I simply applied the fabric with hot glue and a staple gun and lined the edges with a purple ribbon so the frays were hidden. I'll be using it in my apartment this year, but I'm going to paint the frame black so it's more dramatic.

Every dorm room needs some type of window treatment. It's one of the best ways to turn a room into YOUR room! Instant cure for the hospital/dorm-like feeling. You can also see the two plants on the window sill. It was a good way to give the room life. Then they died halfway through the year...either because I'm a bad gardener or because there wasn't enough sun in the room. I prefer the second one.

We were lucky enough to have our own sink and vanity in our actual room, so we bought cute bathroom accessories and I painted the small canvas there for a pop of color. The wire dress is purely decoration with the lavender ribbon tied around its waist.

My roommate and I each did our first initial for above our bed. We bought the wood letters at Michael's and we each painted our own and added rhinestones for a finishing touch. Under my "M" is a wall decal from Aaron Brother's with a picture of my best friends and I at the beach.

This was the most fun project. Lamps! I KNEW the lamps they provided would be terrible so we bought these plain lamps at target and bought a 1 inch purple satin ribbon and hot glued it around the base of the lamp. Then, I accented the ribbon with a strand of fake pearls. It made it feel more classy :) Adorable lamps for $20! (If you wondering, the lamps they provided were just as bad as I imagined and stayed under my bed for the entire year.)

This was our finished product. I can't believe it's already completely dismantled and ready for the next set of freshman girls to move into come September. Maybe I will stop by next year and see how they did it! The cute lime green ribbon rug you see on the floor was a rug for my room at home, but it fit perfectly with the colors so why not throw the 10 pound rug in the car, too?! Cute, but totally not functional. I think it lost half its ribbons. Oh well! Sometimes cute outweighs function. The girls who wear heels all day can tell ya about that.

So, tips for girls and guys going off to college:

~Make your room a fun and relaxing place to come home to each day.
~Give it some color! College classrooms are WHITE. You need some color when you get back from class.
~You will need more storage than you think. Bring baskets, the small ottomans from Target, storage cabinets and another bookshelf if you can.
~Bring those self-adhesive hooks and plasti-tak so you can hang curtains and picture frames since you can't put holes in the wall.
~If you do put holes in the wall, fill them with toothpaste at the end of the year :)

Questions or want advice? E-mail me at! I'd be happy to give out ideas or offer my opinion!

Love and Cute Dorm Rooms,


  1. This is seriously so helpful! There is so much useful information in this blog about door rooms! It makes me want a dorm room just so I can decorate it!

  2. Thanks, Kayleigh! Your room is so cute though now (:

  3. I looove the canvas you painted. I wish I was that talented! But, you've inspired me to start thinking of something I could do for my son's nursery! Thanks for stopping by:) You may already know this, but if you add your email to your profile, people can respond to your comments via email:)

  4. Thanks Megan, I didn't know that! I think I fixed it. It's good to get advice from someone who's been at blogging longer than me (: Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read some of my posts!

  5. Hi Michaela, Thanks for following my blog. Your dorm room makes me want to go back to university! Everything is adorable.. I hope you have a wonderful year at school!


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