As I mentioned the other day in my I’m here, I’m here! post, I am very very excited about my new living situation. It took a lot of planning and work, but it also took quite a bit of creativity. My roommate Jackie and I were determined to make our room feel like home, and not just some cold box with a few pops of color here and there. In keeping with our promise to the room, we made sure to have fun in the process. As promised, here is the complete low-down on our dorm room, as well as some pointers for making your space a little spunkier, too!
We wanted our room to be….
For all those tough times when we are cramming for class, spazzing because we have no clue what we want to do with our lives, or screaming into a pillow because guys are just so gosh darn frustrating, there is nothing like a little reminder that life is supposed to be filled with difficult moments, that knowing what you want means being closed off to new ideas, and that you. are. beautiful.
Get the Vibe: whether you purchase motivational wall art or make your own Pinterest style, choose something that keeps you going. A favorite mantra, quote, image, what have you. Maybe it is as simple as writing a note to yourself on the mirror.
Living in Charlottesville in August is a lot like sitting in a sauna. It is hot, sweaty, and just plain uncomfortable 95% of the time. To make our room a sweet escape from the sweat, we came prepared with plenty o’ fans. The two box fans sit in the window, and the cylinder fan is oscillating all day long. Nice and refreshing. We set the cylinder fan on top of Jackie’s awesome leather trunk– the same one her mom took to college! Gotta love vintage!
Get the Vibe: you can get both types of fans from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The best tip for window fans I’ve ever gotten was to keep one facing into the room and one facing out. This circulates the air better, sending out the hot air and bringing in fresh air. Genius. And it really works, folks.
As I have learned from years of coming home to watch Friends with a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie in my lap, there is little in this world more welcoming than a couch. Since there is clearly no room for such luxuries in a tiny dorm, I resorted to making my bed double as a sofa. With plenty of pillows and a headboard that my mom and I fashioned out of foam insulation board, some cotton quilt lining and burlap, I managed to bring that “welcome home” feel to school with me.
Get the Vibe: the insulation board was purchased from Home Depot, while the fabrics were bought from a local fabric store. The best part? The headboard is so light and practical, it can be folded in half and is fastened to the wall with velcro!
In order to really make this space my own, I chose to decorate with things that show off who I am. I am style obsessed, so I showcased my shoe and purse collections. I am a traveler, so I stuck watercolors from my trips to France and Canada to my wall, and decorated my ugly desk chair with a lace table cloth and print work pillow made in India.
Get the Vibe: It is as easy as collecting decorative souvenirs from your next adventure! Can’t install shelves or hooks with drills to display it all? Me neither. The shelf above the headboard, creating a display for all my lovely shoes, is another homemade creation using oakwood purchased and cut at Home Depot. The hooks holding my handbags can be bought from any hardware store or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They hold up to 3 pounds and are easily removable (supposedly).
As two fashionistas living together in a 16×12 foot space, Jackie and I brought too many clothes to fit it all in a barely 3-foot wide closet and 6 measly drawers. Rather than downsize our wardrobe (simply not an option in my book), I hunted down a shelving system that would give us the space we needed. Just as I was about to give up, I stumbled upon this organizer above. It provided each of us with 2.5 additional feet of hanging space and plenty more shelving. To keep the claustrophobia at bay, we hid our closet with an adorable shower curtain, and hung our cutest garments on the exposed rack. I bought these lined wicker baskets to keep my shelves organized and mask any mess from the lazy moments I don’t feel like folding.
Get the Vibe: shower curtain, baskets and shelf/rack purchased at Target. What doesn’t that store have?
As classes get more intense and the work load piles up, I am going to need my handy dandy mood board to remind me to keep things up and continue working towards my goals. And for those mornings when I sleep past my alarm, I can take a quick look to my wall for outfit inspiration. That cute boy in Calc class must never see me in my tie-dye sweats. Ever.
Get the Vibe: as you flip through magazines, mark the pages that inspire you or relate to your personal style. Afterward, go back and rip them out. You can also print out images from the web or Pinterest. Create a collage, or pin them to a cork or quilted board. This can be a fun DIY project, or you can get ’em cheap from places like Target. I got mine for $8 from Salvation Army.