Dorm Series // Pause and Rewind!

My older younger brother (I have two) reached the end of his senior year in such a blink of the eye (I'm prone to cliche sayings).  I absolutely LOVED college and the minute he started making decisions involving his college, I got crazy nostalgic.  I dreamt about college, I went through my college boxes, I drove my bros crazy pointing out every little thing on campus ("that's my window, here's where I would get smoothies, I would sneak into that dorm through this door").  I was a nut case, haha!  More than anything, I was just excited that my bro would get a chance to experience this transition period as well as create new ones to share!  It also doesn't hurt that I have even more reason to make the drive to Austin and one more person to see down there!

I titled this post "Pause and Rewind" because I wanted to take my "style" now, 10 years later, (aka the "pause"), and then infuse it into my freshmen dorm room (aka the "rewind").  I have a tendency to be really literal, M and K know, so please don't be offended if I spell things out very literally.

I lived in the depressing concrete and wood dorm on campus that Kerry so despised.  And she had good reason to hate.  When I went down to orientation last month, I walked in and my heart literally dropped.  The place was downright a piece of *bleep* and more depressing than I ever remembered it.  Words like "It's so small", or "That's the size of the closet?", "This sink is horrible!", "There's no room in here!" and just plain "Whoa" kept flowing out of my mouth.  I. WAS. SHOCKED.  Here...just look!

 This is literally from the door. SO. SMALL.

I don't know what the deal is with these beds.

That's a closet by the fridge.  Good luck.

Luckily, when I was a freshmen, I had a connecting dorm room where two rooms shared a bathroom.  Much better than the community side!  Here are some extremely outdated photos of a similar room from the UT website (they seriously need to update those!) They are like circa 1990's or SOMETHING - TERRIBLE!  Please update your housing pictures, UT!!  UG-GA-LY!

So, I kinda got too excited and intent on changing EVERYTHING that I had freshmen year, that my moodboard kinda threw up and then exploded.  There's absolutely no theme or focus, hahahaha!  I might've gone over the edge and brought in way too much color and pattern, but maybe not!  I wonder if living in this room would give me a headache even though it has some of my favorite items in it!  At some point I had to just stop.  And forget a college budget!  I blew that so fast!

Keep reading though because I figured I would try to save costs by DIYing some things that a senior could easily do their last summer before university.  You can make anything look good with some ingenuity!  My friends and I used to cut out phrases out of black construction paper and stick them on the wall.  Boom, early ancient DECALS.

First up: the rest area!

Parisian dorm

Our beds were basically daybeds with a narrow shelf and upholstered cork board behind it.  The corkboard is a daunting area to try to style.  So much so, that I didn't ever do anything with mine.  So since I never decorated my board, I'm going to make up for it with some art pieces to look refined :D You can add some dimension by pinning small wire shelves to hold lightweight items, layering framed photos or art by hanging them on ribbons or just tearing out catalog pages from Jcrew like we used to do and putting them up as a collage or hung as a garland from string. 

Then, tucked away in the corner where the two beds meet,  I'd use these wire framed bins and tray to set beside my bed.   A fun patterned rug, and some bean bags for friends to chill in would make me so happy!  I would also highly recommend investing in a full sized duvet if a freshmen can afford it and just change out the covers since every dirty body sits on top of your bed - EWW!  I got mine at a closeout store sophomore year for only $86!  It's a Charter Club down comforter and I have NEVER felt anybody's softer than mine.  EVER.  I love that thing!  My friends called my bed "the cloud".

Side story: An old boyfriend once tickled my brother so hard that he peed all over my duvet.  I FLIPPED OUT and fumed for days.

Ok, I had a sad attempt at trying to style my desk area, but here ya go!

Dorm desk

Tech accessory / Zigzag Frame / Magical Thinking Triangle Chain Rug / Vine Flourish Curtain / Acrylic Drawer Organizer Set / Desk Lamps / Room Essentials 5-Head Floor Lamp Pink / Nursery Art -- Print Flying High Honey Mustard 5X7 -- Art Print / Turning Triangles Terrarium / Streak-Dye Bowl / Geo Cutout Pencil Cup / Stephen Stewart Cordies Cable Organizer / Vintage Cameras - Herco Imperial and Brownie Antiques with Books and... / 101 Dalmations [Support Forum - Candy Wrapper Supplies (Foil, Paper,...

I would hang the atlas tapestry on the blank cement wall somehow, next to the curtain that I would also somehow hang.  Maybe with command hooks and binder clips?  I'd style with a mixture of books, cameras, art, terrariums, and kitchen bowls and organize with a cable organizer and acrylic cubbies.  A twist lamp would work for desk work or reading in bed without disturbing my roomate, while the floor lamp will add ambient lighting instead of the harsh overhead light they give us. My bffs, Dar and Elaine, would NEVER turn on their light and only use lamps and I loved the feel of their room so much.  I'd also make my own dot print artwork and use this quirky speaker phone for hands free chatting back home.

Next up is the built in dresser that I had in my room with horrible fluorescent lighting and cement blocks.  I thought I could maybe hang up some temporary wallpaper, or fabric, to make that area a bit more fancy.  I'd use letters to spell out a greeting to dorm guests and maybe DIY them with cardboard letters from the craft store.  Using command hooks or maybe push pins (?) I'd try to hang either of these shelves to hold jewelry, or perfumes and lotions.  Other items like curling irons, makeup I would store in the top drawer or in the bathroom.  A lamp is always key to making a crummy place have atmosphere.  I couldn't decide if I would use the top as a TV stand or more of a vignette area so I did both!
Dorm Vanity

Magical Thinking Triangle Chain Rug / Vine Flourish Curtain / Keith Haring Pattern Wall Decal / Industrial Metal Wall Shelf / Punched Loop Shelf / Acid Etched Letter / Vintage Book Bundle Cat Books About Cats Yellow Green Blue Pastel Pink... / Acid Etched Letter / Mix-and-Match Lamp Shade Chevron Lamp Shade Gold (Large) / Chance - Original watercolor 5x7 / Paillette Table Lamp Turquoise / Peony Wallpaper / Lost Coast/Nor Cal Print By Matthew Korbel-Bowers / Travel Poster, Typography and Quote, Better To Travel, 11X14 Inches,...

And last up, the connecting bathroom!  We basically had a two sink vanity with the bottom entirely open so whatever storage you had could be seen.  I'm not one for counter clutter - I actually can't stand it in a bathroom.  I just want to feel clean you know?  When you share with four girls any type of clutter control is awesome!  One above the faucet makes good use of that wasted space with another rack to the side to hold lotions, facewash, makeup - whatever!

I LOVE that hippo toothbrush holder - so fun!  While I think this room is a bit juvenile, I still like it all!  18 is still practically a kid anyways!  I'd use the round rug at the toilet, the hippo at the sink (how do you NOT smile looking at him?!) and the clean/dirty for the shower.  Two sets of towels, one fun, and one classic white will tie me over and force me to do my laundry.  I'd probably store them in a basket under the sink.

Dorm bath


eliz at: August 1, 2012 at 10:15 PM said...

so many cute dorm items now....why weren't they around 10 years ago!! Or maybe they were I was just to broke to buy them hahaha :-)

Isabel at: August 2, 2012 at 3:47 PM said...

I think I was in the "too broke" group :D There seriously are some very cute things out there, especially with Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie popping up.

Kerry at: August 3, 2012 at 2:00 PM said...

I couldn't agree more about a comfy duvet! I still have mine from my freshman dorm too, and little M loves it!

Love your decor choices! Bravo, as always!

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