Dorm life is hardcore, and I don’t even live under normal dorm conditions. Most people have to share cramped, cell block-type room with a roommate that either wanders around naked or parties at odd hours of the night. I have suite-style living (praise) with three amazing roommates (double praise). This means I have an entire (tiny) room for myself to let the design-crazy part of my brain explode. So without further adieu, let’s take a tour of my redesigned room.
First stop: the desk. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the organization that is my desk right now, because with seven classes, an internship, a job, a volunteered job, and a book to review, it’s probably going to be a mess 2.5 seconds into the semester. But for now, it’s impeccable.
From left to right:
- A printer
- My budget binder
- A stack of eighteen books, all neatly arranged, bottom to top, according to decreasing height
- A framed print that I recycled from last year’s room
- My iMac (and sunglasses, because I didn’t know where to put them for this shot)
- My Erin Condren Life Planner and Swarovski pen
- A tiny pink elephant
- My Wacom tablet’s pen
- A makeup mirror
- My To-Do list notebook and a collection of two sticky note pads (and I have at least ten other sticky note pads in my desk drawer—it’s a casual addiction)
I went into my freshman year with a clear room layout in my head, and it was super functional for the room I had. At the end of the year, though, I saw a friend’s layout and loved how it looked, so naturally, I stole the idea. I’ve created an “infinity desk,” which is basically the small dresser and desk provided, pushed so that they’re flush against each other to create the illusion of a long desk. It makes the whole room open up and allows for more room for desktop storage of things like my printer, books, computer, and makeup (which has to be near natural light for application).
This leads to my makeup, which is housed in a series of acrylic organizers. My makeup brushes, pens, and face lotions are stored in miniature white, yellow, and pink buckets respectively, with a gold rock filler.
The bed: The bedspread is from a Martha Stewart collection sold at Macy’s. And guess what? I got it on sale for 50% off. My original color scheme was going to be lavender and yellow, but when I saw this set (that came with two free pillows, by the way!), I fell in love. And when the saleslady told me she’d give it to me at the sale price, I was about ready to marry the thing.
The nightstand: I bought this cute side table to match my room off of Craigslist. The lady was the sweetest and thankfully not some creepy person looking to make a quick buck. The base of my yellow lamp broke in transit, so the white lamp is temporary until a new base arrives. The decorative dish it’s perched on is a beautiful piece that my mom lent to me because it matched my room perfectly. To the right of that you’ll see my pink keys dish that reads, “Love your life.” And, of course, I have my little yellow taxicab on display.
The closet: To make that tower of storage bins on the left of the closet, I stacked two storage bins with two drawers each. I have other articles of clothing in a smaller bin atop the tower. My hangers had to match, of course, so I have a variety: standard wooden with white polka dots, white felt, pink felt, and black (for black pieces). My high heels and boots are stored on a small bookcase from Big Lots, and my dirty laundry is tossed into a flexible pink tub.
I ordered this 4×6 rug from Target and am so pleasantly surprised by how soft and comfortable it is. And let’s be real: it totally makes the room look more like a put-together bedroom than a sketchy motel room. And a special shout out to my slippers for taking field trips around campus because I was too lazy to put on real shoes.
And then there’s my beloved coffee and tea station. This pink Keurig was a birthday gift from my grandmother last year and has seen me through late-night Spanish study sessions and early morning drives home. The mug is one of my favorites from DFTBA.
My original plan for this was to do an entire wall of dots, but I ended up liking just the three rows. I was worried that the dots would visually conflict with the pattern on the bedspread, so I kept it the way you see it here. I’m also probably more disappointed than you are that my iPhone couldn’t get a good picture of the wall. Once I get my camera back on its feet, I’ll update this post with a better photo!
At any given time, my brain could be jumping from thoughts about a paper, to concerns about a friend, to what I need from the grocery store, to what questions my professor will ask in class the next day, so I decided to suck it up and get a whiteboard. Right now, I’ve listed the packages I’m expecting, two things I need to pick up, and my class schedule.
The two gridded sheets you see on the left make up a semester-at-a-glance calendar that’s color-coded according to class (more on that in an upcoming post). I’m hoping that’ll help me keep track of study scheduling and assignments so I never have to face the “Help, I have three papers and a take-home quiz due tomorrow” dilemma.
Last year was really my trial run in trying to figure out what I wanted out of my dorm room. Putting all of this together this year, despite minor moving issues, was the perfect start to my sophomore year. I brain-dumped my design idea into this room and it turned out almost exactly as I pictured it. I’m playing on brighter colors, decor, and lots of organizational tools to pull off this cohesive look and homey feel. I wanted to create a space that made me feel comfortable and relaxed without compromising style or aesthetic appeal. At an honors college, you know I need a place to come home to after I’ve drained the life out of my brain from an exam. And as much as I can’t wait to see new dorm photos from people all over the world, I think mine might be the best. But admittedly, I’m biased.
Only the best of luck to everyone starting a new school year. May you not procrastinate, may you get lots of sleep, and may you get straight A’s (or pretty close).
In the meantime, tell me: what’s your design style? If you live in a dorm, how do you make it your own?
Don’t forget to join me next Monday morning for a new post!
This post is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the following companies or businesses:
- Erin Condren
- Martha Stewart
- Bed Bath & Beyond
Things not pictured:
- Under the bed storage—get some basic crates from somewhere like Target and voila! You’ve got functional storage for under your bed. You can also invest in a three-drawer plastic storage bin (that comes with wheels) to stick under there.
- My refrigerator and microwave
- My Sunday bin—more on that in an upcoming post
- My six-drawer necessities storage—for things like makeup, nail care supplies, hair supplies, medicines, etc. Each bin has its own life purpose.