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Dorm Files: Design Board

April 28, 2010

So, as most of you know, I am a sophomore in college. I live in a dorm at OSU, and will be living in one next year as well. The only difference between the two rooms? No roommate! I am super excited about being able to decorate a room without having to worry about someone else liking it or wanting to add their own things. Even though I’m way ahead of myself, (about 5 months ahead, to be exact) I’ve already started picking out pieces and imagining room layouts.

Those of you who live in a dorm know it’s extremely hard to work with all the ugly (non-removable) furniture, window coverings, and cinderblock walls. I have plenty of ideas that will help turn my room into a mini home away from home. The ideas involve lots of DIYing (hey, I am on a budget) and problem solving, but I think I’m up to it. For now, I’m just going to share my inspiration board with you so you can get an idea of what is to come.

Dorm Files Design Board

This looks like a ton of stuff (it is!) but you still have to imagine a lofted bed, desk, desk chair, and dresser all crammed into a teeny-tiny little dorm room.

The picture below is the example floor plan that my school website gives for my future dorm. I plan on moving things around, and lofting my bed to make room for my futon, but it’s still a tiny space: At least I have my own bathroom!

Dorm Files Room Layout

Now for the breakdown on what’s going to go in my room:

1. I’m starting off with basics. This little lamp is simple and super cheap, plus I would use it in a future home or apartment, so it isn’t a waste of money. I plan on using this lamp on my desk in lieu of the harsh lights built into the shelving above.  It actually comes with a white linen shade, but since my entire room will be painted white, I’m planning on popping on this navy shade for some added interest.

2. I am obsessed with these horse photographs by Patrick Cline. I originally spotted them in Lonny, only to find out they had been taken specifically for the magazine. I could never afford an actual print, so I’ve been contemplating different ways to get a similar look on the cheap. I recently came across Pioneer Woman’s Printable Photo Archive. Some of the photos are strikingly similar to the Cline photos, only in color. I’m considering having one blown up and making it black and white to achieve the same look—for next to nothing! The bicyclist print by Blanca Gomez is available here.

3. These West Elm curtains are covered with a perfectly subtle pattern that I adore. However, like pretty much everything else on my list, they are out of my price range. I am also hesitant to remove the curtains provided because they keep every inch of light out (perfect for all my afternoon napping). So, how do I plan on keeping the ugly curtains and getting new ones? I’m going to pin fabric to the existing curtains using wire clips. Hopefully I will find some way to imitate the pattern on the West Elm panels: I’m thinking stencils and either fabric paint or fabric markers.

4. These swatches basically sum up my color palette and pattern assortment for the room. The navy blue gingham will be my bedspread, and I might use it in accents throughout the room. The orange zigzag fabric will be used to make a “rug” to layer over my existing rug, which resembles the one at the bottom of the board under the futon. The floral patterned fabric (or something similar in color and design) will be used to make a cover for my ottoman, which will be used as a coffee table.

5. This Ikea chair is supposed to represent the ugly, worn, and generally disgusting chairs that are permanent residents of every dorm room. I plan on covering mine with either gray or navy fabric and tossing an orange throw over the arm for a pop of color. An additional floor lamp will add light to the tiny room.

6. I already own this futon and use it in my current dorm room. It fits in the room, and it was reasonably priced, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for a futon. There are bars running through the bottom and hardly any padding, making sleeping and even extended sitting extremely uncomfortable. But alas, I already own it, so it will be traveling with me to my next room. I plan on lofting my bed and then placing the futon under it for a cozy movie-watching corner. Cow pillow available here.

7. These coatracks from Urban Outfitters are popping up everywhere, and what’s great about them is the variety of colors they are available in. But, sadly, this too is out of my price range. I’m hoping to find a coatrack at a thrift store or garage sale this summer and then paint it orange myself.

8. I was driving home from the mall one day with my mom and we passed a house having a garage sale. I saw this gorgeous mirror sitting on a table and told mom we had to stop. I paid 3 measly buckaroos for this mirror. It was gold when I bought it but I painted it black to match my room at home. I hope I can find a place for it in my future dorm room. You can find the one pictured here.

So there it is, my plan for my future dorm room. Hopefully I carry out all my DIY plans and I can share them with you as I go.

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