At age ten, I decided that I wanted to become the next HGTV design star. Flash forward eight years, I have come to terms with the fact that I lack the creative insight required for the job. That said, I still have not wavered in my passion to decorate spaces and make every room feel like a home. Perhaps the most challenging project I have been given, to date, is my dorm room. As I am sure all campus residents of the past and present are familiar with, the off-white walls and old wooden furniture are very difficult templates to work with. Even more, making these components unique to the resident’s personality and style is an additional challenge that every freshman faces. To prepare myself for the serious undertaking that is making a confined 11 by 14-foot space feel welcoming, I conducted extensive research on Pinterest. Today as I walk around the halls in my building, I am delighted to see that I was not alone in my quest.
Everywhere I turn there is a new strand of lights above someone’s window or a cute sign on their door. I find it interesting that given the same basic elements (a bed, dresser, and desk) every room takes on a different appearance. As a result of their attention to detail, perfecting the position of select objects, and developing a flow for the space, every student declares themselves a designer in their own right. They express themselves through their choice of comforter, rug, lights, you name it. Every piece matters.
As my older and long since graduated sisters have informed me, taking the time, patience, and money to decorate one’s dorm room in this way did not use to be a part of college life. That said, I am certainly glad that it has become more popular in recent years. My reasoning? The strings of lights and photos tell a story about who these people are, what they care about, and provide a natural conversation starter for strangers passing through. Each of these factors encourage communication and fosters relationships. I encourage everyone to peak into your room and think about what it says about you. Decide if your message is what you would like it to be. If you feel like something is missing, then go - roam the halls and seek inspiration in the spaces of others. You may just stumble upon a great idea or a new friend.