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Dorm Decor: Creativity never goes out of style

Jess Shaffer | Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It’s that time of year again: hammers pound lofts into place and bunks shuffle and slide across miniscule living spaces. But before you’re lost in an endless maze of homeless couches, bedding, carpet, and posters, consider the dogma of dorm décor: creativity never goes out of style. Check out these tips, thoughts, and hints before you get a case of the move-in blues.

Captivating Creativity: Unusual objects make dorm room blissIt seems that there’s an endless number of Breakfast at Tiffany’s Posters and Notre Dame pennants to go around, but it is the unusual items that will give your room a homey, personal touch and that added distinction. You may even have the power to turn trash into treasure. A perfect example of this is found in Pasquerilla East, where some freshmen roommates created surprisingly chic wallpaper from trash. Accumulating wrappers from Vitamin Waters, the roomies created a pattern with pops of color that covered an entire wall. What about the slides attached to lofts, as seen in Keenan Hall? What a better way to start your morning than to enjoy a kiddy classic? Or if you’re looking to bring a bit of Zen into your room, you could take a note from some Zahm residents who crafted a fishpond, complete with an accessory hammock in their room. Who knows, maybe your idea for an end table crafted out of water bottles could be the next great thing.

Compromised Vision: Why negotiating is worth itThough your vision may seem as infallible as Kanye West’s latest sunglasses fad, remember that in reality there is more than one worthwhile approach to decorating your dorm. It may be the compromise between your various roomies that takes your abode to the next level. Not only can you avoid the tension that comes from arguing over assorted aesthetics, you may stumble upon an unexpectedly brilliant idea. A painless way to include all your roomies taste into one item is that tried and true staple of a collage. For an easy do it yourself project, collect magazines, postcards, and other miscellaneous items. Then go crazy with glue, scissors, and markers to craft an original piece of art just for your room. Just remember that kindergarten safety measures still apply (i.e. be careful not to mix enthusiasm with sharp objects).

Mod Quad: Simplicity lends elegance and modernity Does excessive color make you cringe? Do you abhor multitudes of posters? Can’t identify with the wild bohemian vibe of tapestries? Than a more mod style might be for you. Try picking out a few colors to play with in your bedding, curtains, and carpets. The pop of color will be refreshing but not overwhelming. Neutrals are relaxed classics. Black, chocolate brown, khaki, and navy are solid tones that make a statement without being obnoxious. Simple lines (especially found in plain curtains) can break up the various parts of your room that you’d like to divide. Also try selecting a single focal point like a bright throw pillow to add in personal touches without becoming overwhelmed.

Suite School Spirit: Rah, rah, fight, fight, gee I hope I look alright?!Make use of the ridiculous amounts of free ND stuff to show your spirit and add some flare. And what better common ground than the love of the Irish? Not to mention the fact that green is very “in” right now. So shake your shamrocks and display your ND pride in your décor choices.

Shabby Chic: In with the old, out with the new.Nothing is cooler than vintage classics to accent your fresh pad. And, lucky for us students on a budget, old school decorations are really cheap. Check out local thrift stores and antique shops for steals that no one else will have. South Bend abounds with hidden, and – more importantly – cheap treasures. Used furniture is comfy, inexpensive, and easily spruced up. And if your budget is a little bigger, consider re-upholstering couches and chairs to freshen up old pieces.

Overall, the name of the game is creativity. The trick is to commit to your vision and to just have fun. Cheers to another great year with awesome dorm décor.