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Thursday, August 29, 2019


As I mentioned in yesterday's post, our lives had a huge change recently when we moved Caleb to college!  He chose to attend Oklahoma Baptist University (our Alma Mater) and is majoring in Nursing with hopes to work somehow with Trauma Medicine, First Response, possibly Mediflight (that would combine all of his interests perfectly!), something along those lines.  We were so busy all Summer we didn't spend much time getting ready for his room until the week or so before we moved in him, but I think it all came together well.  "Boys Dorm Room" and "Decor" don't seem to really go together right?  Ha!  But I am his Mother after all so we had to add a little spice!  We worked to give him a comfortable space though for his home-away-from-home and tried to use some thoughtful organizing solutions to maximize the tiny space.  Take a look!  (*This post contains affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.)

Let's start at the beginning and I'll walk you through our few days of move-in.  Here's the before-

After seeing their room earlier in the Summer in all of it's bare-ness, I knew a couple of key pieces would help to warm it up.  Since there was no real bed frame or headboard, and they would just be leaning against the concrete wall, I pitched the idea of a headboard to Caleb and he agreed that it would be nice.  I was up the night before throwing together a pair of headboards for them.  I've always made larger headboards, so these for the twin beds seemed like a breeze!  As an aside... we got so many comments on the headboards that I think we could have set up a shop in front of the dorm on move in day and paid for his first semester's tuition!  ;)  Here's my tutorial for an upholstered headboard, I used the exact process for these, just left them straight across the top instead of any kind of design, even easier!  And because I know you'll ask, the fabric was a remnant from a local shop and I don't know anything about it... sorry!  Here are the easy nailhead strips I like to use to add some trim along the edges.

Also, in case you're wondering, I made them so tall because we planned to use 7" risers under the bed frame to give them a little more storage space under the bed.  The risers ended up not fitting and we were really ok without them, but I think the tall headboards still look great anyway!  

He actually moved in about a week earlier than the regular Freshmen Orientation started.  He'll be playing with the marching band, so they were there early for band camp.  The morning of our move in it was POURING rain, from the time we loaded up at the house until later in the day after we were getting settled.  Thankfully a crew of older band kids were waiting at the dorm and had us unloaded in just a few minutes!  Getting everything set up was definitely a family affair-

Clearly, he brought the essentials... ha!  (That's his Bug-A-Salt gun that he LOVES, he said he's already used it a lot!) 

We rearranged the furniture to what we thought made the best sense in the space.  They don't have a lot of floor space, but can access both sides under their bed now.  Since the drawers only took up about half of the width under the bed, we were able to squeeze in more storage under there by moving the beds away from the walls.  More on that below!

We got him fairly set up through the day, but we were actually back for a meeting the next day and worked a little more, then were back the next weekend as well for regular Move-In Day when his room mate moved in and the regular Parent Orientation took place.  So, I had quite a bit of time to help get him settled.

When I originally saw the furniture that was available in the room and the drawers that fit under the bed, I knew that a traditional comforter hanging down over the sides might be bothersome and in the way.  I partnered with Beddy's (bed*ease) and used their unique, tailored, all in one piece bedding set that was the perfect solution to still give stylish, cozy bedding and easy access to the underbed storage.

This is a mom-invented product and the beauty of Beddy's is their design.  They are ALL ONE PIECE!  The bottom is made up of a sheet fabric, then there is a blanket built in to the comforter top and sides.  They are designed like a fitted sheet to wrap around the mattress, and then they unzip around the top edge.  You can unzip partially to have something like a sleeping bag, or it will fully unzip all the way around if you like to kick your feet out and don't like a confined feeling.  Then, just tuck in the blaket and zip it back up to make the bed... it looks totally neat and clean in about 3 seconds flat! Surely two college boys will make their beds every day if it's this easy, right??  And, it's all machine washable, just unzip the top from the bottom and throw it all in the washer.

We selected the Nautical Navy, and the dorm beds are all Twin XL so it was great that that size was available since Beddy's come in a full range of sizes.  They give any bed a tailored (love that little pleat along the top edge that conceals the zipper!), streamlined look but are especially amazing for beds that are hard to make like loft beds, bunk beds, or beds in tight quarters.  When Caleb was younger and had a loft bed I would have given anything for one of these!  After we added the bedding, a foam topper (here or here) and a mattress pad underneath, we might have made it a little too easy for him to stay in bed!  ;)

SUPER BONUS... right now Beddy's is running a Labor Day sale, buy one, get one 50% off!  That's a huge savings! Be sure to sign up for their e-mail to receive other discount offers through the year as well.

Other than the headboards and bedding, a rug was the last piece that made the biggest difference in warming the room up.  I found this 8x11 for a great deal.  It's soft, pretty indestructible, and tied the navy and blacks together well.  It's a little more blue overall than I thought it appeared in the stock photo, but still happy with it!  Here's a close-up of the colors-

Here's the other side of the room set up with their desks.

Since there was absolutely no desk storage, Caleb took measurements of the desk early in the Summer and then made this shelf to sit on top of it.  We were still getting everything in a spot and it's not perfectly styled like I would have done it  ;)  but other than the bedding I stepped back a lot in this space... it's his stuff and his room!  :)  A 3-drawer cart added some much needed drawer space under one end of his desk.

 Electric Kettle  ||  Brita Pitcher  ||  Clip on Desk Light -  Ikea or Similar Here

I did sneak in a few things from home so he wouldn't forget about us...

And when I was working around his desk I noticed this that he had written under one of the shelves-  #lovethatboy

Here's what I mentioned earlier about the space under the bed.  We added two shoe racks under the bed (ours were from Ikea but these are similar) that he can also use for bulky folded clothing or other things as needed.  A small suitcase is stored under there as well in case he needs it for weekend trips.  We stashed extra toothpaste, soap, paper towels, etc. inside it for now.

A tiered rolling cart  made the perfect snack station.  We tried to maximize his closet space and organization by adding plenty of over the door hooks (one is just a wreath hanger!), a hanging organizer on the bar, and storage bins that fit perfectly on the overhead shelf. One of our best finds was the shower caddy, it's a rubbery material that will hold up well in a wet environment and has a large interior section as well as pockets all around it.  He also built a shelf to sit on the floor to give his more space to store things under his laundry basket.  Also, some tap lights come in handy for those dark spaces!

If you followed our process on my Instastories, you know what a hard time I had getting anything to stick to these walls.  My followers there gave some great suggestions, but still nothing adhesive worked at all (the walls are concrete with super glossy paint and a bumpy texture).  I ended up using a couple of these to hang his flags.  We're technically not supposed to put any holes in the wall, but I was desperate and we'll fix them when we're done!

Here are the boys all settled in, his room mate is also Caleb!  His parents were friends of ours while we were all at OBU together years ago.  The boys had met in passing a few times over the years at different events we were at together, but didn't really know each other.  We got them connected their Senior year and they met for coffee a few times and decided to room together.  They have many of the same interests and I think they'll have a great year!

So that's it!  So excited for this boy and happy that his year is already off to a fantastic start.  And yes, he's already washed his bedding and done several loads of laundry on his own... woo hoo!

I pulled this photo from those that OBU shared, he loved every minute of Freshman orientation.  Helps to know that he's in a place we know and love, and he's coming to love it as well!

One of the best ideas I had was to give Emily a job for the day we were moving in, she was the official videographer!  She did an amazing job and it was so nice for me to not have to think about stopping what I was doing to take pictures or videos.  She put it all together for us and it's so nice to have these memories from the day.   (Imagine it with the song "Home" playing... she pulled it from her phone music but we didn't have the rights to use it here.  It's so much better with that song!)

Many of you followed along during the move-in and decorating process with us on Instagram, thank you again for all of your kind comments and well wishes!

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  1. Wow schools don't give the kids much space do they? A new chapter for all of you - Caleb away and your daughter enjoying her new ride! ha I suspect next month or so there will be parents weekend? Love the headboard, and I'm sure you could have paid for his tuition! lol Too funny........a great year ahead to all and thanks for sharing - love the video!

    1. Thank you so much, Julie! Yes, there will be a family weekend coming up. But, there are also lots of home football games that we'll go to and see him play with the band. So nice that he's not too far!

  2. My son had the same flags in his dorm room. When he graduated from Officer Candidate School we had it flown over the USS Constitution. Then I found a great Restoration Hardware hack to frame it for his first apt. Who knows what Caleb’s flag will see.

    1. That's so great! Funny story, the American flag that he keeps folded and is on that desk shelf right now flew over the USS Constitution too! We were there this Summer and he watched someone else fly a flag. He proceeded to pull his flag out of his backpack and ask if they could fly it, and they did! We didn't know they did that before we left. We had no idea that he'd been carrying that flag with him on all of the trips he's gone on for the past several years. He bought Don't Tread on Me the day we were there!

  3. That is wonderful. What patriotic sons we have!

  4. I know you usually can't "attach this GS to the walls" did you secure the headboards?
    It's funny when you first mentioned the headboards I thought to myself "self..she's going to get orders from this"
    Good job!

    1. They have legs so I just prop them up and scoot the mattress up close to them so they stay in place. Works great!

  5. have just shown all the new "Frosh" and their moms that dorm rooms do not have to look like a thrown together MESS! Sorry...but that's how so many of them end up looking. It turned out spectacular!

    1. Thank you! I've seen the CUTEST girls' rooms, but yes, seems like the boys' rooms are always a bit more challenging! ;) Thank you!

  6. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. Kinderschoenen

  7. I think i had a mom fail for my son's move-in day a few weeks ago after reading this post. Sharing the weekend edit on Saturday. I did not get a photo of us in the dorm. #momfail love the headboards and yes, I think you could set up a pop up shop next year! laura


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