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Thursday, September 9, 2021


About a month after we initially moved her in, here's a look at Emily's dorm room tour and the decorations we used!  Let's start with a tour of the


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Yes, I said Living Room and I tell her often that she's living in a palace compared to my tiny shoebox dorm room that I shared with a roommate, with a community bathroom down the hall!  There is a wide variety of housing options and room types at her university.  Since we were new to the school we agreed to this dorm which was the preference of her roommate after her older brother had also lived here several years ago.  Now that they've been settled in for a while, it really is a blessing.  They are the only ones in their close friend group who have this floor plan, so their room is where everyone hangs out!  

It really is more like a little apartment, but they don't have a kitchen.  The living space came furnished with the basics, but we shifted some things and spiffed them up!  I don't want to think about what's hidden in that dark color of the upholstered furniture, and the pieces were definitely faded and had some frayed spots.  I bought some inexpensive slipcovers and they made a WORLD of difference!  They are stretchy so you can get a nice, tailored fit for the most part.  They come in a ton of colors and are washable- we'll see if that actually happens or not this year, ha!  (I'll source them and everything else I can after each room that I share in this post, check below!)

An awkward long skinny tiny oval oak coffee table and basic oak side table were provided, but I pulled a prettier side table out of storage from our attic and found this affordable faux marble round coffee table online.  It wasn't too expensive, is sturdy, and works so much better in the space.  We stashed the other tables elsewhere (under her bed and under a counter where there was space).  

I would totally buy this table for my home or an apartment if I needed one, the quality is fantastic- regardless of the low price!  You might recognize the rug, it came out of her room at home.  Earlier this Summer I did a small mini-makeover in there and bought her a new one, knowing that this one would go with her to college when I did.  Yes, I staged the table a bit knowing I would take photos when I was finished but I wanted them to have some pretty flowers to kick off their year- I was there a few days ago and they're on their last leg and the accessories have been shuffled around, which is as it should be in their space!  😂  I just started them out pretty, then they are own their own, ha!

They also had basic (ugly) desk chairs provided in their bedrooms, but her roommate bought a new one and moved hers to the living space for extra seating.  I shopped a little for a new one for Emily but didn't want to drop more $$$ at that point so she kept her original chair.  However, I discovered a $13 slipcover for it as well, and it looks like a brand new chair!  

You can also see in some of the photos that they put up the set of lights that are just like the ones in her room at home.  They have so many color options and blinking modes, and have a remote or can be operated through an app on their phone!  They can even sync to music through their phone and blink in time to the beat... such a fun little inexpensive accessory! 

Their windows had blinds but we added some curtain panels just to warm up the room a little more.  I used some adhesive hooks to hang the rod.  They're working well so far, we'll see how the removal goes next Spring!  I used some Command Hooks specifically for curtains in her bedroom but the store was out of those when I needed them for the living space.  I think I prefer them just a tad because they set the rod out a little further from the wall then these hooks do (making it just a bit easier to operate the curtains), but the weight limit is much higher on these hooks so it's a toss up which is better!  And honestly in their case, I don't think they move the curtain panels, they just operate the blinds for the most part and Emily generally just leaves her curtains closed in her room. 

I will say that the rug is the only thing we brought for this room on move-in day.  I didn't know exactly what her furniture would look like or what size it was, so since we're close I knew could scope all of that out on move-in day and come back later with what we needed to finish it up.

As I mentioned, this is the hang-out spot for their friends so I thought this cute little sign was appropriate. And believe it or not, she said those board games have already had a lot of use! 

After the girls mentioned needing more seating, I remembered that I had this old vanity stool that I didn't need in my bathroom anymore in the garage sale pile.  It needed to be recovered so I bought just enough faux fur to do the job.  Now it's the perfect extra seat that doesn't take up much space, and it's easy to pull over if they want to use it as a footrest as well.  

The stool fits perfectly on this little strip of wall that leads to their bedrooms and bathroom.  There are double sinks on the other side, then the door to their shower and toilet, and doors to each bedroom.  It's so nice that they can close off that area from the living space.  To the right of that strip of wall is their little entry hall.

This is in the long narrow entry space just inside their outside door, and then to the other side of the fridge they have a little counter with a sink on it with some cabinets above (I didn't get a photo of this entire space, but you can see a peek of the checkered floor!💖).  That cabinet was the entertainment cabinet furnished in the living room, but it fits perfectly with the fridge in this spot and provides great food storage.  We filled it up with stacking storage for food and snacks.  

Furniture Slipcovers- Chair, Loveseat (various colors and sizes available)  ||  Desk Chair Slipcover  ||  Faux Marble Coffee Table  ||  LED Strip Lights  ||  Curtains  ||  Curtain Rod Hooks  ||  Black and Cream Reversible Rug  ||  Blush & Gold Geometric Pillow Covers  ||  Black and Cream Pom Pillows- Hobby Lobby (clearance!)  ||  End Table Lamp  ||  End Table Planters and Mirror Trio- Thrifted  ||  Butterfly Wall Hanging and Landscape Art- TJ Maxx  ||  "Stay Awhile" and "Yay"- Hobby Lobby  ||  Bluetooth Speaker  ||  Raised Planter- Ross  ||  Similar Wood Bead Garland with Tassels  ||  Bed Rest Study Pillow  ||  3 Drawer Cart  ||  


A peek at their bathroom... a tiered shelf provided storage for towels and extra tp.

This large artwork was on major clearance at Hobby Lobby, so I grabbed it for this big blank wall.  It was perfect for the colors we already had in there!  And, it either didn't come with glass or the glass had been damaged, which was actually a bonus since it made it light weight to hang.  


Shower Curtain (look for less here)  ||  Bath Mat and Matching Towels  ||  Mint plastic bins- Dollar Tree  ||  Artwork- Hobby Lobby  ||  Free Standing Shelves- Ross


Moving on to her actual bedroom, I wish I had taken an empty, "before" photo but didn't think about it until we were already in the process of moving in.  But you can see the bare bones... bed (full size!), desk with chair, and chest of drawers.  She has a window to the left of the desk and a set of sliding mirrored closet doors on the opposite wall.

Mid-day move-in break!  Making progress but we still had a lot to organize.  

Here we are at the end of move-in day!  (If you're unfamiliar, she's showing her "pistols firing" for Oklahoma State.)  Most of the accessories for her room were from At Home- the bedding and pillows, rug, basket, desk lamp, faux plants,and wall art.  She wanted a calm feel with texture and natural elements, I think she made some really cute selections!  The headboard is the same one that used to be in my son's room but has more recently been in storage.

About two weeks after move-in, I went back with another load, mainly of the stuff we needed for the Living Room, but I added a few more decorative touches to her room as well. 

I made this simple monogram art (will share the easy tutorial with you next week!) and added a felt garland from Hobby Lobby. 

Here's her desk chair with another slipcover, totally cute and fits right in now!  I added some solid color room darkening panels (that need a good steam!) and this is where I used the curtain rod specific Command Hooks that I mentioned earlier.  They've been working great!  Plastic bins in a variety of sizes from Dollar Tree were so helpful wherever we needed some organization. 

The mirrored doors are nice not only to make the room feel larger, but we didn't have to have a separate full length mirror!  We used some bed risers and that gave her just enough extra room under her bed to use several large clear tubs for shoes, bulky jackets and sweaters, etc.  

We added a tray to corral her jewelry to the top of her chest, and a metal tiered cart sits beside it for other miscellaneous things. 

Whew!  We did it!  She wanted her room to look nice and selected the color scheme and most of the items herself, but honestly didn't have strong feelings about much of the decorating.  Which was fun for me!  She appreciated it all when we were done.  I'm happy to report that a month in she is adjusting well to being on her own and her classwork, making new friends, and learning how to manage her time and resources! On the other hand, I've been back twice since we took this photo and I'd bet it's safe to say that her room will never be as clean as it is in these initial photos...  ha!  


At Home Stores- Bedding and Pillows, Rug, Large Basket, Desk Lamp, Faux Plants, and Van Wall Art  ||  Command Curtain Rod Hooks  ||  Green Curtain Panels  ||   Bed Risers  ||  Under Bed Clear Storage Tubs  ||  Desk Office Set  ||  Cat Wall Art & Acrylic Tray (with makeover- I added the paper to the bottom)- Hobby Lobby  ||  Similar Jewelry Stand

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  1. This space is larger than a NYC apartment. Beautiful! Lucky girl!

  2. Wow - lucky girl! Things have really changed since I was in college - lol.

  3. I loved your resources being just a click away - my task chair will soon be in the 'pink' LOL - Everything was so studied and executed to be bright, happy and just wonderfully cozy. Your design eye as always - Amazing! pwoods


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