Maggie’s Dorm: Part 2

Yesterday, in Part 1, I went over the inspiration for my baby sister, Maggie’s, dorm room as well as some of the selections. We wanted to make this a comfortable space that felt warm and cozy as opposed to a cold and impersonal cinderblock box. Maggie has a spunky and fun personality, so we wanted the decor to reflect that.

Once we had selected the main decorative elements, such as duvet cover, desk accessories, armchair and rug, we needed to fill in with lighting, art and accessories.

In general, dormitories employ overhead fluorescent lighting. While very functional, it does not provide the same ambiance as other forms of lighting such as floor lamps, table lamps and desk lamps. Maggie already had an adorable desk lamp from IKEA so the only remaining item needed was an adequate floor or table lamp. In this case, we decided to use a vintage piece from our parents’ house (aka free). It was a 70’s era floor lamp/table in a slightly dated wood tone with a more formal shade. We painted it navy, grabbed a new drum shade at IKEA, added some grosgrain ribbon and voila!


(Sorry for all of the cell phone pics! Somehow I never end up with photos of the individual items!)

To finish everything off, we picked up some fantastic artwork, cork boards, greenery, and decorative accessories at Hobby Lobby. However, the finishing touch to the artwork in the room was a piece of string art, done by our sister Becca, with the university’s logo. I love the look of string art, but I am sad to admit, I have never tried making a piece of my own. Becca has become quite accomplished in creating it and should possibly think of opening an Etsy shop. (wink, wink!)

With all of that being said…. It’s time for the grand reveal!


We raised the bed to accommodate a mini-fridge and lots of stackable, rolling IKEA storage below.



The floor lamp got an extra boost from a milk crate so that it would be high enough to comfortably light the bed. Since the light had a three-way switch, we were able to use a 75/100/150 bulb to offer multiple brightness levels.

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The pillows are a mixture designer fabrics that were in our free stash. Often, with less than a yard, we were able to get one pillow from a small piece of fabric. This is where spending a bit more can make a big impact!


The chair looks fantastic with Dritz Polished Brass Nailhead Trim. We used the same type of nailhead tape that I have used on my desk chair and Greek Key Headboard.


Meanwhile, a funky and fun accent pillow finishes off the look!


For the desk area, we decided to keep things simple on the shelves. We love the combination of the geometric pattern of the HEJSAN accessories with the SKURAR pots and greenery. A few gold metallic pieces and three prism shaped objets pulled everything together!
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The curtains were a steal at Tuesday Morning and present a neutral enough color and design that they go well with the décor of any roommate.


I think this will be a calming yet practical space for late night study sessions!

Last, but not least… The beautiful FLOR tile rug:


I completely forgot to take a photo of the rug before we headed out on Move-in day! So Maggie was nice enough to send this pic earlier in the week. It is already getting a lot of use!

We had an absolute blast planning, DIY-ing and installing this comfy slice dormitory heaven! More importantly, it was a blessing to be able to start off Maggie’s college career in a space where she feels comfortable and inspired!

I’d love to see other fun dorm room designs! Have you done anything fun with dorm décor?

Maggie’s Dorm: Part 1


This past weekend was a milestone for our family. My youngest sister, the baby of the family, moved into her college dorm! It also so just happened that 10 years ago I moved into my first college dorm a few feet away at the very same university.

It was a mixture of budding enthusiasm for her new endeavor in life as well as nostalgia while thinking back to my college years!

Nostalgia aside, we were all eager to get our sweet Maggie settled in!

A few years ago I did a few posts about our sister Becca’s Dorm Inspiration, her Dorm Reveal as well as a 7 Ways to Make a Dorm Room Feel Like Home. We wanted to create an equally cozy room in this space, so we decided to go with a cheerful color scheme and layer playful patterns.


This was the original inspiration for our design. As you may remember from the makeover of her room in our parent’s home, Maggie enjoys color! We knew that we were working with a very blank canvas, but wanted Maggie’s vibrant personality to shine through in the space!

We pinned a few other ideas and inspirations, but our jumping off point came with the items below:

We loved the neutral background and large geometric lines of the IKEA PS 2014 Duvet Cover. Maggie was not sure about this duvet at first, but when she saw it in person… it was a done deal!


*(I will warn you there is only low stock of this item at best because it was a 2014 collection item)

Then we fell for the HEJSAN desk accessory set… We knew Maggie’s desk area would be limited on space but this collection was a great way to incorporate some much needed color and fun!


For dorms, and especially for someone starting out, IKEA can be the perfect place to start.

Our next major hurdles were a rug for the space and a comfy yet functional (not enormous or expensive) armchair. In both of these areas, we were blessed to receive free alternatives that we were able to DIY into fabulous items. (eek!)

This armchair was a dinged up and dust covered sample frame that our upholstery company was nice enough to give me. Seen here on a forgotten shelf in the warehouse.


We recovered it and added nailhead trim to finish it off. Consequently, upholstery is not always for the faint of heart! This little chair consumed a few hours of one Saturday. Note to self: striped fabric curved furniture is attractive, but maybe I’ll have a pro do it next time!


My little nugget chilling out in the semi-finished piece in Grammy and Poppa’s living room. The finished piece will be in tomorrow’s Part 2.

Last, I had been given a stack of FLOR tiles that were originally used as a temporary solution for a client. They had been sitting in the back of my car taking up space until we realized that they might work in the dorm perfectly.


There were an awkward quantity of each color, but we fiddled around with a few different designs.




… You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out which one!

I’ll be posting the reveal and more info about the finishing touches and accessories. I just can’t wait to show you!


Becca’s Dorm Reveal

Yesterday, I showed you all some of the inspiration behind Becca’s room. Today, I am excited to finally be doing a big reveal on Becca’s dorm.

First, I will just mention that her room is small… quite small. She has it all to herself, but it is one of the smallest in the 4 room unit. Although we had an idea in mind for this room months ago, the majority of the actual purchasing and work on projects were done relatively late in the game. Nonetheless, I think you’ll agree that everything turned out beautifully!

Here are some of the design elements that we decided to go with:

As you enter the room, the first thing you see is her desk space.

Corkboard: Container Store

Dry Erase Board: Container Store

Turquoise Frame: Hobby Lobby

Pink & Blue Art: Fabric

Pink Lamp: Target

Here is another view showing the desk along with her window.

Drapery Panel: Target

Seat Cushion: Ikea

And now on to the piece de resistance in the room, the bed. We decided on the turquoise frames at the last minute and I am glad we went with it. Originally, we were thinking of doing white frames, but in the end we wanted something that would make a statement.

Duvet and Sham: TargetArt: Fabric Samples
Frames: Thrifted & Painted

However, one of my favorite areas of the entire room is the area next to the bed. I love the functionality of the table/lamp combo. Then, the layered sisal and faux sheepskin rug give the space a sort of practical glamour.

Table/Lamp Combo: Target

Another last minute touch was the orchid on Becca’s nightstand. Though it is a faux flower, (what college student has time for finicky orchids) the added touch of a natural element provides a hint of tranquility.

Even though I helped install the decorative pieces in the room, I can’t take much credit for creating the DIY projects seen in the space.

Becca did this string art project herself.

And without the help of our youngest sister, Maggie, Becca would have never finished painting all of the frames!

In the next few months, we may add a long bedskirt/curtain to the front and side of the bed to disguise some of the storage beneath her bed. Not sure just yet, but it would be a nice way to give that area a polished look. Maybe a few drapery panels hemmed to the height needed and attached with removable Velcro.

Of course being obsessed with fabrics and pillows, I would love to add some more throw pillows at some point as well.

Overall, we are very happy with the finished product!

I understand that Becca had a great first day today and I am wishing her a great first year at UNO!

Love you little sis!