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!

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?

Greek Key Bulletin Board


I have an exciting new project to share with you! Some of you may remember that we are in a rental house so I am a bit limited on the changes we can make. A particularly hard room for me to inhabit is my kitchen… dated butterfly wallpaper, dark and dated wood cabinets and laminate counter tops. Bleh! I often fantasize about ripping out the wallpaper, painting the cabinets, tearing out the furdown and making some long-overdue changes… but that is work best saved for a home of our own down the road. Since I do 99.9% of the cooking in our family, so I am in this part of the house more than anyone. During said hours, I have come up with a few ideas on how to make the space more liveable and I will be sharing a few of my other renter improvements in this room later this year.


First, I had to do something about the large wall next to our fridge.

It could be worse, I think, but I get so, so tired of staring at all of those butterflies! Another small issue is all of the paper on our fridge and high counter in that room. We try to keep them to a minimum, but some items like schedules and school related papers need to stay accessible.

Solution: Bulletin Board

I knew that I wanted an upholstered bulletin board and for the result to have a bit of detail, but not add to the busy wallpaper. We have done tons of greek key motifs on headboards so I went with it and decided to make a plan!

I had a few yards of a seaglass linen on hand as well as some batting. The only supplies I had to purchase were the silver Dritz Nailheads and bulletin board.

I used a 24″ x 36″ bulletin board from Hobby Lobby.

I drew out the design beforehand to plan out exactly how many nailheads were needed to make the greek key at the corners of my bulletin board.

We laid everything out and used an air staple gun to upholster the board.

Of course, a regular staple gun will work too, but the air stapler is more fun!

Now, it was time to get the nailheads ready. With this design, the nailheads would have to overlap on the corners. I cut the nailhead tape to the lengths I needed, while trying to use as many of the pre-positioned holes as possible. Then I tapped holes into the ends that lacked a hole. This made it easier to nail down the corners.

After all of that prep work, I got to hammer away! I did the greek keys in the corners first, then filled in the straight areas in between.

Et, Voila!

This was a simple way to add a bit of sophistication to the space. I am very happy with the results!

The eye is drawn to the bulletin board and gets a bit of a break from all of our fluttering friends!

I’ve added a printable calendar from Clean and Scentsible, my yearly goals and a few of our other paper necessities. Though it may get a bit more disorderly throughout the year, it is a welcomed change!


Do you have a family “command center” in your home?
Have you done a project like this in your home?