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?

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!

Ikea – Items to Love in 2016


The question going around the blogosphere this week is, “Did you get the new Ikea catalog yet?”


If you did, consider yourself lucky as some are still waiting for them to come in the mail. I would not necessarily call myself an Ikea addict, but many of their items grace my home. Ikea is renowned worldwide for making decent products at affordable prices. Every year when their catalog comes out, new products are displayed and hosts of their other merchandise is staged in inviting and accessible spaces.

As I turned the pages of the 2016 catalog, here are some items I found particularly tempting:


Beginning with new items, the SINNERLIG collection will be one to keep an eye out for this fall. With natural textures and clean lines, I think this will become a fan favorite


This new MOCKELBY trestle table will certainly be a new staple.

Meanwhile, one could set this beautiful table with the new SITTNING collection.


Although they are already being sold in stores, the FJALLA boxes are an excellent and attractive storage option.

And I love the new RADVIKEN chair!

The new TJUSIG collection will have you reorganizing your entry/mudroom.

The ALMASTA chair is probably another soon-to-be favorite of mine.


This particular product really caught my eye. I have been seeing lots of patterns like this in high end fabrics and I am supremely impressed with the style and vibrancy of this new print!


As you flip through the pages of the new catalog, you may find yourself drawn to a few of their existing pieces.


I am very fond of the HOLMSEL chair and its tasteful lines.


I am still trying to find an excuse to buy place to use the ALSEDA stool. It would be fantastic both indoors and outdoors!

And the adorable BRADA would be great for a dorm or teen room!


The TORKIS boasts many utilitarian uses from laundry basket to doggy bath.


However, I will be forever drawn to the STOCKHOLM chandelier. This is the closest my current budget could get to a gorgeous crystal chandelier… and in the case of the STOCKHOLM… I’m perfectly OK with that!



If you are not on IKEA’s catalog mailing list or would like to view the 2016 catalog online, follow this link to see more.


Would you like to use any of these pieces in your home? What is your favorite IKEA piece?




*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed above are my own.*


Marbled Paper Accents


How are you doing out there in the blogosphere? I’ve been running the gauntlet of emotions lately with the beginning of Christopher’s new PreK starting up next week, my and hubs schedule changing with work, and a trip out of town this weekend. If I can make it through until next Wednesday, things will be good! Thankfully, we managed to get uniforms and school shoes purchased during Tax Free Weekend. Next week, all I have to manage is school supplies, orientation and not bursting into tears when I drop my handsome little man off for his first day!

Now that we’ve visited… I’m back to show you the previously mentioned marble paper accents in my home & office. I recently posted about ways to use Malachite, Marble and Onyx in Design. A while back, I discovered the beauty of marble accents and particularly marbled paper. Centsational Girl, Kate, did a post way back in 2012 on using marbled paper to wrap decorative boxes and it really inspired me to incorporate something like this into my home. Fast forward a year and a half and I finally have taken that plunge…

I purchased 3 types of marbled paper from Paper Source (because who can walk out of that place with only one item?!)

Each piece of their marbled paper is unique and I walked away with one of each of the papers below:

Natural & Brown Marble Fine Paper

Gold on Natural Marble Fine Paper

Pink & Gray Marble Fine Paper

They also offer this lovely Blue on Natural Marble Fine Paper, but I had no other place to display this one. I also probably looked a little crazy going through the whole stack for each paper to pick out the ones I liked the very, absolute best. So it was time to go 😉

Maybe I’ll go back for this one when I have a bigger house someday… (daydreams)

…Moving on.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have already seen the Pink & Gray paper hung behind my desk at work:

Excuse the mess, but this photo may give you a better scale perspective.

As you can see, it picks up on the beautiful desk chair upholstery (A Fonthill fabric or Pierre Frey, I think).

Around that same time, I framed the Natural & Brown paper to hang in our bedroom. This piece works perfectly on the wall just next to Geoff’s nightstand. It’s both masculine and refined. Although it reads as slightly lilac, Geoff and I are both happy with the end result.

Last, I finally managed to hang the Gold on Natural in our dining area. In this instance, I decided to use 4 frames in a grouping.

I cut the paper into 4 equal parts and centered the most visually interesting portion of each piece. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome!

Poor hubs is quite certain that we could not fit any more artwork, accessories or mirrors on our walls. However, I’m thinking a pair of gold or white plaster wall shelves with vintage plates will complete the grouping nicely… hmm.

For all of the frames above I used Ikea RIBBA frames. I purchased two of the poster sized (27″ x 39″) RIBBAs for the first two applications and placed the marbled paper in front of the mat so that the raw edges of the paper were shown. I think it gives them a more archival look. Then, on the set of four frames I decided on the 12″ x 16 RIBBAs and placed the paper behind the mats.

One of the things I most enjoyed about this project was the fact that these are statement pieces for an incredibly accessibly price. In all, the large framed pieces cost about $33/each ($8 paper + $25 frame) and the set of four cost around $48 ($8 paper + 4 – $10 frames).

That’s all for today. We will be starting a new schedule next week and I hope it will allow me to spend a bit more time on this tiny blog!

Have a great week and best of luck if your kiddos are starting school this week!

The Chevron Craze

The Chevron Craze

If you haven’t noticed there is a bit of a Chevron Craze going on in the design world. What do I think if this? I love it!

Just in case you aren’t sure what a Chevron is, here is the definition: a figure, pattern, or object having the shape of a V or an inverted V (think of the Chevron Oil Co. logo)

When did this craze start? Who knows! For me, It started when I first saw the Missoni Zig Zag rug. Our lead designer (my boss) specified this rug for the living room of a client’s home in Mexico. Oh, how I wish I had a picture of it after it was installed!

About two years later, the Missoni for Target line came out. As you may remember, most of the merchandise sold out in 24 hrs and the site crashed many times. I think it is safe to say that was the real taking off point for the chevron/zigzag look!

Missoni was nothing new. The stars and ultra rich (our clients) have been buying these trendy italian clothes and furnishings for years. The change occurred with availability to the masses. Just get on Pinterest and you can see oodles and gobbs of chevron love!

Want to incorporate some chevron pattern into your life?


There are TONS of beautiful Home Decor Chevrons and Quilting Chevrons on (my go-to site). Here are some of the ones I really like….

Simple Chevron
Premier Prints Indoor/Outdoor ZigZag Blue Moon

*Personal Favorite*
Suburban Chevrama Greystone

Subtle Chevron
Palladium Chevron Stripe Grey

Colorful Chevron
Stitch Organic Zig Zag Stripe Garden/Multi

Cool Tone Chevron
Annette Tatum Bohemian Chevron Teal

Home Decor

From what I have seen, West Elm has really latched on to the Chevron Craze.

I love this Zigzag Floor Pouf

their Organic Chevron Duvet cover & Shams

and who can help falling in love with their Bordered Chevron Pillow! It has a monogram (another design craze)… genius!

If you can’t afford the West Elm price point, Target has some very cute options.

Room Essentials® Chevron Comforter – White

Room Essentials® Chevron Bed Set – Multi Chevron

Pottery Barn jumped on the bad wagon with their Hayden Zig Zag Rug.

And I have this Ikea HESSUM runner in my kitchen at home.

To sum it all up… the design world has gone crazy with chevrons and so should you!

What do you think of them? And how have you/would you use them?