Jun 14, 2011

~ college dorm ideas

A friend of mine has a darling daughter going to college next Fall. With just a hint of panic in her voice, she asked me to do a post on how to decorate a college dorm room. There are so many scenarios that could be played out in response to this request. I started with IKEA since it seems to be quite popular, and I just kept going... This is just a quick rundown of some possibilities. My hope is that some inspiration will be achieved on some level!

Since the inquiry was made about a daughter, my picks are geared towards girl... Plus, I've done this with my daughter... (Also, judging from my sons, boys have a completely different idea about decorating their college dorm room. Posters.)

I visited IKEA by way of the internet since we don't have one close by. However, with e-shopping, things can be ordered online and delivered this summer to pack up and take. I would recommend this anyway, since trying to figure out where to ship items and dealing with unpacking while trying to move in and get organized sounds nightmarish. Plus, we found that some popular items were sold out after we waited thinking it would be easier to pick up once we got there...

I've also included items from The Container Store, Garnet Hill, and anthropologie... and of course Target will be a natural stop for some dorm room essentials...
So, we must have some fun with color. It seems bedding is a good place to start for choosing a color scheme... Also, we'll want to include some organic materials to offer a balance to the color.

These baskets from IKEA are darling. They look expensive and come in a couple sizes. Under $10 each. When you are moving in to your new room at college, there won't be enough drawers. I promise. Filling a few of these baskets with essentials is smart and helps keep your things organized. Thread a wide grosgrain ribbon through that little opening on the side and tie a big bow... you could do coordinating colors! Hot pink and red or whatever you choose...
Fill baskets with 1) rolled Nike shorts 2) balled athletic socks 3) hair ties, ribbons, and headbands 4) rolled tshirts 5) sandals and flipflops 6) snack ramen noodles/snacks 7) desk supplies... you get the idea... Get at least 3 or 4... tie the ribbons on the front... OH, you could use your school colors!

This wicker trunk is great for storage. Store large blankets that you might want for a game or a picnic, but take up a lot of room when not being used. Or, store out of season clothes/shoes/boots. Put books and a clock on top... or a TV if you are lucky enough to get one as a Freshman! (Stick this bad boy at the end of your bed with a TV on top and you'll eliminate any possibility of homesickness!) A great price at $99. My daughter has one from Pottery Barn that was almost 3 times the price... looks the same and she uses it as a coffee table in her current apartment.

Several lighting options at IKEA for cheap, and great colors to choose from. Love this white one for bedside~ it's perfect for reading in bed at night, and it's a convenient option in the middle of the night... $79 

I love these colorful desk lamps. I would even do a couple for this price!  $19.99 

This little cube has so many purposes! By your bed, it's perfect for your clock, ipod, phone, laptop or iPad, plus a couple books and frames will all fit perfectly. Smart looking and practical, and on rollers, for multi purposing! $49

Now I'm just having some fun... This rug is to die for... TO DIE FOR! I want this rug! Can you imagine how adorable, with the pops of color... pink and red... this black and white rug would be? SO CUTE! Now, I could not resist throwing this in. It is not cheap, it is not reasonable, and it is probably not very practical. But if I were to design a cute dorm room for a magazine cover, I'd use it. And I'd probably win an award of some kind. $399

These chairs come in several cute colors. LOVE pink and red... I love the idea of having a side chair for a friend or your backpack... $24.99

also available... swivel desk chair on rollers... same price $24.99

A couple clock options for some added color and practicality... for your desk $14.99

A smaller option... love the red or yellow... only $5

and for the wall $19.99

or a white version

Frames to bring family and friends with you... Coordinating bows could be a cute addition to these frames... imagine the hot pink and red frames with matching polka dot grosgrain bows hanging in a group of 4 or 6... would look really cute with the pink chairs and the red clock and the red and pink bows on the baskets, right? 
$2.99 for 2-pack

Another great option for bedside table... and storage. Not on rollers, but the size is great! $69

And now we move on to bedding. We'll start with anthropologie... for a little boho fun. Every once in a while you can get lucky with anthro bedding... My daughter's first comforter was made from a huge anthropologie tablecloth! I fell in love with the print and we did her whole room around those colors... similar to the options shown below...  The tablecloth was on sale for $39. By the time I paid to have it made into a comforter, it wasn't as cheap, but still affordable. 
Here's a shot of her tablecloth bedding her Freshman year... 
We recently found a queen comforter on sale at anthro for $39! Sheets can be plain white with this kind of color, in fact, most college beds are "extra long" and getting designer sheets is next to impossible... The comforter is a great piece to splurge on if you want a lot of charm and often sets the color theme for the room... 
anthropologie twin comforter $198
Love these for a fun addition to a dorm room... great graduation gifts too! My daughter spelled e.a.t. in her kitchen... I like initials, nicknames, school initials or a message... t.h.i.n.k. or s.t.u.d.y. might be good options... $14 each
More cute ideas for the anthro themed room...
pinwheel pushpins $15
colorful celebratory pencils $12
Here's another totally unnecessary, impractical addition that would make the cover shot with the rug mentioned above.... SO CUTE! The orange vintage rotary phone with the pink chair, the red clock and the black and white rug, the frames and the baskets with pink, red and orange ribbons... pretty darn cute, but not reasonable $198.

And if anthro is not for you, I'm so excited about Lilly Pulitzer! Take a look at this fab bedding on sale at Garnet Hill! So cute with that darn impractical yellow phone! 

Could this be any cuter? $94
And if the floral is just too much... Love the solids just as much! $98
Even more possibilities with Lilly... this pink and green monkey duvet is sold out, but a pair of pillow cases would be darling with the solid pink coverlet and crisp white sheets! sale $34

Add 3 bath towels~ free monogramming~ $22 each 

If we're doing the Lilly thing, I like this rug... a funny size, but perfect to use right beside the length of your bed... $28 small $58 large... a runner size - long and skinny.
So, let's break it down, shall we?

For a red/pink color theme: 

4 cute baskets for storage (shorts, hair accessories, socks and snacks) $40
red/pink ribbons $5
white floor lamp $80
2 red lamps for desk and/or bedside table $40
pink or red side chair $25
pink desk swivel chair $25
red desk clock $15 
red wall clock $20
4 frames ( 2 pink/2 red) $6
white cubed table for bedside convenience and storage $50
basket trunk $100
pink Lilly rug above $60
hot pink Lilly coverlet $100
red throw pillows or a white case with a large red monogram $40

For a pink/yellow color theme:

4 cute baskets for storage (shorts, hair accessories, socks and snacks) $40
pink/yellow ribbons $5
white floor lamp $80
2 yellow lamps for desk and/or bedside table $40
pink side chair $25
pink desk swivel chair $25
yellow clock $5 
white wall clock $20
4 frames ( 4 pink - add yellow ribbons) $10
white cubed table for bedside convenience and storage $50
basket trunk $100
pink or yellow Lilly rug above $60
hot pink Lilly coverlet $100
yellow throw pillows or a white case with a large yellow (or pink) monogram $40

A lot of cute coordinating pieces... the grand total for either color scheme... about $600. 
Now, this is a substantial amount of money, I understand. Especially for an irresponsible teen living away from home for the first time. But someone could easily misjudge what they need and spend this same amount on bedding alone... seriously! This combination of IKEA priced items mixed with a few higher priced pieces makes a pow and a great end result! You will feel special making your college dorm room your own little home away from home. The waste basket, over-the-door hanging hooks, and toiletries are easy pick-ups at Target and are all on back-to-school sales the entire month of August... 
Other things to consider...
White towels with red or pink monogram 
White sheets (extra long)
I must also mention this hutch. Extremely practical and a really smart addition to your desk from The Container Store for $69.
Here it is shown on the desk... great for books, frames, printer paper, etc. If you ordered it this summer and are into DIY projects, paint it a coordinating color!
Also from The Container Store, the stackable folding bookcase is another option, in white, for $79.

Probably the most important thing I will tell you to get, from Target or Office Depot, is this multi plug thingy... The standard plug you will get in your dorm room will already be taken by your roommate when you arrive, and you literally will have nowhere to plug in your unending list of electric goodies... cell phone, laptop, lamps, hairdryer, curling iron, computer, TV, iHome, etc.

So there's a starting point anyway... a good place to be at the beginning of summer. Start making your list!

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Veronica said...

What a lovely dorm room this is going to be. Have done this for a girl and a boy and yes they are very different! In my post yesterday for mosaic monday I mentioned and linked to your amazing blog. Thanks for your support. Found your daugter's blog lovely and joined but blogger would not allow me to leave a comment! Will try again!

The enchanted home said...

Great post! Having sent 2 boys to college, their collection did not look nearly as decorative as this but many great ideas, especially love the LP inspired touches and that Ikea basket is fantastic looking!
These days there are so many choices....love what you put together.Stop by doing an amazing giveaway for a gogeous Kilim bench!

CRICKET said...

Great tips! I have had my wicker trunk for almost 20 years...started out in my first apartment and now houses my kids toys.

Anonymous said...

I will be buying college dorm stuff for my son who isn't "that into it." I know a girl would care more about what her dorm looked like. I am thinking PB teen should have some great masculine bedding. xo

Karena said...

Great job girl!! This is amazing and I really love all of the options! Especially for a girly girl!

Art by Karena

I have an amazing Giveaway from the Artisans at Novica. You will love it!

Anonymous said...

The free shipment that the officedepot.com coupon codes offers is indeed a great help as it brings the comfort of shopping straight at your doorstep. Great post!