Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Mac Daddy of Dorm Rooms

OH what I would give to go right back to my sleep all afternoon(well until practice), stay awake all night, eat whatever I want, come and go whenever I want routine.  I miss college sooooooo much. (Side note: the only reason I could eat whatever I wanted was because field hockey kept me burning the heck out of my calories.) Two things I do NOT miss about college are:  1. getting my butt kicked at practice running sprints  2.  having to live in a dorm room. I'll start with # 1 because I have some exciting news in regards to that topic. Sprints weren't for me, I was more of a long distance runner but I did love the feeling after a good sprint session. My legs hurt right now just thinking about sprinting for 45 minutes. I can't even believe I used to be able to do that. But I have to admit it did pay off because this month my teammates and I are getting inducted into the Hall of Fame for winning a National Championship back in 2002...WOOT WOOT! We are the first female team sport to win a National Championship at our school, so we made history that day. Pretty Cool!   I'm so excited to see all the girls in a couple weeks at the ceremony. Here are a couple fun pics from that day....

Yes it was a super cold day and I remember there being some snow on the turf... Brrrrr!  I hate the cold. The game took place in Springfield, Massachusetts on Nov. 23, 2002.

My crazy family surprised me with this sign that they handmade themselves. They are and were so supportive!!!

Back to the topic at hand.  Let's address the second and most important reason why I don't miss college;   days of living in a dorm. I remember having the worst time keeping my space organized.  I felt like I was constantly rearranging things trying to make the space as functional as possible but also trying to keep it looking fashionable.   I did have an amazing childhood friend as a roommate and we were both clean freaks which worked out GREAT!  I wish I could go back to college and use the knowledge I have now to make my dorm the best dorm on campus. Since I can't go back I figured I would just share all of my fun ideas of what I would do to make the Mac Daddy of all Dorm rooms. I also had a couple college readers asking for some suggestions on how to make a dorm room beautiful yet functional.  Feel free to steal any of the following ideas and you can totally act like you came up with them on your own...wink wink!  It's our secret =)

I know a lot of college students are on a tight budget and I understand why it's probably pointless to dress this space up but you will be spending A LOT of time in these small rooms. So, why not make it as comfortable as you can considering it is your first time away from home for a significant period of time.  Maybe Mom and Dad will foot the bill if you express your comfort levels. Therefore, I plan on splurging in some areas and saving in others.  So let's get started.  First I want to share some inspiration photos that helped me get my juices flowing.....

 If only dorm rooms actually looked liked this!  So white, bright and clean looking.  NOT REALISTIC but we can take some of the great organizing tips from these photos. A special thanks to the Container Store for always inspiring us to transform our spaces in a functional time saving way.   My DREAM HOME would include anything and everything from the Container Store.  I recently contemplated working there because of how great the discount is.  I still get excited about the possibility of being able to know the ins and outs of every product in every isle.  DREAMY<3

After looking at some more photos on the www I came up with a plethora of fun design elements that I would use in my FICTITIOUS dorm room. It's tough to bring in color when you can't do much with the bones of the space so I tried to bring in lots of color through accessories. Therefore, I decided to keep my bedding very neutral.  FYI...not all items shown here will be used for their original purpose.  I love taking ordinary gadgets and making them serve a completely different function form what they were created for. All it takes is knowing what your needs are and using your IMAGINATION!!!    Check 'em out....  

                                                                 {click to enlarge}

1. Decorative Screen this is the perfect solution for above the bed as a cute headboard or just on any wall to add a little character to those awesome cinderblocks. I would use the Glue Dots I have listed below to install them on the walls.  You could also probably figure out a way to hang it on the ceiling to give yourself a little privacy while you are sleeping.
2. This Desktop Hutch is genius.  It is the perfect use of the vertical space above any desk. It's ideal for  stacking all of your books up top or displaying a cute colorful framed pic of your fam/high school friends.  Did I mention it folds up for easy transport?  LOVE THAT! It would be well worth the price.
3. Towel Storage Rack- I love that this towel rack extends to the floor. You could use it for what it's made for or  you can also add some "S" hooks  to one of the cross bars to store a couple purses/backpacks or even your belts.  Super functional!
4. Bed Risers- Every space varies and some rooms have bunks but if you end up having a room where your bed is on the floor these are probably THEEE most effective way to create more storage space.   You could use these Crunch Bags to store your dirty laundry under the bed. You can expand them as your pile grows and then it's easy just to slide the bag out from under bed grab the handles and head to the laundry spot.  No more ugly plastic laundry baskets YAY!!!  You could also grab your typical under the bed storage bins from Target to keep all of your belongings hidden down there.

5. Glue Dots These are perfect for hanging almost anything.  They can be applied to wood, plastic, paper, metal, foam, and the list goes on.  I would have used these like there was no tomorrow.  You could also grab some ribbon and attach some glue dots at the end to create a cute photo display over top of the decorative screens I linked above. I would drape the ribbon across two of the decorative screens above your bed and then use clothes pins to hang some of your favorite photos from the cute ribbon.  That is way cuter easier than sticking each individual photo onto the cinderblock walls.
6. Cord Bundler- these are one of those "why didn't I think of that" gadgets.  Seriously, why didn't I? I remember crawling on my NASTY, cold, hard, dusty dorm room floor searching to see if a plug was unplugged or if it was tangled.  These are so CLUTCH.
7.  Area Rug- I love this area rug. Two of my friends have it in there homes and it has always made me feel like I was in a colorful and vibrant environment.  Great for studying....
8. Cup Holder- this is something I would have used every time I sat down to study.  I loved studying with a drink and a snack.
9. Pencil Cups- I would NOT use these pencil cups to hold pencils. I would store my silverware upside down in them and then I would place these on my (#12) over the door elfa rack, you'll read about that in a couple seconds. It is sad that I wish I could go back and live in a dorm room now.
10. Letter Boxes- I remember not having much drawer space and I hated having all of my desk accessories out in the open. I would solve this problem now by getting one of these letter boxes to disguise all of the clutter and it would look super cute on my desk hutch =).  Don't forget to organize your desk accessories inside the letter box with some of these.... Drawer Organizers.
11. Cleaning Mitt- These are perfect for cleaning the screens of an iphone, ipad, laptop, keyboard or computer screen.  Love love love these.
12. Dry Erase Message Flower - this is perfect for you and your roommate to leave each other all kinds of messages. Communication is key! Or you can use it for reminders in your own personal space.
13. Elfa Over the Door Rack- This is what I would have loved the most. The best part is that it hangs right on your door with no need for nails, screws, etc!  SCORE!!!!  It's really genius and it's so versatile. You can also personalize it by buying deeper backets for bigger items and some shallow baskets for other smaller items such as: salt/pepper/spices/make up/accessories etc.  I would have stored almost everything on this rack. Anywhere from laundry accessories, to dvds, to boxed/ canned food, extra bottles of water/juices/soda that can't fit into your super small fridge,  to extra toiletries that you don't use on a regular basis, and it's also great storage for small dish towels.  It's SOOOO incredibly functional in so many ways.  I actually have this rack in my house and you will never guess what I use it for?  To find out click here!
14. Bedding- this bedding is bold and fun but it is not overwhelming because of my color choices.  The black and white will allow all of the other colorful accessories in the room to pop but the pattern still makes a statement.  I think it's gorgeous and I wish chevrons were out and about when I was in college.   I might just have to change my master bedroom now, not sure Billy boy will be happy about that!  I'm dreaming of yellow chevrons.....

There are SO many more things I could have added to this list but I think I could go on for hours organizing every nook and cranny.  Things I didn't mention that I would definitely buy for my fictitious dorm are a bath caddy, flip flops for the shower, a mirror, a bath robe, maybe a cute hair caddy to keep my blow dryer/curling & flat iron organized in one spot, shoe storage under the bed in a closed container for sanitary reasons and again the list could go on.

So what do you think? Does this post bring back any fun memories of living in a dorm room? Anyone else wishing they could go right back to the good 'ol college days? Do I have any college readers out there that want to share their space saving tips? Give a holler....

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