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Topic: Warring Dorm Room Aesthetics...How to Choose?!  (Read 1991 times)
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« on: June 12, 2008 09:21:25 PM »

Indecision strikes again!  I'm going to college next August, and of course I'm trying to plan my dorm room two months in advance.  I really want to have a put-together aesthetic for my room at college so it feels more like home and less like a box, but I can't decide if I want an Oriental, Ikea-like, or quirky hipster bohemian look.  Here are some of my thoughts on each (and let's just pretend like I have an awesome roommate who agrees with all of my decorating ideas) ...

Oriental - I have a red kimono and some trinkets from Singapore and Japan that I could use for decoration.  There is also a cherry blossom curtain and bedspread set from Urban Outfitters that I really like.  But is it too tacky or matchy-matchy for such a tiny space?

Ikea/Target-like - Standard college dorm stuff.  I would probably put a big rasterbated mural up and have lots of black, white, silver, and blue around.  I have floor pillows which I would re-cover with some cool fabric, but I also want my room to stand out, which could be difficult with stuff all bought at Target.

Quirky Bohemian - Handmade stuff with lots of color and prints.  A colorful tapestry on the bed, embroidered cushions on the floor, some ATCs from my friend displayed on the wall.  I'm just worried it would look a little crazy and be difficult (and expensive) to match.

Ok, I've been rambling on way too long!  Tell me what you think!
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008 09:59:05 AM »

I don't really have a "vote" for a theme, more just ramblings and advice from my college days, so I hope that's okay!

I would think that a mix of Ikea/Target and Asian decor might look cool, sort of modern Asian.  Like you said, a lot of people are going to have the same things from those stores that market "dorm room" accessories, but you could just use the basics and then craft them into your own style.  It will depend on your roommate and their style too; some people luck out and totally mesh, or you could have someone like my roommate whose design style revolved around empty beer cans, fast food wrappers and used condoms strewn about.

Not sure if you know what the room looks like, but mine had brick walls so all my plans for hanging decor went out the window.  I would recommend picking a bedspread you like, and building on that, since that ends up being the focal point of your side of the room.  Also, be careful if you are bringing nice trinkets, a/k/a breakable objects, or make sure there are safe places to display them.

Just some things to keep in mind, hopefully doesn't sound too much like horror stories!  Anyway, have fun, and good luck with your new space!
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008 10:00:07 AM by prettypistol » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008 01:34:02 PM »

Tough call!! I personally really, really like Target's stuff, although it is seemingly overpriced at times. I'd go with an Ikea theme, because you can definitely get waaaay more for your money.

I really like Ikea's simpler stuff. We have this on our bed, and I absolutely adore it: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10125622

I also like this: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40100451

Maybe I just really like squiggly lines..

I like all of your ideas though, it really is tough to choose. If I were you, I'd probably do a cross between all three and it'd end up looking like a big cluttered mess. I have faith in you!!

I'd still go with the Ikea idea.
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2008 07:51:47 PM »

Ooh, good point with bringing valuables to decorate in my room, prettypistol.  I think I might bring a lockbox with me and just take everything out once I'm sure my roommate doesn't like coming in drunk in the midddle of the night and throwing up on my maiko doll from Kyoto. 

I do really like the idea of meshing together Ikea and Japan stuff to create a kind of mishmash "modern Asian" theme.  So, crisp, clean lines, but with lots of light and natural motifs (cherry blossoms, poppies, trees, birds).  Any ideas for wall decoration? 

redvsblue, I also really like that bedspread and was actually thinking about getting it for my bed...until my sister mentioned that she thought it looked like blood from a murder scene.  Then I kind of felt uncomfortable about sleeping on it every night  Roll Eyes

Thanks for all of the help!  I think I'm going to watch a few episodes of Firefly for some more ideas.
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2008 04:10:22 PM »

Here's the advice I would give.  Go crazy Bohemian!  The reason I say that is that there is NOTHING you can't get away with decor-wise at this time of your life, but the day will probably come when you have a significant other, and are forced to have a style that's a little bit more "grown up".  Seriously, enjoy it while you can, throw together everything you love and bask in it's crazy glory!
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2008 01:28:46 PM »

Here's the advice I would give.  Go crazy Bohemian!  The reason I say that is that there is NOTHING you can't get away with decor-wise at this time of your life, but the day will probably come when you have a significant other, and are forced to have a style that's a little bit more "grown up".  Seriously, enjoy it while you can, throw together everything you love and bask in it's crazy glory!
amen to that!
personally, i just decorated my dorm almost the same way i decorated my room, that way i didn't get too homesick, only, it was a lot cleaner Wink i don't know if it clashed with my roommate's side, but she was a book worm, and my side was definitely louder and crazier!

i like my coffee black just like my metal ~msi (actually mr. urine, i like mine with a bit of creme and sugar...)
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2008 03:54:51 PM »

I definately think you should go with the modern Oriental look. It would still remain functional, but would definately stand out.

As for wall decoration, wall decals are an option. You could always buy some cheap fans and hang them on the wall somehow. If they get ruined, it won't be a big deal.

Oh, if you do decide upon the Ikea/Modern Oriental look, why not throw in some modern Oriental culture? Even though Hello Kitty is a bit childish and cliche, it's very adorable and would fit in with that style. If HK isn't your style, why not pick up some other cute Asian cartoon characters? There's also Domo-kun.
Fredflare.com has some things would tie into this like their candles (http://fredflare.com/customer/product.php?productid=3899&cat=254) and  HK office supplies (http://fredflare.com/customer/product.php?productid=135&cat=254).
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2008 03:10:08 PM »

A decision has been reached!  Roommates have been persuaded and items have been bought, so now there is no turning back!  I decided to go with the modern Asian theme, with a few modifications.  Since I won't be bringing a dress dummy the kimono will stay at home, and I won't have as many silvery items, since I don't need to bring an extra bookshelf or anything.  Also, the floor pillows will be made in a white-on-black tree patterned fabric from Ikea instead of expensive Chinese brocade.  I'm also going to put some weird artwork on the walls around my bed.  This is the collage of stuff I used for inspiration - the picture of a geisha with a red parasol is the source for my color scheme.

By the way, does anybody know how to hang a paper lantern without using screw-in hooks?  I want to hang one above my bed near some mirrors and create a cool disco ball effect, but I'm not allowed to make holes in the ceiling or wall.  I'll try and post pictures once I get everything set up.  I leave in only two weeks and am very nervous! 
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2008 11:09:19 PM »

To hang something from the ceiling, I would recommend using these 3M utensil hooks, like on here: http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Command/home/us_en/products/hooks/. The metal part is not fixed, it can move, so if you hung it on the ceiling, the hook would hang down. I used a bunch of different 3M Command removable things in my dorm, and they do work really well, and come off very easily.

Just make sure you don't use foam adhesive squares for anything! I had some that came with a small dry erase board, and I used them to stick it to my desk, which was not a good idea! Those things just rip right down the middle when you try to remove them, and leave a little layer of foam stuck to whatever it is!
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