The design board I shared a couple weeks ago for my older sister’s college bedroom recently came to life on a quick trip to Boston, and the result is live on west elm’s blog Front & Main today with a before-and-after of the room’s transformation! We had a busy weekend unboxing product and pulling it all together (I shared it all on Snapchat: thouswell), but I was so happy to create a comfortable home-base for my older sister with furniture she’ll use for years to come. I also implemented a couple of hacks and renter-friendly tricks to design the space, so scroll on through to find a simple IKEA hack and DIY accent wall after checking out the feature on west elm!
I finished installing my sister’s new bedroom just yesterday, flew home today, and now I’m ready to tackle my next college-geared decorating project: my first dorm room! I’m especially excited because I found out that I have a single, so I really have complete control over my dorm’s design! I’m also excited to have a small space with a challenging layout that will (hopefully) inspire some creative decorating solutions. For now, I’m starting out with the basics and thinking about my color palette and inspiration. Since I won’t be able to make any permanent changes, the accent pieces and decor will be especially important for defining the room. I used At Home’s Back to Campus guide for a good starting point – it has a complete checklist to reference and several dorm styles that they break down in easy-to-shop guides. I’m partial to the Blue Mood look, since I’m all about cool (yet cozy) colors and contemporary finishes. I searched through my Pinterest boards for simple, casual bedrooms and created three more looks for you to shop from At Home’s huge selection. I chose a neutral palette, a pink and white room, and a beachy light blue space – let me know which is your favorite! Read More
My older sister, Julia is moving off campus from a dorm to a bedroom is a house she’s renting with a group of friends. I was super excited when she turned to me for help decorating her new space, since she now has hardwood floors and room for a queen bed and dresser! I immediately got to work honing-in on an affordable bedroom design that was space and cost efficient, without sacrificing on style. I knew Julia would prefer a neutral color palette that leaned towards cool colors, so I chose a wallpaper pattern I could mount on hollow-core doors behind the bed for a removable pop of color that would be easy to install and remove. I found stylish smaller pieces from west elm that my sister could take with her to her next place, and hacked the dresser for a design solution that didn’t break the budget on the larger pieces in the room.
P.S. Save 30% off all bedding and get free shipping at west elm with code STAYINBED!
This post is sponsored by Target, but all text, images, and opinions are all my own! Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Thou Swell running.
I’m excited to announce a new partnership on Thou Swell with Target for their MadeForU back-to-college campaign! While I’m not heading to college quite yet, after a semester of dorm living at the Oxbow School this past year, I have a bit of experience making a dorm feel like home! But before we get to that, I’ve got some ideas for gift-giving to those college-bound kids in your life. Teenagers are so hard to give gifts to. I never know what to ask for myself! But when it comes to heading off to college and living independently, there are a few things that might make thoughtful gifts…
There’s a mix of practical and decorative in this guide because not everyone wants to give the gift of Tide Pods. But they are definitely a huge help (as my older sister can attest to)! You could give one big item like the Beats headphones or bundle a couple of items (like the mug, granola bars, and gum) to create a gift basket. Either way, these items are sure to be appreciated!
1 / RE String lights – String lights are an incredibly popular alternative to the standard fluorescent lighting of dorm rooms. They’re easy to hang and create a great atmosphere!
2 / Fast Dry Towel – While I was at Oxbow I found having nice towels to be a reminder of home. They are a bit of a college luxury!
3 / Tide Pods – No more messy measuring cups or dusty powder — these pods make it easy to run the laundry, especially for beginners!
4 / RE Silverware – Real utensils can come in handy when you least expect it, especially for that emergency take-out dinner while studying for finals.
6 / Five Gum – I’ve heard mint helps you concentrate… and your breath will thank you later!
6 / Beats Solo 2 – These headphones are the crème-de-la-crème when it comes to a personal music experience. And it’s important to keep it personal when living with a roommate!
7 / Clif Bars – Full of protein and whole grains to satisfy those in-between-meal cravings.
8 / RE Stripe Dinnerware – Enjoy your morning tea or coffee in a modern mug and your ramen in a decent bowl. And if you’re lucky enough to get a kitchenette in your dorm, you’ll have everything you need to eat-in every once in a while.