Last month my baby left for college – moving from Texas to Boca Raton, Florida, to major in Photography at Lynn University. You have to know Elisabeth to appreciate it – she being in Boca Raton and all, majoring in Photography. Not exactly the same as toughing it out through pre-med at some freezing, northern Ivy League school. No, she’s out catamaraning in the Atlantic with new friends. Ben and I just pray she is actually attending a class or two here and there. Of course her leaving the nest for a dorm got me all excited – thoughts of decorating her dorm room took up endless hours of daydreaming. Reality is a bitch. Elisabeth really didn’t want too much of my help with decorating, although she said she did to be nice. In the end, she decorated her own room and I tried to keep my mouth shut. It was hard.
Dorm room designing is big business today. Late summer, all the large discount stores like Target and K-Mart have special sections for dorm room decorating. There is even an interactive web site to design your own dorm room with actual 3d plans from your college. HERE. Stores like Pottery Barn Teen, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters cater to dorm dwellers. It’s all so different now than it used to be. When I went to college in 1972, I took my sister’s 3 year old pink bedspreads (one for me and one for my roommate – hi Helaine!) and one print for the wall. This summer, we sent a car load of Elisabeth’s things down to Boca, plus numerous boxes via Fed Ex. I tried to put a sunburst mirror from Ballard Designs in the car, but Elisabeth had a screaming fit and refused to let me send it. I tried, I really tried.
Boca Raton, Florida on the Atlantic Ocean. This is the view outside from our hotel room.
THE FANTASY DORM ROOM:
Fantasies of a dorm room – these pictures fueled my dreams of what I wanted Elisabeth’s dorm room to look like. She had other ideas. Here, Max Sinsteden, featured in New York Magazine, totally changed his dorm room into a Ralph Lauren advertisement. Max worked part time for Charlotte Moss which explains where he is coming from. Something tells me we’ll be seeing much more of his work in the future. Looking down – Max brought oriental runners to cover the floor and he skirted a chest in plaid fabric. His bed has bolsters in paisley and doubles as a sofa/day bed.
Max was lucky and was able to paint his dorm room. I’m sure he’ll have to paint over it when he moves, but so what? It’s totally worth it. Elisabeth’s would have shot me if I painted her dorm room. I love this gallery wall.
Max even brought all his design books – I spy An Affair With A House by Bunny Williams and another book on Elsie de Wolfe.
Max skirted a table in plaid fabric and set up his own bar. An array of liquor like this would get Elisabeth kicked out of school! Max even added curtains with a trim, no less.
VINTAGE DORM ROOMS:
This dorm room is famous for being Edgar Allen Poe’s at the University of Virginia. Great wood floors and beautiful antique furniture. So unlike the dorm rooms of today.
This dorm room at Harvard’s Westmorly Court was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s. At the time, the dorm was brand new and boasted central heat, electricity, and modern “hygienic” bathrooms. FDR’s suite was over 600 sq. ft. with four rooms and 14’ ceilings. There was a working fireplace too. His mother Sara decorated his room in the Victorian style.
Dorm rooms were not always as boring as they are today. This dorm room from the turn of the century actually resembles Max’s above. I love how dressed up they were just sitting around studying.
I love this dorm room – notice the fishing net that holds all the pictures in it. This room has wallpaper and trimmed out pillows.
From the 50’s – cute wallpaper and bedspreads. They must be wearing uniforms! Dorm rooms with character like bay windows and paneled doors are a thing of the past except at older colleges.
Here is an historic photograph of James Meredith studying in his dorm room, while an FBI agent talks on the telephone. In 1962, after then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy brokered the deal, Meredith was the first black student admitted to the University of Mississippi. Neatly dressed in a tie, his dorm room is dismal and quite depressing.
Fake Dorm Rooms:
This summer, My Home Ideas HERE decorated a dorm room. I sent Elisabeth all these pictures – I had visions in my head of us making those burlap headboards together. She thought this was really cute, but she had her own ideas for her dorm room.
The burlap wrapped “headboards” are the cutest.
This bed had a different shaped headboard. Love the mix and matched bedding.
This picture had me really going. It is so “Elisabeth” who has a purse fetish. I guess you have to buy purses to match the sheets???
Pottery Barn Teen is filled with great ideas for dorm rooms – except the furniture in dorms is never, ever this cute.
Oh, yeah, sure! Make your dorm room look like a boutique. I can just see all the neatly folded clothes out on display.
More fantasy. Would you have to buy a wardrobe to match your decor? Please. T-shirts and jeans don’t look cute on hangers.
I Suwannee had a “design a dorm room” contest on her blog HERE. Lots of blogs made up inspiration boards of cute ideas for dorms. I only hope their daughter’s let them decorate their dorm room.
Real Life Dorm Rooms:
HGTV’s Rate My Space has over 600 dorm rooms featured. Most are of girl dorm rooms. And most girl dorm rooms are black and hot pink with either damask or zebra designs, or both. They also have either an Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe poster in them. Another big trend is to cover white walls with sheets, construction paper, or posters. Most of the Rate My Space rooms are beyond awful, but a few are cute.
Another popular color scheme is turquoise with either black or brown. Lots of damask prints and lots of faux chandelier chic.
Design by: http://www.decor-2-ur-door.com/
Look at the shade – a KWID inspired fabric! I thought this was cute for a real life dorm room. Great rug and futon.
Mom helped out with this room. You can always tell the ones where Mom had a big hand in the decorating. No way a daughter would have a bolster pillow made up touting her “big sis” sorority status.
Design by: http://www.decor-2-ur-door.com/
Shabby Chic Dorm Room: This girl taped wallpaper on her walls. I can only imagine Elisabeth letting me do that to her room!
Most depressing: OMG. Arsenic and Old Lace. It’s just all so dreary and dusty looking. Notice the feather pen on the skirted table.
Elisabeth’s Dorm Room:
Here’s what we started out with – a cross between a classroom and a hospital room. Her room is huge with two giant walk in closets and its own bathroom and vanity area. This is her half of the room. I tried to get Elisabeth’s roommate to “match” but they bought their own bedding. At least there is no carpet – just lovely gray linoleum. Lots of beautiful furniture comes with the room.
The window area. What I would GIVE to add curtains and rip those blinds down, but Lizzy would disown me!
Elisabeth bought the brown and white damask bedding herself, online, from Pine Cone Hill. She had it monogrammed in pink and added the pink peony sheets from Pine Cone Hill. I bought the two lamps from Target with matching brown shades.
Elisabeth bought the “Chanel” lamp at More Than You Can Imagine” HERE in Houston. She also bought online those cute vinyl baskets in brown with pink monograms. I found the small Dash and Albert rug at Olivine HERE. I wanted to buy her a large Dash and Albert rug, but she insisted on a white Flokati rug, with matching pillows.
Here’s her white rug. She made the two photo collages for her wall.
We bought her cute desk chair in white from PB Teen. We are still looking for a little futon or sofa to go against the windows.
I bought her white towels with brown monograms from Pottery Barn. Yes, her initials are SEW. Sarah Elisabeth Webb. And no, I didn’t think of that before.
Thanks Dad, who happily pays for it all.
Her College: Pictures for my family
Here’s a few pictures from her college, Lynn University. It’s a small, private college with only around 2,500 students, many of whom are international students. The campus is over 100 acres, so it’s very spread out. I took these pictures with my new I-Phone. They came out just as good as my Nikon!
There are numerous lakes throughout the campus. See the ducks? The campus is right across the street from the much larger Florida Atlantic University.
This is right outside Lizzy’s dorm. That’s her under the huge Banyan tree.
Hmm. The latest in fashion – wear a plastic shopping bag on your head. Elisabeth and her room mate take a break from hours of studying.