make me smile : freshman 15 {inspiration for college life}

Happy Wednesday, wonderful people! I received the neatest question the other day from a sweet gal named Caroline. {You guys always have the best questions.} She was asking for ideas on how to make her college abode seem more ‘homey.’ And then she wrapped it up with this, “…Better yet, how about you just tell me what you would have in your college room now, if you could do it all over again. Because I’ll probably love that.”

And of course, after I stopped laughing, my wheels started turning. Oh to be young and free again in the fall of 1998. I carefully curled my hair everywhere I went, wore J.Crew clogs, was often spotted on the arm of my high school boyfriend, loved Third Eye Blind, and Dawson’s Creek. I Don’t Wanna Wait!!! {Cue screeching record sound effects interrupting Paula Cole’s hairy armpit tyrade.} 

One might describe me as obliviously aloof. There’s a lot of things I’m pretty sure most of us would change if given the chance to do over again. Like, maybe going to class. Choosing my major earlier. Breaking up sooner…etc. All these choices make us who we are, and hindsight is fifty fifty, but it’s like that remix of Felicity we all watched with mixed emotions and mass confusion. Because we all loved Ben. Except this one makes a lot more sense. And I’m glad I’m not a doctor.

If I could decorate my freshman abode all over again…I might have a little more fearless fun. And I would definitely make eyes at Jamin a little more. (read: NOT my high school boyfriend and later to be cast in the leading role as my college sweetheart/teenage angst breakup/resulting husband.) No. I’m not sure what a cool room has to do with Jamin. I was drowning in a momentary emotional wave of Paula Cole.

Moving on from Digression in it’s finest moment: Whether you’re going to college, or just a young gal with a flair for style still living with your parents…and more likely, a rocking mom looking for ideas on how to style her growing daughter’s room…here’s 15 things that make me smile in the college abode/teenager/youngloveangst stage of life.

1. An old bed like this one from Anthro wouldn’t really fit my old college budget…and probably doesn’t fit my budget now. But a look alike in the land of flea market bed wonders wouldn’t be difficult to score with a little yellow paint…

2. Yes. This is random. But it was such a cool take on a must-have classic, this shower squid is a definite yes in my book. If you do nothing else, purchase the shower squid. Life is short.

3. + 5. This quilt (pattern here) would be the definitive moment in the space. Nothing ever beats a good quilt. Ever. You can swaddle yourself and rock back and forth in it and cry when you break up with Noel. (Pronounced Nole if you never saw Felicity. We can’t be friends.) Combined with bright coral sheets, a pretty striped duvet, beautiful yellow pillows + a flower…This bedding makes the room. In fact, I now officially want to do an entire bedroom overhaul. Sorry Jamin.

4. Sconces found here, would provide great lighting in limited space, and keep the table tops free.

6. Restoration Hardware’s Bright Silver Sage would open up the space. If you can paint. If not, I say skip the deposit (per your parents permission) and (still) paint. I always painted, and then painted it back. ;}

7. + 8. This side table telephone combo are so much fun. The side table is small and stays out of the way…and yes, the telephone is completely useless. But every room can use a rotary phone. There’s just something about those rotary phones that I deem amazingly awesome in a young gal’s space.

9. Yes, your room should have this swing. I’ve written about it before, but I do love this swing. If there’s not a way to mount it from the ceiling, (don’t hurt yourself) you can always find a stand. You’re only in college once. Get a swing.

10. Yes, this is a funky nightlight. What does it do? It shines stars on the ceiling. Why do you need one? Because when you’re 33, and looking back at the fun things your college room contained, you will not regret having something fun and splurgy and pointless like this. Trust me. This is the time for splurgy nonsense. And A swing.

11. Book cases and storage are a must have. This one made from apple crates is a DIY level easy. And totally affordable. So either grab some old crates, (they also sell them at craft stores) or make your own. Two of these on a wall, if you have the space, would be the ultimate spot for all those gross books. At least they’ll look cute there. And you can now afford your nightlight.

12. This rug (the dark grey version of Scarlett’s yellow one seen here) is a great crowning touch to the space. Do college students use rugs? I haven’t exactly taken a survey. But you’re not most college students. And you can use this rug. This rug will be your friend. All the way to grad school.

13. Everyone needs a desk. Especially a blue one. With awesome brass knobs. Find an old one and spruce it up.

14. Do I need to explain?

15. Our easy peasy memo spring board to keep all your stuff in order is the perfect, affordable project for any college gal on the go. Check out the how to, here. (The final room, here.)

Oh to be young and free again! I guess I’m still relatively young…but college students make me feel old. Scratch that. Screaming children and a mortgage make you feel old. ;}

But I’m loving that, too. ENJOY!

If you could change one thing about your college decor experience, what would it be?

Have an inspired day, everyone!


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22 Responses to make me smile : freshman 15 {inspiration for college life}

  1. I wish I had the funds back then to decorate my room that way! I did the garage sale and paint thing, and created my own artwork. I guess looking back I did have a pretty nice room, considering!

  2. JP says:

    I love this whole thing. My room would have rocked if it looked half this good. And I, too, loved Dawsons. Oh, Katie.

  3. April says:

    oh Felicity! I loved that show and Dawson’s Creek. They totally defined me back in the day. Why did Felicity have to end so soon!!?? I love Kerri Russell from Disney channel days too. I so wanted to go to her college and live in her dorm room and work at Dean & Deluca with her…..ok I just wanted to be her. LOL Love the dorm ideas too.

  4. I still drink my morning coffee out of my Dean & Deluca mug every morning…I just loved Javier…and Ben…and Felicity…well, and Noel. :) So fun – “your” dorm room looks fabulous!

  5. Love it! Sophisticated but it still totally embraces that stage of life and the things that matter then… what a fun little jog down memory lane.

  6. Gilit says:

    I LOVE this post! I always wonder how I would do things if I did it now. Of course, I’m only 26…

  7. emily says:

    I want this room!

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  9. Kim says:

    Oh to go back to college again! I had zero design style back then and to think what I could have accomplished with inspiration like this! And thanks for the flashback to Felicity – another great show that ended too soon!

  10. Now I wanna go back to college. And room with you.

  11. “Screaming children and a mortgage make you feel old. ;} ” … To read that the yellow phone is totally useless makes me feel REALLY ancient… OMG … when I was “sweet 16″ I spent my life on a phone just like that. Oh well, I’m glad that it at least matches my yellow striped throw pillows. Thank you so much for mentioning them in your fun collection. Delightful read here!!! Cheers Christine

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  13. Kelsey says:

    Laughing so hard at #2′s description right now. I now need this squid. Thanks.

  14. Lindsey says:

    Hey, thanks for the link! I don’t know if I’d change my college experience… I did some stupid things (tequila, tube tops), but that’s what college is for, right? However I cannot believe I had a Laura Ashley comforter! I was so conservative with my decor back then and my personal style. I’ve definitely evolved in that way:)

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