21 August, 2019

Dorm Room Design-According to LiLu

A Retro/Boho Dorm Room Design

A Milestone

This year marks a milestone for me. I am sending my eldest child to college. It’s a bittersweet time. I will miss her at home so much and I am excited for the adventure ahead of her. For many children leaving home and establishing themselves in their first home, it’s a chance to express themselves as an individual. To create a space that is an expression of their independence and that will be a fun place to study, entertain and rest and relax.
It’s a small space and often shared with a roommate. Design challenges abound! How to make it your own and create a look that you love without overwhelming the small space!
My daughter loves all things retro and boho so we put together a look that will feel true to her. I might have made a few different choices but it’s her space. I’m sharing the mood boards for her dorm room with you.
Dorm Room

A Retro Vibe

The first thing we have to admit is that most of the furniture that the colleges provide is sturdy oak but lacks any true aesthetic appeal. So the basic pieces you bring into your dorm room design are going to set the tone for the room.
Because of her penchant for a retro vibe we choose lamps, a chair and a night stand that look like they might have been around 60 years ago. While it would have been fun scouring the local vintage shops for real vintage finds, we left this a bit to the last minute so we selected mid-quality, low-budget options that could be used in a dorm room and translate to a first apartment. I don’t want any of these items ending up in a landfill! To put together the best look we didn’t to one store. A full weekend of shopping was involved! We wanted to touch and feel items to ensure quality so buying on line wasn’t our strategy! Since we’ve vetted all the choices you can click through on the images below the mood board to shop the look with confidence! The affliate links on this blog may pay LiLu a small commision that goes to pay for our blog. Please know your price is not affected by shopping here.

Some Practical Matters

To add some practical storage to the space we choose a wicker/table ottoman with a lid that lift off. I’m hoping to avoid plastic bins and instead use baskets for storage. Wicker will give a boho vibe to the space and is more eco-friendly. Chenille pillows from Anthropologie remind me of my Grandma’s house and the rich colors add some spice to the otherwise neutral color palette, which includes white cinder block walls in her case!
Girls seem to love a scented room and since candles and incense are forbidden, we’ve included an oil diffuser in her dorm room design. Since the closets are open, matching shower curtains were selected by the roommates to give a cohesive and visually calming influence. This shower curtain has little golden bows and this marigold color is a nice accent!

A Good Nights Sleep

When we went for class registration, the parents were given a little session on keeping our students healthy. It was no surprise to me that the college recommends a good nights sleep as the foundation of health for the college student.
While I can do nothing about a college culture of all nighters and pride in pushing through, I can provide cozy bedding as part of my daughters dorm room design.
The mattresses provided by the school leave something to be desired so I selected an all-natural latex mattress topper for her bed. See our blog on healthy mattresses for more resources. While it was tempting to buy inexpensive sheets because I worry about laundry being a priority, we went for higher thread count, natural fiber sheets, and cozy pillows. Her comforter was chosen as a reinforcement of the retro vibe.

Accessories Bring Personality

We had a great deal of fun selecting inexpensive accessories that complete the look and truly personalize the space. Fun dishes, faux plants and sting lights add the small touches that will make a dorm a home. Even though a dorm room is a temporary home, don’t skimp on the thought behind your dorm room design! Your environment can help bolster your success in college!

Bringing Intention Home

At LiLu Interiors, we love designing spaces that support our client’s lifestyles. It is our intention to find out your intentions. Would you like to create a home that is a reflection of your style, interest and values in life?  Surround yourself with color that speaks to your soul? Whatever your intention is, we want to know. We are in the business of designing interiors and creating spaces for you to live out your dreams. Whatever your dream is, we will creatively collaborate with you to design a home that uniquely expresses who you are and how you live. Give us a call, let’s bring your intentions home.
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Comments on Dorm Room Design-According to LiLu
  1. Melliluweb5150 says:

    Lisa, I love this post! So important to create a home out of your dorm room. And as a former RA, thank you for suggesting diffusers instead of candles :) I remember my sophomore year decorating the drab bathroom on our floor by hanging 100+ cut stars from the ceiling and wallpapering the walls with black and white photos from magazines. The smiles it brought to my mostly freshman floor was worth the effort!

  2. Leslie Carothers says:

    Lisa: I loved reading about why you chose what you chose for your daughter’s dorm room, and how thoughtful you were about choosing eco friendlier options that won’t end up in a landfill.
    And re: the bedding. I don’t think there’s anything that makes a child feel safer or more secure than the kinds of sheets and pillows they are used to sleeping on at home. Good for you for not opting for the cheaper option. I hope your daughter thrives as she sets off to college.. and {{{ hugs}} for Mama, too.

  3. Janet Lorusso says:

    Congratulations to your daughter and best wishes for a GREAT freshman year! I’ve decorated dorm rooms and grad school apartments with both my kids and know the value of furniture that works for more than one thing and more than one year! We have black bookcases that have been through 8 years of college and are currently attending grad school LOL!

  4. Christine Heartsill says:

    Awe! I’ve had two leave home so far and have a few more years before the baby leaves. How fun to help her make that space her own.

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