Skip to main content

Preppy & Eclectic... to the Max | Dorm Ditto #5

If I told you that the above photo is a dorm room... would you believe me? I could hardly believe it myself when I first saw it on an Apartment Therapy post and then again on Brilliant Asylum. To read the full article featured in New York Magazine, click here. (Photos in this post taken by Dean Kaufman; article written by Sarah Bernard... both for New York Magazine)

Maximilian Sinsteden is a 21-year-old senior at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. I'm already envious of his college campus (pictured above). Isn't it just gorgeous with all the tall trees and old architecture? Maximilian lives in a tiny dorm room in Hoyt-Browne Hall.

"I can't live in a minimalist world. For me, it's
all about eclecticism." - Maximilian Sinsteden

His dorm room reflects his ultra-eclectic and love of authentic prep. The floor is covered in oriental rugs... not even a trace of the linoleum peaking through. The walls are painted Ralph Lauren's Tapestry Green. By putting the school-provided dorm furniture into storage, he was able to bring in his own vintage pieces. And thrift store finds are scattered throughout the chamber.

Above: He attached the bathroom caddy to the mirror with suction cups, making his hair products, tooth brush, and cleanser are all within easy reach.

Above: See what's tying back the gorgeous curtains? Well, those are re-purposed ascots. Who knew? And yes, that's a well-stocked bar in the corner of his room... which often brings about twenty of Maximilian's friends into the teeny-tiny dorm room.

Above: Maximilian's $80 thirft-store chest of drawers holds his neatly folded sweaters. And every tie has it's place on a rack belonging to his father. Vintage artwork frames a beautiful gilt mirror.

1) Black-watch throw from his grandmother. And his nose is The Lover, by Marguerite Duras. 2) Ralph Lauren plaid pillows and bed linens. 3) Charlotte Moss curtains and paisley pillows. 4) Rugs from his family. 5) "A hand-me-down" armchair from a client.

Have you taken a liking to Maximilian's eclectic, preppy style? Take note:

Cover your dorm walls in a mixed array of artwork... pencil drawings, vintage ephemera, and a sign or two. Etsy is a fantastic place to find a variety of this kinda stuff. 1) Vintage 70's The New York Times Magazine -- nuforms' shop, 2) French 1900 Enamel Street Sign -- thepuddingstorevint's shop, 3) 1892 French Corset Fashion Plate -- PetitPoulailler's shop, 4) Vintage 1922 Architectural Drawing -- callmejasper's shop.

Scavenge sites like ebay and craigslist for a vintage arm chair within your style preference and price range. 5) Orange Floral Vintage Drexel High Back Arm Chair, 6) Red Vintage High Back Arm Chair, 7) Ivory Vintage Arm Chair.


Take a majorly creative cue from Mister Sinsteden and use ascots to tie back your curtains. There's a shop on Etsy called vintagetieaffair that has silky neckties galore.

Unfortunately for most dorm-dwellers, we are not allowed to paint the walls a gorgeous shade of green and the school-provided furniture is often not allowed to even leave the room. But just because you may be stuck with white cinder block and basic blah furniture pieces doesn't mean you can't draw preppy inspiration from Maximilian Sinsteden and come up with your own fabulously eclectic chamber.




DIY Cat Barrier for Under $100 (See-Through, Climb-Proof, and Too-Tall-To-Jump)

ICYMI: I gave up Cotton after deciding that after trying so many things, my two adopted cats Dahlia and Cotton were just never going to get along. Long story short: I missed her. And Cotton's back. And Dahlia's not going anywhere. My heart is big enough to keep trying. And my apartment is big enough that if I need to keep them separated long term (or permanently), it can be done.
I'm going to write-up a separate post about some of the solutions I've tried, how they worked, who they worked on, and what I'll be trying next. But in this post, I wanted to share the main 'piece de resistance' of having both cats in my apartment: an un-climbable, un-jumpable, see-through barrier to separate Cotton and Dahlia.

Aria's Room | Pretty Little Liars Decor

Welcome back for LU's 2nd room in the PLL series!  Today you're getting a glimpse into my favorite room on the show... Aria's room.  Aria Montgomery is the artistic, imaginative, bookworm of the bunch.  So it's no surprise that her room has an artsy, historic, romantic eclecticism atmosphere.  Plus, it's full of books.  My two words for Aria's attic space: Vintage Eclectic.  (Those happen to be my two favorite decorating words... so brace yourself for my soon-to-come swooning.)

Pencil It In | Working the Pencil Skirt into Your Work Attire, Including 25 Examples with Do's and Don'ts

Starting this week, every Wednesday on The Lovely Side will be devoted to wardrobe, hair, and beauty content.  With summer internships right around the corner and interviews for real world jobs looming as well, I thought now would be a good time to delve into the world of office fashion.  
Sarah, a reader, recently emailed me asking about how to style a pencil skirt for her "somewhat casual, somewhat professional workplace full of fashionable co-workers."  She's been lusting after pencil skirts at several stores, but been hesitant to purchase one for fear of looking bad in it and not knowing what to wear with it.