Remember that post recently about DIY Canopies? Well, this one (at right) does not appear to be DIY but rather a purchased canopy instead. I really love it with the white walls and white bedding. The little bits of color near the top and on the sheers are just darling.
Ladder Shelves What You Need: 2 step ladders (painted with no VOC paint) 3 wooden boards cut to size all of your important stuff Instructions: Get two step ladders of equal size and three recycled wooden boards. Paint the ladders and boards with no VOC paint. Let dry. Put the boards across the ladders and stabilize them. Now fill the shelves with anything you want. Depending on the strength of the boards, the shelving could be used for books, shoes, grocery items, and lots of decor accessories.
Jewelry Holder What You Need: old picture frame (check out garage sales, antique shops, Goodwill, etc.) 1 yard of 1/2 inch chicken wire stapler mini wooden clothespins Instructions: Remove the picture and glass from the frame. Paint it with no VOC paint. Stretch the chicken wire across the back of the frame and staple it in place to the back. Use the mini clothespins to attach your jewelry to the chicken wire. (Note: You could modify this project by using a larger picture frame and more chicken wire to create an alternative bulletin board.)
Desk What You Need: one large old shutter a sheet of glass cut to be the same size as the shutter 2 saw horses Instructions: Top the old shutter with glass to give it a smooth top surface. (You may want the kind of glass with smoothed edges so that you don't cut yourself.) Situate that shutter on top of the two saw horses. This makes a functional, beautiful vintage-inspired desk. (Note: If rustic's not your thing, paint the saw horses and shutter with no VOC paint.)
What I really like about the three above DIY projects is that you can alter them to create other things. There's a lot of room for creativity here. With a little time, money, and effort you can have a fabulous DIY piece of furniture for your dorm or apartment.
Teens Turning Green (a national coalition of teens aiming toward safe, healthy, green lifestyle choices) has some fabulous ideas to greening up your dorm room with Project Green Dorm. Their decor advice emphasizes DIY projects, re-purposing stuff found at garage sales and Craigslist, and shopping at thrift and vintage shops. I think I could get used to that... :)
This dorm shows how fabulous green decor can be. There's no sacrifice of style at all. Unfortunately, dorm walls usually can't be painted bright orange... but I'll let that slide this once. ;) Everything in the above mock-dorm is either environmentally friendly, picked up from a thrift/vintage shop, or a successful diy project. I love the under-the-bed bins, use of vintage suitcases as storage at the foot of the bed, and colorful hanging paper lanterns. Notice the shelving and the desk... I'll have instructions on how to copy them on Tuesday.
In the meantime, here are some of my favorite dorm tips from the Project Green Dorm:
Use organic cotton bed linens. Cotton is the most heavily sprayed field crop in the world... so you will be benefiting the environment by not contributing to the air, water, and soil pollution. And it's good for you, too, because organic sheets don't contain formaldehyde!
Don't buy new furniture. Scavenge thrift stores, antique and vintage shops, garage sales, Craigslist, and your grandma's attic for furniture pieces that you can re-purpose, restore, and re-vamp. A fresh coat of no VOC paint or re-upholstering some organic fabric can do wonders for that shabby old chair.
Use recyclable materials as wall art. Paper posters, postcards, and pages from magazines can be put up on the wall as a cool, creative collage that can be taken down and recycled at the end of the school year.
Come up with new uses for old items you have lying around home. (For example: a vintage glass could be placed on your desktop to hold pens and pencils.)
Keep a recycling bin in your dorm.
Plants! They are a natural air purifier and add more oxygen to the air in your room. The top five air-cleaning plants are: peace lilies, bamboo palms, English ivy, mums, and Gerbera daisies. The good news is that these are all easy to find and care for as long as you give them the right amount of light, water, and soil. Plus, they're pretty!
Just wanted to let everyone know that tonight is the start of Green Week here at Miss Scholastic. "Going Green" is not just a trend, it's a way to alter your lifestyle and make your life and the world a better place. The thought of turning green can seem overwhelming. After all, there is more to it than simply turning off the lights and recycling your cardboard. (Although those are great places to begin!) Going green isn't just about reducing and recycling, but also reusing, re-purposing, and re-vamping. There's a huge emphasis on buying thrift, vintage, antiqe, and handmade. (...That's something I can get used to!)
This week I'll be featuring ways for you to go a little green when it comes to college. Like me, you may be pleasantly surprised that going green does not mean spending big bucks or sacrificing chic style. It can be totally affordable and completely fabulous. With the help of Teens Turning Green (a national coalition of teens that encourages a safe, healthy, and green lifestyle) and Etsy (the marketplace for all things vintage and handmade) I'll be sharing little steps that you can take toward a greener way of college living.
Here's what to expect:
Tonight Introduction to Green Week (this post)
Sunday Tips to Decorating a Green Dorm
Monday Etsy Monday #4: Green Etsy Finds
Tuesday Green Do-It-Yourself Projects
Wednesday Green School Supplies
Thursday Green Fashion
Friday Green Bath and Beauty
Saturday Green Ways to Spend Your Time
I wouldn't call myself an expert on going green, so bear with me this week. ;) I'm curious about what I can do to make changes in my own lifestyle. Hopefully we'll both end up a little greener by next Saturday evening, eh?
It's Etsy Monday again! I've been a typewriter enthusiast since I was a little a girl, and while I do my own writing on my laptop... there's nothing that compares to sitting down with one of my typing machines and hearing the click-clack-ding! My own little typewriter collection consists of a black 1940s Royal Quiet Deluxe and a light blue 1960s Royal Safari. Oh, and very soonly I'll be adding a 1920s Corona 3 to my collection. :D I rounded up ten of my favorite typewriters from various Etsy shops---there are so many colors and so many styles to choose from! Of course, you probably won't be typing your college essays on these. But a typewriter works great for your own personal writing (poems, letters, the next great bestselling novel, etc.)... or a typewriter can add a touch of vintage decor to your dorm room.
Oh, if only each dorm came furnished with a massive, elegant canopy bed à la Marie Antoinette! Dorm beds happen to be a lot less fabulous... in fact, they lean quite toward the drab. My dorm room bed doesn't even come with a headboard! For me, the bed makes the bedroom. And although you are eating, studying, and hanging out in your dorm room... it is most importantly your bedroom. So let's get to work and feature some creative ways to give your bed a romantic canopy. What you'll need to transform student double mattresses into a luxurious crash pad: a few bucks, a lot of fabric, and a little imagination.
Transform your bed into an ethereal, glistening getaway. I love how the Christmas lights glow against the sheer white fabric. All those pillows and the falling leaf bedding makes it sooo cozy. Click here for instructions and more photos of this lighted bed canopy. (from Furniture for Small Spaces, via Off the Wall)
The clean lines and fashionable fabric used in this diy canopy make a chic statement. Black and white is classic and I like the touches of pale green. For more photos of this canopy and to see an illustration on how to recreate it, click here. (from The Inspired Room, via Off the Wall)
This is a lovely and unique way to drape fabric over your bed. It also adds a bit of lush green, even if it is fake. ;) Another cute thing about this room's set up: a pretty white chair is being used as an alternative nightstand. For the lowdown on this easy canopy, click here. (from Point Click Home, via Off the Wall)
Oooh la la. This purple canopy is simple and dramatic. The diy'er Meg created it by modifying the black-and-white canopy featured up above. Plus, she made a fantastic video showing you how to do it yourself. Click here to watch the video. Or visit Meg's blog Nest for more photos. (from Threadbanger Decor It Yourself, via Nest)
This is Meg's canopy before switching to the purple one. Which do you like best? (via Nest)
Do you remember being a little kid, gathering up all the blankets you could find, and building your own little fort/tent? That's what this dorm room diy project reminded me of and I totally adore the idea. The sheer blues make the bed a tranquil place to crash. For more info on this canopy, click here. (via Crafster)
I searched high and low for instructions to creating the above romantic canopy, but had trouble navigating the French site from whence it came. But even with out how-to, I decided to share the image just in case you fluent-French-speakers or DIY-queens could figure out how to do it. (from Marie Claire Maison)
Same dilemma with the above mosquito net canopy. If you have any instructions to contribute, let me know. I still had to share it because it looks rather simple and has an old world kind of feel. It must be the gauzy netting and muted but elegant bedding. (from Marie Claire Maison)
This canopy is similar to previous two French ones, so maybe by checking out its instructions you'll have something to go on. The sheer canopy here is suspended using a basket case spray-painted white. Click here for the how-to. (via Lowe's Creative Ideas)
This canopy is a bit more understated than the previous ones. It also takes less fabric and is easier to change. It may be great for those of you who suffer from claustrophobia, but who still want the canopy look. (from Better Homes & Gardens, via All Things G&D)
This is perhaps the easiest and most modern approach to a canopy. Simply hang a tapestry or sheet from the ceiling. (from Domino, via xJavierx)
Maybe you're roomie (as much as you love her) snores super loud? Or that kid down the hall blares his heavy metal music all night long? Or the frat down the street is hosting a noisy kegger? There are a number of things that can come between a college student and much needed sleep. Well, I have a completely natural sleep aid for you!
Sleep Pretty in Pink ear plugs are super soft, surprisingly comfortable ear plugs that reduce noise by 32 decibels and are recommended by physicians. I've never been a fan of ear plugs. All of the ear plugs I'd ever felt were stiff little buggers that either wouldn't fit in my ear or hurt my ears. Not the case with these! These ear plugs are tiny, pink, and made of a super squish, memory-foam-like material. They're easy to put in, too. You simply roll them between thumb and forefinger until it is a small, tight cylinder. Then you insert it into the ear. The foam re-plumps itself, filling your ear, and blocking out noise. I tried these out in my dorm to block out the sound of passing traffic and couldn't hear a thing. (I'm not sure I want to try them while I sleep, though. I have a feeling I'd sleep right through the alarm clock. Hehe.)
While the ear plugs are good and all, I'm pretty much ecstatic about the Sleep Pretty in Pink sleeping mask. You know how when you're little you idolize all those beauty queens and imagine them sleeping in their fancy sleeping masks? Well, that's what I imagined anyway. And I wanted to be just like them! Furthermore, I just wanted to block out all the light. I've always liked to sleep in the darkest room possible. Light really keeps me up. And burying my head under the covers only works so long until I feel like I'm suffocating. Ugh.
But the Sleep Pretty in Pink sleeping mask is really a lifesaver! It has velcro closure, which makes it adjustable. This is good because too tight of a sleeping mask causes headaches, and too loose of one will just come off in your sleep. It is soft, lightweight, and hot pink. It contours to the nose and has an eye-lash-free design, which means it isn't pressed up against your eyelids. This mask is really comfortable and I've slept in it almost every night since receiving it. It hasn't made me uncomfortable or come off once. And it blocks out all the light! (Last Saturday I accidentally slept in 'til noon because I had no idea the sun was even up!) These are perfect for afternoon power naps, too.
Oh, and did I mention that these products are oh-so-affordable?! Prices range from $2.99 to $9.00. They are available at popular retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, and lots of drug stores.
For more information, click here. As for me, I'm going to slip on my mask, slip into bed, and have a wonderful night's sleep. :)
Okay, so maybe not anything. Unfortunately, it'll probably go against the contract to splash some black chalkboard paint on the walls of your dorm or apartment. But this paint is all the rage lately and creative people are coming up with more and more ideas on how and where to use it. Here are some of my favorites:
(above: from Make blog, via Apartment Therapy Ohdeedoh) You can find old, worn-out classroom globes at most antique shops and thrift stores. And they're pretty cheap, too. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity. You can do like above and cover the globe in a coat of classic black chalkboard paint, or you could go wild using colored chalkboard paint. You could create your own world, paint a pretty pattern, whatever suits your fancy.
(above: Pinch Design, via Apartment Therapy Ohdeedoh) Forget about bulletin boards and desktop calendars. This is a way cuter idea. Simply paint seven wooden squares with chalkboard paint. In a dorm or apartment, it's probably safest to attach them to the wall with adhesive strips that won't damage the wall's surface. You can get creative with this project, too, by using colored chalkboard paint or using different shapes instead of squares. Maybe some hearts? ♥
(above: Sterling Industries, via Belle Maison) Have an old piece of furniture lying around that you're not sure what to do with? Cover it in chalkboard paint and it instantly becomes a blank canvas for all your artistic whims! If painting the entire piece makes you a little anxious, settle for painting just the drawers or the top. Word of caution: don't attempt this on furniture provided to you by the college. :P
(above: from Sweet Sweet Life, via Apartment Therapy SF) I really want to undertake this project. Simply find an old door (check your parent's garage, local thrift and antique shops, salvage stores, etc.) and coat it in chalkboard paint. It can be propped for decoration with a favorite poem scribed on it. It could positioned horizontally over your desk for a massive place to scribble all your thought. Or it could function as a cool headboard.
I hope I got your creative juices flowing! Go get some chalkboard paint and get crafty!
"Tropical, calm, revitalizing, fresh, preppy, cool, cozy." are the words the inhabitant uses to describe his space.
Above: The workspace. I believe that the desk is simply a drafting table... aren't its clean, modern lines so pleasing to your eye? I love the shelf over the table. Since it's white it blends in with the wall and calls more attention to the items on display rather than the shelf itself. That glowing ball of light is just plain cool. And I'm loving the necklace draped around the little white bust's neck.
Above: The bed. Okay, so there's a lot that I love here. First of all, I love the bed itself because it is a captain's bed. Captain's beds sit low on the floor and have drawers in the bottom. These drawers are perfect for out-of-season clothing or shoes. Next, I love how the bed is dressed. The black and white makes it simple and chic. I'm always a sucker for a canopy and this is no exception. Sheer white curtains that envelope the bed make it oh-so-inviting. Futhermore, I'm digging this alternative nightstand created by stacking two houndstooth-printed, round boxes. Isn't that green plant just a burst of lush color? :)
Above: Here's a better look at the canopy. Also notice the unique placement of the lighting fixture. It's not that often that you see a hanging lamp positioned right over the bed, but it works very well here. You can see that there's a hook in the ceiling from which the lamp hangs. This photo also shows what I think is a monogram on the bedding. Perfect touch.
And here's the same apartment bedroom... just decorated differently:
Above: In place of the black and white bedding is a lovely patterned duvet in a fresh yellow-green color and a lightweight white blanket.
Above: Even more pops of color appear on the nightstand with some vibrant books and a sky blue vase.
Above: That's a faux polar bear rug that the inhabitant bought on Ebay for only 50 bucks. Would you just love to bury your bare feet in that soft fur each morning? Instead of two stacked houndstooth boxes, there's just one used as a nightstand here. Even though it is a minor detail, I think it makes the room feel more casual and playful as opposed to the more formal, sophisticated version up above.
Above: The drafting table isn't here, but the shelf still is. I really like how the shelf is arranged. The mirror reflects light from the luminescent globe. The artwork and photo give the arrangement a personal touch. The single candle is elegant. The placement of the starfish on the wall is quite whimsical. The coral is so unique. And hello! There's that lovely bust. (I'm also a sucker for busts.) Did you know that this one was purchased for $3 at Hobby Lobby. It was originally an ugly grayish brown until it was transformed with a layer of white spray paint. Fabulous!
Above: Sooo tranquil, isn't it? I know I already mentioned the canopy, but it's seriously dreamy.
This apartment and all of the photos belong to Flickr user The One and Only Jet Guer. He has chic taste, unique ideas, and a knack for creativity. This just goes to show how you can basically transform a bedroom by making minor changes such as bedding, nightstand, and accessories. Amore.
I will be living in a dorm for at least this semester and most likely the rest of the academic year. However, my mind is open to the possibility of renting an on-campus or off-campus apartment in the near future. And since I know that many students choose to go the rental route, I've decided to add an apartment feature to the blog.
Apartments offer more privacy, more space, and more decorating freedom. In an apartment, you can most likely hang things on the walls with real nails, usually light candles, sometimes install window hardware, and (if you're lucky) be able to actually paint the walls! (These things are almost always forbidden in residence halls.)
On the menu to the right, between "Dorm Sweet Dorm" and "Lovely Lifestyle" you will from now on also see "Rental Revamp". The links under this title aren't active yet because I haven't posted anything apartment-related, but rest assured that I've got some inspiring apartment decor up my sleeve to help get your creative juices flowing.
For this Etsy Monday, I chose to feature six laptop carriers. My laptop is a hefty 17'inch, which is not quite ideal for lugging around campus... so it sits happily in place on my desk. When I do carry it, it's in a basic black Samsonite laptop bag that isn't at all hideous but definitely not fabulous. If I had a smaller, slimmer, lighter laptop I would totally purchase one of these cute bags to carry it around in. So chic and saavy, no?
The dorm building next to my own is called Wilson. It did not fill up with residents past the fifth floor. For this weekend (being the Cyclones vs. Hawkeyes game) certain rooms on floors 6 through 10 were lit up to spell out ISU. I've really enjoyed looking out my window the past two nights and seeing this. :)
I've fallen in love with PaPaYa! and you should, too. PaPaYa is an online shop that is loaded with the loveliest items from stationary and notebooks to wrapping paper and wall decor. Everything comes in pretty patterns and colors. I spent nearly an hour in the online shop just decided how on earth I was going to share all of the fabulous things with you on the blog... there is just sooo much that I'm smitten with. PaPaYa is the perfect place to stock up on back-to-school supplies and dorm decor. Why? Well, everything is simply beautiful. And everything is incredibly affordable. Here's some of what they have to offer:
(Above: Wall Decor) In the Decor section of the shop, you'll find art panels and giclee prints. Some of them have inspiring words and phrases, while others depict pretty ladies, and others feature floral designs and little animals. If you're looking for wall decor for your dorm, look no further. There is something to suit every color scheme and artistic personality. I want to fill my dorm with all of PaPaYa's art!
(Above: Magnets) Toss all those flimsy magnets your college stocked you up on during Welcome Week. Well, maybe keep the one with the emergency contacts. ;) PaPaYa has a wonderful selection of the prettiest magnets I've ever seen.
(Above: Wrapping Paper) While this paper would be a darling way to wrap up your roomie's birthday present... I've got some more creative ideas in mind. You could use this prettily-patterned wrapping paper to cover those weary textbooks, decorate your dorm door, or adhere to dorm room walls with sticky-tack or adhesive poster strips as fabulous art.
(Above: Sketchbooks) Toss that old black sketchbook and opt for a more inspiring place to create your heart. These sketchbooks are lovely on the outside and reversible so that you can pick which cover you like best. And think of how lovely the inside will be once you've filled it with your beautiful, personal art!
(Above: Journals) Reflection and musing is good for the soul. And it can be such a simple pleasure to keep a secret diary. Not sure of what to write about? Surely the cover art on these journals will inspire you. There are so many floral patterns, nature prints, and pretty ladies to choose from. Writers' block doesn't stand a chance against these beauties.
(Above: Calendar) Sure, those plain-jane agendas that the school bestows upon you do their job. They're useful for keeping track of your homework, exams, date nights, and club meetings. ...But they're oh-so-boring. This 2010 personal planner is the perfect substitute. Not only is it a functional dayplanner, but it is full of inspiring words and works of art. And those words on the front of it, "Follow Your Bliss". What could possibly be a better watchword when it comes to college?
(Above: Address Books) Yes, yes... with the help of your high tech devices, all of your new friends' phone numbers and e-mail addresses are close at hand. But storing all those special companions' contact information in a super pretty address book is so much more fun. This is especially true when the address book is cutely labeled "My Peeps".
(Above: Legal Pads) Notebooks with pretty covers have been around for a few years now, but it's about time that somebody decided to make the notebook paper pretty, too. Looking at the lovely designs that watermark PaPaYa's legal pads makes me swoon at the thought of taking notes.
(Above: Flip Note Sets) These are the quintessential notepads. They're small---ideal for stashing in your purse, bookbag, and desk drawer. And like everything else available at this fabulous online shop, they are covered in gorgeous artwork. It makes every little note a pleasure to jot down.
(Above: File Folders) I have this theory that it's easier to stay organized when the things you use to organize are visually appealing. Boring cardboard boxes and flimsy folders can make me feel quite indifferent when it comes to keeping a tidy desk. But if I had these stunningly beautiful file folders from PaPaYa, I'm almost certain that my workspace would always be clutter-free and with the folders out on display. I love when school supplies double as art!
(Above: Binders) Lastly, the online shop has a variety of eye-catching three-ring-binders. You will feel smart and stylish carrying these beauties to class.
What I've have shown you in this post is such a small amount of what's available at the PaPaYa shop. This is a fabulous opportunity to fill your class schedule, backpack, and dorm room with pretty colors, lovely patterns, and beautiful artwork... and for a great price, too!