7/1/10

Real vs. Fake | The Dorm Debate

Above: A real but tastefully decorated
dorm room. (via: irksomecushion.)

Above: The typical, bland dorm room. Or, as I like
to call it: blank space. (via: Apartment Therapy.)

Above: A commercially designed dorm room,
a.k.a. "the fake." (via: Bed Bath & Beyond.)

Recently I've received some comments on a couple posts tagged with "Real Life Dorms." And I want to set the record straight about what I feature on Lovely Undergrad.

Let's review some comments:

1. "Most dorms don't look ANYTHING like that!! It's completely unrealistic...It's fiction."

2. "This is NOT what most dorms look like...Real dorms are NOT that spacious, and the flooring is not that clean and intact."

3. "It really irks me when companies try to sell dorm furniture and advertise with fake rooms...Now, I know this is a blog and not an ad, but I was hoping that you wouldn't try to pretend that the pictures you chose would in any way represent the absolute majority of dorm rooms."


(For the record, these comments were directed at these two posts: Irksome Cushion's Minimal Dorm & Irksome Cushion, Another Look. And the photos are of a real dorm, which belongs to a Yale student who goes by the Flickr username IrksomeCushion. He's got fantastic taste and did a great job making his dorm look nothing like a real dorm... he was even featured on Apartment Therapy.)

Okay. Now I'm going to address each one.

1 & 2: Part of the purpose of Lovely Undergrad is finding the beautiful dorms out there that look nothing like most dorm rooms. Being a college student myself, I know what most dorms look like. I'm familiar with the tile floors, stained carpet, cinderblock walls, ramshackle windows, and utter lack of character. However, there are dorms out there (with very lucky students in them) that have hardwood floors, freshly painted walls, moulding, and sometimes even fireplaces or at least mantels. Whether they've got much to work with or not, it's not "unrealistic" when someone decorates their dorm or college apartment so fabulously that it doesn't look like a dorm. It's called taste and talent. And that's what LU is out to find.

3. Sorry for irking you, but I do not pretend that the pictures I feature represent the majority of dorm rooms. Like I said above, I know what the majority of dorm rooms are like. I've lived in them. But there are amazing, stylish, chic dorms and college apartments out there. I've also looked at enough dorms to distinguish what's real from fake. Real can be the majority. And real can be like some of the creative, impeccably designed dorms and apartments featured on LU. Fake is usually pretty easy to spot---think Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, The Container Store. From time to time, I do feature those companies because they do have some good stuff. But I never claim that a fake room designed by Target is a real dorm. I'll tell you if it's by Target, I promise. Besides, fake rooms are pretty easy to spot.

So... let's review shall we? The rooms I feature in "Real Life Dorms" and "Real Life Apartments" are actually real living spaces. They're not "fakes" designed by companies to promote furniture and products. Additionally, I do feature a lot of non-dorm and non-apartment rooms on the site because you can find inspiration in lots of places.

Ultimately, it's up to you to believe me when I say that a featured space is a real college living space. But before you get upset over how "unrealistic" a dorm is, pause and just enjoy the room. There's lots of inspiration to found and applied to your own place.

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2 comments:

  1. I get "irked" too by dorm room ads that were obviously shot on a studio that does not resemble even the nicest of dorms. What irks me even more though is when people try to discourage me from decorating my college apartment beautifully because, after all, it's just a college apartment. I'm moving into my third college apartment this August and have been planning the decor and design all summer. There's no reason we can't make our dorms/apartments nice just because we're in college, right? I'm glad someone else shares this sentiment.

    On another note, I just want to say I found your blog recently and am kind of in love. I fell even more in love when I realized about two minutes ago that you're featuring the U Chic book on your sidebar. I'm one of the book's contributors, so I'm flattered!

    I'm going to be launching my blog next week(amuse-aday.blogspot.com) and hope you'll visit!

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  2. But what's the point of showing them if you know that most of us will not be lucky enough to have one that looks anything like that?

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