$100 DIY Desk

(image via here at HGTV.com)

Maybe the desk your school provided is uninspiring. Maybe it's too small. Maybe you don't have a desk at all!

Click here to check out this easy-to-create $100 half-day desk project featured on HGTV.com. All you need is a flat panel door, desk leg kit, bookshelf, paint, and some tools to make this huge workspace ideal for homework, crafts, or scrapbooking.



Fashion-Forward Dorms

(above: The Container Store's "Fashion Forward Dorm" from a few years ago.)

If you truly believe that a girl can never have too many purses, pull a little inspiration from the above dorm (outfitted by The Container Store). With a good supply of inexpensive adhesive hooks, you can put your beloved bags on display. It doubles as attractive wall art and convenient storage. ;) What more could a fashionista want?

(above: The Container Store's current "Fashion Forward Dorm.")

Perhaps you're more of a clotheshorse than a purse-addict? Check out this year's fashionable dorm from The Container Store and borrow some of their fabulous ideas. Put your stylish attire front and center on wheeled clothes-racks. (You can use those awkward dorm armoires for less important things like books.) Add even more flair with a mannequin and put your favorite chic ensemble on display. You're dorm will look like an all-access pass to the backstage of a fashion show.



Vintage Studio Apartment

home sweet home
Originally uploaded by toxinaut

I thought this studio apartment makes great use of furniture arrangement and vintage touches. I love the warm, buttery color on the walls. I bet it looks especially pretty when sunshine spills in. The bed is tucked away behind the Mid-Century sofa, which has attached table-space on each end. I also like the vintage dress hung on the wall. It's lovely.



Pink + Polka Dots

This renter faced a lot of restrictions when decorating her college bedroom apartment. No painting. No removing the desk. No nails. No holes of any kind in the walls. No 3M hooks. Well, she broke a few of those rules. (Sssshhh, we're not tellin'.)

She decorated her room with a pink shag rug and hung a light pink sheet behind her bed for some extra color on the walls. She made the table runner for her dresser-top and stores her make-up in those cute little pink nesting box on top of the dresser.

Over her bed she displays a painting by Salvadore Dali, one of her favorite artists. And she keeps the bed simple without the fuss of throw pillows that inevitably end up on the floor.

She decorated her lampshade with scrapbook stickers. And I spot a good book on her nightstand. ;)

Since she isn't crazy about typical bulletin boards, the renter made four miniature ones out of fabric-covered cork tiles.

Personally, I think that desk is great compared to some of the dorm-room desks I've had to use. But this renter doesn't like it and made a table runner to hide some of the "hideous drawers."

Sheer black Ikea curtains dress up the windows.

This is the renter's "junk corner." I do like the idea of using a coat-tree to keep purses handy. She plans on painting the coat rack black.

And here's her black dresser. I love how the dresser's frosted glass compliments the frosted glass on the nearby floor lamp.

The photos of this room were posted to HGTV's Rate-My-Space and belong to laurakim289.



Do you do coffee?

(above: image by steph_who)

I wouldn't say that I'm a regular coffee drinker---I don't have it everyday, but maybe every two or three days. I don't drink it for the caffeine either. Sadly, caffeine doesn't have a "waking-up" effect on me. I drink it for the taste. It's always nice to cozy up with a cup of coffee when I'm reading blogs, writing a story, or doing historical research.

I like my coffee with sugar and amaretto flavoring. Occasionally I add a bit of cappuccino mix or hot chocolate powder. If I'm feeling extra adventurous, I dash some cinnamon on top. ;)

I also adore coffee houses. The smell, the decor, the atmosphere. I think it would be fun to work as a barista, but unfortunately my hometown's coffee house isn't hiring.

How about you? Do you drink coffee? Black? Cream and sugar? Fancy flavors? Do you drink it to wake up in the morning or to wind down at night? (Yes, I often drink coffee before bed...lol.)



Cute College Apartment on a Dime

This renter decorated her college apartment's living room with recycled (or should I say "upcycled") secondhand items. The futon's frame used to be an "ugly beat-up pine," but got a classy make-over with a coat of black paint. The pillows are re-covered old ones. The coffee table is a vintage 60s piece that also got painted black. The side table, lamp, and curtains were all found on clearance. And the renter painted the retro-inspired art panels by herself!

The tv sits on an old 60s buffet that was painted black. And the bookcases are from Ikea.

The zebra-printed ottoman doubles as seating and storage. Can you believe that it was made from scratch? I love fabulous diy-ers!

Photos of this space were posted to HGTV's Rate-My-Space and belong to swilt.



Tangerine + Aquarmarine

This freshman dorm-dweller is sharing a dorm with her childhood friend at Ole Miss (aka the University of Mississippi). With help from their moms, the two girls decorated their room with a white, turquoise, and orange color scheme.

Matching comforters and bedsheets really pulls the room together. They continue the color scheme with a coordinating rug, ottoman, sofa, throw-pillows, and curtains. The orange works really well with the color of furniture in the room. I also like that the school painted the dorm in a beige instead of white, which makes for a cozier space.

The sitting area can double as a place for friends to crash. I love how crisp and clean the white sofa is. The orange and turquoise pillows really pop against it.

Not only is the girls' dorm attractive, but they also aimed for function and efficiency. Notice the silver cart on the far left--it's a great way to organize the mini-fridge, microwave, and other dorm-dining necessities.

Photos of this room were posted to HGTV's Rate-My-Space by classTR and belong to her, of course.



Unmentionables Worth Mentioning


This is a rather spontaneous post, but I was simply in the mood for intimates. What girl doesn't love pretty undergarments? I wholeheartedly believe that a woman can never have too many pairs of panties or too many lovely bras. I have more bras than I know what to do with! (...one in every color except for white, oddly enough.)

If you have a lover, perhaps you want a little something sexy to show off on Valentine's Day. Or you single ladies might just feel like splurging on some beautiful lingerie. (Wearing pretty undergarments is a proven confidence boost, btw!)

But being a on a student budget doesn't mean you have to compromise when it comes to wearing lace, silk, and frilly little details beneath your attire. I personally have become smitten with the lingerie options available at Topshop. (All of those gorgeous panties and bralets featured up above are from Topshop and cost under $50.)

So go have a look and swoon.


Beds | Re-thinking the Dorm

I don't know about you, but I feel that most dorm rooms are terribly inefficient and poorly set up. The typical dorm room is a square cinder block box with a window, bulky furniture, and awkward layout. I know that nowadays when new residence halls are built, more thought is being put into the efficiency of the rooms. (For example, suite-style rooms are increasingly popular.) Some new dorms are extremely modern in style.

So I got to thinking about re-thinking the dorm. When a lot of people here "dorm room of the future" they think of high-tech, space-age, Jetsons-esque atmosphere. While I enjoy looking at such modern spaces, I prefer not to live in one. So what would be some easy ways to increase the function of a dorm room while maintaining a traditional, comfortable feel?

I think the most natural place to begin would be the bed. This is the largest piece of furniture in a dorm room and sleep is, after all, an important health factor. Dorm rooms function as so much more than a bedroom, though. So I've always thought it would be so nice to just... well, "tuck away" a bed. It would save so much floorspace. Murphy beds, trundle beds, and built-in beds would be a great way to save space in dorm rooms.

A Murphy bed would be an ideal space-saving solution for dorm rooms. For one, Murphy beds are not permanent and would not require any interior architectural work. At night, the bed can be let down (like above).
[above image source: Andrew Sinclair]
And then in the morning, it can be made and folded back up. (See above.) [above image source: Andrew Sinclair]
Just look at how much floor space a Murphy bed opens up. Additionally, depending on the type of Murphy bed, there can be a lot of storage options. In the Murphy bed pictured above, there's a built-in bookcase and dresser. [above image source: Andrew Sinclair]
Pictured above is another Murphy bed option that would be ideal for a college dorm room. It includes a dresser, bookcase, and desk area. Sooo efficient! [above image source: more space place nashville]

Bed nooks would allow for more privacy than dorm residents are used to. A curtain (above) could be pulled closed to hide the bed during the day or make for a more private sleeping space at night. [above image source: handmade charlotte]
Some bed nooks could even offer storage, such as the one pictured above. [above image source: townmouse]
The above bed nook offers a lot of clothing storage with four large dresser drawers. And the curtain allows for some privacy. [above image source: townmouse]
This style of bed nook (above) would work especially well in shared dorms. Captain-style drawers offer storage for clothing or shoes. Built-in bookcases offer storage for books, photo frames, and personal knick-knacks. And the separating wall offers privacy. [above image source: BPC Architecture]
Here's another built-in bed with a lot of storage. (See above.) [above image source: TK Smith]
Lastly, I believe the trundle bed would be a considerable option as well. Granted, it wouldn't exactly loan itself to privacy or extra storage options, but it would free up floor space by hiding away one bed during the day. [above image source: Mudrick]

If you could have one of these styles of bed in your dorm room, which would you pick? I think I would go with the bed nooks because they are just so cozy!

Stay tuned for more re-thinking the dorm.



Valentine's Day Wardrobe | Part II

More Valentine's Day wardrobe ideas for you to consider...


Above: Silky chocolate-hued dress, lacy tights, satiny red pumps, a matching scarlet clutch, and Cupid earrings for a decadent evening at the ritz with your handsome man.


Above: Feminine red dress, black tights, heart-toed black pumps, a vintage-inspired black clutch, and sparkly heart ring for a fancy dinner out with your girls.


Above: Gray skinny jeans, cute heart-patterned tee, gunmetal flats, charcoal leather purse, and adorable turquoise heart earrings for a spontaneous roadtrip with your guy.


Above: Dark-washed skinny jeans, a super-soft peachy-pink cashmere sweater, lavender ballet flats, a sunshine-yellow clutch, and dainty gold heart necklace for a day of shopping with your bff.

Casual Valentine
Above: Your favorite pair of dark blue skinny jeans, a frilly red-hot blouse, ruby-red flats, a heart-printed purse, and cute red heart earrings for a casual coffee-house date with your bf.



The difference a century can make...

I found these two photos in the Emerson College reference collection archives. Both of these pages from from the 1910 Emerson College of Oratory viewbook.

What was the cost of tuition at Emerson in 1910?
"Believe it or not, as shown in this 1910 viewbook, tuition was $75 per semester. Add to that the $5 diploma and graduation fee, a $2 entrance exam fee, a $2 physical exam fee and a $3 matriculation fee for a grand total of $462 for three years. But that doesn’t include room and board!" (quoted from here.)

How much was room and board back in 1910?
"Room and board cost an additional $150 to $350 per year depending on the dormitory. Add in $15 a year for books and stationary. Grand total: $315 to $515 per year for tuition, room/board, and books." (quoted from here.)

All I can say is---dang.



Valentine's Day Wardrobe | Part I

Whether you're single, newly dating, going steady, crushing, engaged, or married---you have every reason to look fabulous this Valentine's Day. Enjoy this one day out of the year when an excess of pink and red can be seen as a good thing. :)


Above: Slimming boot-cut jeans, a feminine hot pink top, a chic gray cardigan in case you get chilly, sparkly ballet flats, a prettily-patterned clutch, and silver heart-shaped locket for a fun-filled night out on the town with your new love interest.

Above: A gold-embellished skirt, bold crimson tank, cozy brown cardigan, chocolaty peep-toe pumps, gilded clutch, and "heart-breaker" necklace for a romantic dinner with your beau.


Above: Your trusty pair of straight-leg blue-jeans, white red-lipstick-kissed tank, comfy charcoal boyfriend cardigan, shiny silver flats, red hot patent purse, and a "less than three" ring for a movie date to see "Valentine's Day" the movie with your girlfriends.

Above: Bright purple skinny jeans, a cute long-sleeved tee, turquoise ballet flats, a yellow tote,
and heart-adorned ring for a colorful double-date at the bowling alley.

Above: Distressed skinny jeans, a tattoo-inspired t-shirt, red sweater, black flats, slouchy black bag, and dangley bracelet for a rockin' concert or night-in playing RockBand.



Casey & Ashley's ZBZ Room | Dorm Ditto #10


I'm a Greek-a-holic. And if you're not familiar with the show, Casey and Ashley are a fabulous pair of best friends and ZBZ sorority sisters. One thing that I've always admired about them is their bedroom at the ZBZ house. I've scoured the internet, but photos of their room are nearly impossible to find. :/ However, I did stumble upon this exclusive Hollywire visit to the set of 'Greek' and snatched up some shots of Casey's room. And since I haven't done a "Dorm Ditto" in forrrrever... I thought Casey and Ashley's room would be a perfect inspiration for your dorm, apartment, or sorority house room.


Above: Casey's desk is the typical college student study space with notebooks, school supplies, and a cork bulletin board. Of course, she keeps nail polish, lotion, and other beauty supplies close at hand even during study hours.


Above: Casey's room features a gorgeous damask-printed chair.


Above: Casey and Ashley are both girly-girls who adore pink. That's Casey's bed in the background---I love her pretty floral comforter and stuffed animals.


Above: Casey's dresser is accessorized with the word DREAM, a lovely white table lamp, and a vintage poster.

Creating a similar space to Casey and Ashley's room doesn't require being a sorority girl. In fact, you can pull together a look-alike room with purchases from Pottery Barn Teen and Target.

The recipe for Casey's room:
lots of pink + a pinch of prep + ladylike
florals + classic damask + vintage details

1. This Jacobean Floral Comforter features a similar
floral pattern and color scheme to Casey's bedding.
2. This Swoop Arm Chair has a classic ladylike form
and black&white flocked print like Casey's chair.
3. Deck the walls with a vintage poster print such as
"Exposition Universelle Liege" by Fernand Tousssaint.
4. This shiny retro alarm clock is a pretty timepiece to
keep you on time for your classes and social events.
5. Set this wooden word FRIENDS on your
dresser to imitate Casey's dresser top decor.
6. The Minnie Stool is a lovely alternative to a typical
desk chair--and definitely worthy of Casey and Ashley.
7. With its graceful curves and clean white color, the
Lilac Bedside Table also has three drawers for storage.
8. Dress your windows with these pretty white Suite
Ribbon Drapes
that feature pink lining on the edges.
9. Light up with a Classic Iron Lamp and Scallop Shade.
10. White wire desk accessories with keep your
study space organized and attractive.

To watch Hollywire's exclusive tour of the set of 'Greek' and interviews with the cast, click {here}. (The four photos of Casey's room are stills from Hollywire's video.)



Guy Dorm!

Above: The room is decorated in a color scheme of neutrals, earthy greens, and dark red. The 5' x 10' vinyl mural of a Japanese garden scene was purchased for $75 from getbiggies.com. That's a good deal for such a big statement---the wall mural truly transforms the cinder-block walls and add visual interest to the room.

Above: Dark red curtains match the red microwave and red pillows on the bed. And a multi-headed lamp can cast light wherever needed.

Above: A very well organized closet space.

Can you believe that this dorm room belongs to a guy?! Yeah, a guy! I normally don't feature guys' dorms on here because, well... how many fabulously decorated guys' rooms have you seen in your residence hall? This dorm is visually pleasing while still maintaining enough of a masculine, laid back feel that guys like. So if your boyfriend or brother needs some desperate design help concerning their college living space, take some cues from this place.

This dorm and the photos of it are from aubreyjoy at HGTV's Rate My Space.