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El Azteca | Reader Request

A few weeks ago, a lovely reader sent me this request:
"I am about to start college in a few months and my roommate and I definitely want one of those dorm rooms that people want to hang out in.  We are trying to come up with a very eclectic style room.  We don't want the typical pink and green polka dot girly girl room.  We are also really inspired by the Native American/Aztec kind of patterns that are popular right now and would love to incorporate that in some way.  We are struggling to find good bedding (at decent prices) and accessories that meet our design goal."

Well, I named this post after my all-time favorite Mexican restaurant El Azteca... and I feel like I should be eating a big plate of rice and tacos and chips'n'salsa as I write this post.  Yummmm.  But anyways... I got to work on an inspiration board for my Aztec-loving reader.  Instead of just sticking to Aztec influence, I decided not to discriminate.  I pulled in some Mexican and Native American inspiration as well.  
Firstly, I think the easiest way to set the tone in the dorm room would be to invest in a great Central American-inspired tapestry.  Urban Outfitters should be your one-stop-shop with lots of tapestries around $40.  (And even less when they're on sale!)  

Set the Mood with a Tapestry
The beauty of a tapestry is in its versatility.  Hang it on the wall as an instant, easy, massive art fix.  With a little sewing work, turn it into curtain panels.  Or use it to spruce up your bed.  Instead of searching high and low for Aztec-inspired bedding at a decent price, buy a simple comforter in a solid color.  (Hello Walmart and Target!)  I chose a turquoise one in the inspiration board up above.  Then drape the tapestry over your existing bedding.  It'll look fab, I promise.  Accessorize with an eclectic mix of patterned pillows that pick up similar colors.  But don't worry too much about the patterns matching.  Just go with your instincts and pick what calls out to you---geometric prints may be best for an Aztec suite.  

Bring in Native Accessories
Incorporate decorative details that also echo the Native American feel you're going for, but limit them since dorm rooms can easily become over-cluttered.  Pick up some cool pottery at a craft store and paint it with fun designs.  Make a dreamcatcher to hang over your bed.  No need to go overboard with this kinds of things.  It's all in the details here and there.  (You don't really want your room to look like you actually walked into a Mexican cantina... or do you?)

Up the Comfort Factor
As for making your dorm the "place to be" on the floor, keep comfort in mind.  Friends will want to hang out in the room that is the most comfortable.  So have lots of places for friends to crash besides your bed.  For example, a great chair if you have the space and budget for it.  Otherwise poufs and floor pillows are great options.  Also throw a plush rug down on the floor to make it more inviting than the typical flat dorm carpet or (even worse) cold dorm tile.  

Here are some more spaces for inspiration: 

Apartment Therapy
Desire to Inspire

Good luck with your Aztec-inspired decorating!  I'm going to go get myself a taco...


Mckenzie said…
Thanks so much for making this post for me. So many good ideas and products my roommate and I can use for inspiration. Love your blog. Thanks again.


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