Hi, I'm in my last year of college and I really want my room to look awesome since it has been pretty boring in the past. My comforter set is white with a plaid pattern of pink, light orange, and blue. What kind of curtains and decor should I get?
Dear Anonymous Senior,
Congrats on starting your last year of college! Plaid can be a tricky pattern when decorating because it can end up looking too childish or too preppy. I created this moodboard to show that plaid can be grown-up and chic.
Pattern: I'm a big fan of mixing and matching pattern, but plaid can pose a challenge. If you pair plaid with other similar repetitive patterns like stripes or polka dots, the combination can begin to look too busy or juvenile. Instead, make use of solids and florals. In this moodboard, I kept the curtains solid to add color without overwhelming the space. I brought in extra pattern with the pretty floral design on the armchair. The rug is also solid, but a nice, textured neutral.
Color: Since you already have the comforter, start there by pulling one color to use as your main color. In the moodboard, I picked the pink since I'm on a pink kick. ;) But you could pull out the light orange or the blue. I sprinkled that hot pink around the room in the curtains, pattern in the arm chair, upholstery in the desk chair, and accessories like art and flowers.
Furniture: I kept the headboard, nightstand, desk, and dresser plain in this moodboard because dorms often come furnished with basic wooden furniture. While it's not easy to switch out a desk or dresser, you can bring other furniture in. In this moodboard, I swapped out your typical dorm room desk chair for a French Provincial style dining chair. Scavenge your local thrift and antique stores for an old chair to repaint and reupholster for a similar look. I also brought in the patterned armchair for a comfy place to read or hang out.
Accessories: In this moodboard, I was going for a feminine, eclectic look. Hang an interesting pairing of art over the bed rather than plastering posters around the room. Over this bed, a painting of a flamingo (I love flamingos!), a fashion print, and a quote poster give visual interest. The pillows on the bed feature a king and queen, which I thought was fabulous. Both the floor lamp and desk lamp are sleek and modern, which provide a contrast to the eclectic, vintage-y things in the room---plus, they're grown up enough to take with you and use in your post-grad apartment. I like to incorporate vintage accessories, too. Old suitcases at the foot of the bed can store magazines, books, or shoes. A wire waste basket adds a touch of the industrial look that's so hot right now. And an old milk-bottle carrier on the dresser top is the perfect caddy for perfumes and lotions.
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