Friday, July 30, 2010

Campus Housing needs to Feel Like a Home, Too

I guess it's all the back-to-school ads I've been inundated with, but I am dying to decorate a college dorm room. There are so many cute options out there to make the space fun and attractive, as well cool ways to add more storage (Lord knows you never have enough!). I remember having so much fun picking out the bright colors, fun fabrics and organizational supplies for my dorm- yes, my organizational nerdiness has deep roots! I even knew a girl whose family brought in carpeting and laid it like a rug over top of the existing carpet to make her dorm more welcoming and less whose-foot-fungus-might-I-get.

I spent a lot of time on the University of Kentucky's campus this summer while I worked on a fraternity house update. Collegiate housing takes a beating and gets worn & dated pretty quickly but it's nothing PD&R can't handle! Take a gander at what I mean:

Dark Paneling, furniture and fabrics made the space feel outdated.

Lighter, but durable and stain resistant fabrics on the furniture and windows allowed the light to be reflected, not absorbed.  Even with the paneling still up, the space became much more inviting.  Plus, we moved the sectional to the prime spot for UK games to be watched on that nice flat screen!

The sectional used to be what greeted you when you walked into the house which caused the room to be chopped up.

Since we moved the sectional to face the TV, a couple of sofas and a pair of chairs were used to make a welcoming seating area that wasn't as overpowering as the former large piece.  Notice how the room is so much more appealing by using fabrics in colors that provide a little bit of contrast.  Look at the windows- we threw out the old metal blinds and brought in new roller shades that you  see in a lot of Starbucks and Wendy's (think no dusting!!).

The last area in this living room was fireplace.  It had great potential but was covered with a lot of knick- knacks and blocked by furniture.

Moving out some of the unnecessary furniture and clearing away some of the clutter allowed the beautiful stone wall to be seen.  The back corner proved to be an ideal place for a study table, too.

This panoramic shot shows you how we broke the room up into 3 areas- study, conversation and TV:

Here's a shot of the foyer area before the project began. 

A game room/lounge area seemed to be the best use for this space, so we replaced the wallpaper, flooring & broken vertical blinds and brought in some swanky chairs and their Foosball table.  Now the guys have more than enough space to spread out between the 2 rooms.

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