I remember when I first moved in the dorms my freshman year of college pretty vividly. I felt like I totally over packed ( I did). I felt nervous that my belongings wouldn’t fit (some didn’t). I worried that once I got my room all set up it wouldn’t look as good or as home-y as I wanted (it did). Today, I am sharing designs for dorm rooms based on my three favorite TV characters – Aria Montgomery, Spencer Hastings, and Rory Gilmore. As much as I love my room in Virginia, I love decorating new spaces, so picking out pieces for each room’s mood board was fun!
First up, Aria Montgomery. Aria is from Pretty Little Liars, which recently had its series finale. She’s artsy, bookish, funky, and, foremost, eclectic. The thing I always liked about Aria’s style is the unique look she has, featuring unconventional pattern pairs, lots of random animals, soft but noticeable accessories. I tried to create a dorm that resembles the room she has during the show’s high school years but also wanted to make it feel more like a college freshman as opposed to a high school student.
I chose a lot of natural, warm elements because such elements, to me, are most reminiscent of Aria. I also wanted to include a lot of pillows because Aria’s spaces are all warm and comfortable, which to me means pillows and lots of them. I tried to mix patterns and texture with the pillows since a bed is the focal point of a dorm (it serves as a bed, a couch, a hangout area, etc.). Aria also seems like a person who would have a throw blanket for cold dorm nights. I also imagined that Aria would want photos on display, so put a cork board above the bed that has a world map on it. Additionally, I thought the letter board felt retro and uniquely Aria, a trend she would probably have adopted before it was cool ( a nod to all the hipster spirits in the room).
For bedding, I picked a gray tone with a slightly girly detail. I love the tables, which I imagine Aria will leave stacks of books and old coffee cups on while she runs to and from class. A faux wooden trash bin also seemed to fit Aria’s room design. I pulled warm gold tones and neutral storage boxes to complement the natural, but the warm vibe I wanted to encompass. Music is important to the TV show and Aria (B-26, anyone?), so I wanted to pull a pair of headphones I could see Aria wearing around campus. Finally, her shower caddy wouldn’t look like any old shower caddy, so I picked a cute pattern from PB Teen.
I love Aria Montgomery, and her style was definitely informative for my own. Designing a dorm room for her was so fun, and I hope it brings a little inspiration to those of you living in a dorm this year or a smaller apartment!
Second, we have Spencer Hastings, the embodiment of a stylish academic. Preppy and feminine, I wanted Spencer’s room to have an elegant feel but remain young. I also wanted the decorations to reflect Spencer’s ambition and drive. Spoiler alert: you get a glimpse of Spencer’s dorm in a flashback, and it was way too bland to be real. Anyway, I started with a velvet duvet in a soft gray tone (a nice shade that’s more durable than white but still light and neutral). Similar to Aria, I imagine Spencer would have a decent amount of pillows. However, I wanted to mix her preppy upbringing with the more laid-back feel her style takes on by the final high school season of the show. I mixed crisp blue and white pillows with cream and floral patterns for the pillows. For wall art, I chose pieces that are most appropriate for her: Latin to reflect the time spent studying, a horse art piece to show appreciation for her equestrian background, and the spines of “books” with great qualities topped with glasses to illuminate her studious attitude.
For a pinboard, I liked the gold scalloping and burlap texture. I also imagine Spencer takes organization and school supplies rather seriously, so chose a clean, clear paper organizer and a preppier print for the storage boxes. I also included a pencil cup from Kate Spade. I imagine Spencer is a “go go go” kind of college student, so included a travel cup for her coffee so she can always have some with her. Finally, I feel like shower caddies are SO important but an oft forgot item, so I chose a pink, practical caddy from PB Teen for Spencer.
I personally believe I am a mixture of Aria and Spencer in how I decorate!
Finally, we have the one and only Rory Gilmore. To clarify, her “dorm” at Yale was unrealistically large. I mean, maybe Yale gives nice rooms to first-year students, but her suites always felt more like apartments. Still, for my version of Rory’s room, I chose to focus on the things that she couldn’t live without, which are coffee and her academics (books, laptop, killer book bag). I think Rory would definitely have a coffee maker, which today would be a Keurig. Additionally, to have coffee she would need some great mugs. A simple navy and white mug, a ruled paper print mug, and a “coffee before talkie” mug all seem to fit the bill.
I also chose a marble hard top case for Rory’s laptop, as its stylish but also protects her computer. I also believe the Mark & Graham travel tote would function as a great book bag. A few wall hangings I picked for Rory’s design highlight her love of books, coffee, and becoming the next Christiane Amanpour. To pay homage to her Harvard turned Yale dream board in her childhood bedroom, I also included a Yale pennant. Rory seemed practical and not “frilly,” if you will, with her decorations so I chose a practical caddy. For bedding, I stayed simple with few pillows (1, 2) as I think Rory’s decorating style is far more simple than most.
Which design is your favorite?