Dorm Essentials: Turning a Room into a Home with Parachute Bedding

Hello, World.

When I entered college three years ago, the thing that got me really excited about the whole college experience was the prospect of decorating my dorm room. I got this giddy feeling every time I entered a store that sold dorm room decorations, and I browsed the internet for hours looking for the perfect bedding. I love decorating, but I think one of the biggest reasons I was so excited was because I was horribly nervous about moving out of my home and into a dorm. However, the thing of it is, a dorm becomes your home. While you may only be in the room for nine months, it feels like you lived there a lot longer come May. So, I wanted to share my essentials for taking that blank, mundane dorm room, and making it your home away from home.

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I believe the key to making a great home within your dorm room is finding durable, attractive, and comfortable bedding. Your bed is, more than ever, the focus of your bedroom space. The Twin XL bed becomes your sleeping area, your hanging out area, and, in some cases, your homework space. It is a bed and a couch and a desk all wrapped into one. So, the key to a great room is great bedding. There are tons of companies that sell bedding for dorm rooms. One company that catches my attention is Parachute, which is a company that rethinks the basics of bedding.

All Parachute bedding is designed in LA, and made in Italy. The quality is great (Egyptian cotton?!), and is sure to last you all four years of college. I’m known to change my bedding frequently, and I think part of the problem is I have trouble finding the perfect bedding. Usually I think it’s not as comfortable as it should be, or I get sick of the pattern. What I like about Parachute is that their bedding is designed for comfort, and they keep the colors simple and calming. The colors are neutral, which means you’ll be less likely to get sick of it within a year. Their bedding is also available in linen texture, which is one of my favorites. I feel like it’s sophisticated and light, but so comfortable and has a lived-in vibe.

One last thing I really want to highlight about Parachute before diving into my dorm essentials is their Give Back aspect. As you’ve probably realized from reading my blog, I love companies that have a give back component, which is why I buy glasses from Warby Parker and I buy shoes from Toms. Parachute is partnered with Nothing But Nets, which is an organization that couples a great night’s sleep with the prevention of Malaria. Whenever Parachute sells a Venice bed set, they donate one bed net to a person in need. Awesome, right?

Dorm Room Essentials with Paracute BeddingCoffee Mug

Something I always pack to take to school with me is my favorite mug. Having a coffee cup is one of the biggest things about living in the dorm! I use mine for coffee, tea, and snacks. Even if you don’t drink coffee, having a coffee mug is a must. When I was a freshman, my hall had tea and cookies once a week, and I took my mug every single week. Sitting around drinking coffee with your floor mates is a great bonding time! Also, having tea or coffee while studying is great.

Microwave and Mini Fridge

Having a movie night in your room? In need of an energy drink? Well, a microwave and a mini fridge are an absolute must for living in the dorm. Even if you’re not doing major cooking (thankful for dining halls), you’ll want small snacks and drinks kept in your room. This is especially true during finals, when you won’t want to trek to a different part of campus for food or drink.

Cute Wall Art

Having blank, white walls gets really boring really fast. Be sure to bring fun posters of things you like. Oftentimes, in addition to adding color to your room, the decorations spark conversation with other floor mates as they’re walking by if your door is open while hanging out or studying. Wall art goes a long way in a dorm room, and just getting things that make you you will make you feel more at ease and at home.


Whether you’re watching a movie while your roommate is studying, or trying to study while your roommate is being loud, headphones are a game changer in college living. They’re also great to take to the library. Sometimes libraries are treated more as a social event than a studious event, so having headphones is helpful to show you’re in serious study mode. I bought a good pair of headphones last fall, and I wear them almost daily! You can also have a speaker for when you and your roommate want to have dance parties during study breaks, or just play music while hanging out.

Photos of Friends and Family

Probably the easiest way to bring home to college is putting up photos of your friends and family. My first year of college, I put up a photo collage next to my bed so I had the people who meant most to me near me at all times. Even though homesickness usually wears off fairly fast, you’ll have hard days, and it’s nice to be able to see photos of your people!

Coffee Maker (Believe Me)

Even if you don’t drink coffee, having a Keurig is awesome because you can make tea or hot chocolate, and no hot plate is necessary so the machine is not forbidden in the dorm. Coffee machines are a must. Almost everyone I know has a Keurig in their room, even if they don’t use it everyday. Something about a warm beverage make you feel at home!

Command Strips

Command strips are a must because you’re not allowed to nail things into the wall, and the awesome strips help you decorate your space without making marks on your wall. Command strips are great because they allow you to really customize your space. When you think about how many people came before you in the room, and how many different looks your room’s had, it’s really kind of cool. The space can be so versatile and customized depending on who lives there. Make the room yours!

Laundry Bin

Don’t allow your room to be covered in clothing. Keep your dirty clothes out of the way, and leave more room for activities (name that movie?). Laundry bins are life savers because they allow you to keep clutter out of the way. Dorm rooms are tiny to begin with, so make sure you’re keeping dirty clothes off the floor.

Custom Headboard

A headboard can change the entire appearance of a dorm room. For some reason, a headboard makes a space feel more home-y. My brother-in-law-to-be made me a headboard for my room this year, and I’m so excited to have it, finally! I wanted to have one last year, but never got around to buying one or making one.

Fun Throw Pillows

Throw pillows may seem frivolous, but having a few extra pillows make your bed feel more comfy, and offer good support for when your bed is acting as a couch on hangout night. Pillows can add personality, function, and comfort. Parachute has super comfortable pillow shams, so I would recommend picking one of those up to add to your pillow display.

Cashmere Throw

Having a good throw blanket is a must. Whether you’re heading to the football or rugby game, cuddling up with Netflix, or spending too many hours in the library, you need a good blanket. A super soft and durable throw is something that you will be packing every single year for all four years. Parachute has neutral throws that I think are versatile, and will work well with the bedding you choose, and will endure. The stripe throw is pictured above, and I’m obsessed!

Parachute Duvet Cover

I always choose duvet covers for my bedding because their typically my favorite style of bedding. However, I always get annoyed because my filler ends up bunched into one side of the cover. The Parachute design, which has ties in all four corners, prevents this annoyance, and keeps your duvet looking plush and perfect all year.

Fun & Funky Desk Lamp

Whether by your bed or on your desk, you need to have an amazing lamp in your room. The fluorescent lights in dorm rooms can be harsh and annoying, so having a great lamp will add softer light, and gives you the option of having less light in the evenings. Lamp light more closely resembles lights in a home, so getting away from fluorescent light at times will resemble a more home-style atmosphere.

Bedside or Desk-side Storage

Organization of your room is a major component in making your space feel like a cozy environment. I typically use under bed or bedside storage to keep clutter and personal items. Storage is something I always incorporate into my dorm room, and it’s something important to consider. I usually mirror my organization style in my house to my organization in my dorm room, which also helps me feel close to home even when I’m not!

What are your dorm room essentials?


Callie leigh

Printstagram 101

Hello, World.

Life has gotten the best of me lately, and I have hardly had time to stop and breathe and relax. However, this weekend I made time for relaxing because it was my mom’s birthday, so she and my dad came to visit. I spent a few days with them, got off campus, went shopping, and ate delicious food. The weekend was phenomenal, and I’m glad I had a few minutes of me time. When I got back to my residence hall after spending time with my parents, I really wasn’t in the mood to do homework, so I ended up decorating my walls. Being an RA this year, I ended up decorating the whole hall before I really took time to decorate the walls in my room. I ordered some posters and personal photos to hang, and I love the way my wall turned out. I wanted to share an awesome company with you that I used to print my photos! Since I’m a bit of Instagram junkie, I mainly wanted to print my Instagram photos, but I wasn’t sure where to go for square photos. One day while browsing different websites and inputing different searches, I came across Printstagram. That’s right, a site fully dedicated to bringing your Instagram photos to life. I was a little hesitant to order right away because I didn’t know if I wanted to spend the money, but ultimately I decided they really offered what I definitely wanted.

So how does it work? Well, you access Printstagram, and then a series of options will pop up (squares, photo strips, photo books, etc.) I chose ‘square prints’ because I planned to hang photos on the wall, and this seemed the most logical option. They have a ton of options within each major category, but I chose the simple 4×4 squares. The site simply accesses your Instagram account, and then you go through and manually select which photos you want printed, and you can specify how many of each you want. This makes the process quick, easy, and relatively painless. Once you finish selecting, you proceed to checkout where you enter all your billing and shipping information. Then you submit the order, and voila, your prints will be headed your way shortly. The one thing that I didn’t realize about the prints is that they do not have a glossy finish, but are matte. I ended up liking this better, but it’s something to be aware of. Anyway, when my photos came I was super excited, and eager to put them on my wall.
IMG_4209I loved all the photos I printed, and was really pleased with the size! Once I figured out where I wanted all my photos to go in conjunction with my posters, I started hanging photos.
IMG_4218I’m so pleased with the simple, yet creative wall. I love the posters I picked, even though some are smaller than I anticipated. I’m planning to do a blog post in the coming days revealing my entire dorm room. I know it’s super delayed, but alas, I’ve been so busy, and I haven’t had time to dedicate the time I want to dedicate to this blog and the posts that appear here. Anyway, I love Printstagram! It’s a great site if you need square images printed, and they had a really fast turn around rate. I ordered them about a week before they showed up in my mailbox. Enjoy your night!

Callie leigh

Dorm Decor

Hello, World.

The Fourth of July is coming up in a few days, and all I can really think about is the extreme heat. Luckily I’m going to my parent’s cabin today, where it will be many degrees cooler than the 112 degrees on the menu today. Every time I walk outside I feel like I’m melting, and I’m really not a heat person, so I’m very excited to leave before Hell envelops the town. I also plan on drinking entirely too much iced tea, relaxing on the beach, and making my way through my reading list, which I’ve had trouble with lately. Since I started an “adventures to go on” book, and a scrapbook of my first year at Saint Mary’s, I haven’t felt like reading very much. Now, this is a really odd thing for me, since I am usually always in the reading mood. But I think one issue is that I’ve been trying to read East of Eden by Steinbeck, and I really like the storyline, but it’s a slow read. I usually read before bed, from about 11pm or so until 2 or 3am, but with this novel, I read 50 pages, and finally get to a part where things pick up, but by then I’m tired and pretty much out of the reading mood. So, while I’m at the cabin I’m going to take a small hiatus from the Salinas Valley, and move into 1920s France and Spain with The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway, and once that is complete, it’s onto either Jane Eyre or Quiet by Susan Cain (a book on introverts! that was recommended by Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky).

But still, besides all the other projects I’ve been working on, I’ve also been thinking about decorating my dorm room for next year. I’m living with my best friend at Saint Mary’s, and have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time in our room watching Gilmore Girls, studying, and just hanging out with her and Mitchell. I get a little bored with things (décor things) easily, so I’m planning to spruce up my dorm décor this fall. Last year I had what I consider a really traditional dorm room, with a very college-y feel. This year, however, I want to make it more home-y, and a little more grown up. Our dorm has a kitchen so I am hopefully going to get some kitchenware in addition to other typical dorm items. I’ve compiled a collage of what I want in my room (and I’ve already purchased the duvet cover from Pottery Barn and the Rug from!


The monogrammed mugs are from Anthropologie, as are the aqua bowls and wooden picture frame. The Polaroid heart is an idea from Pinterest, and I’m hoping to re-create the idea with prints of my Instagram photos.

Anyway, I have some last minute packing to do before I head out of town!


Callie Leigh