Dorm Rooms Inspired by My Favorite TV Characters

Hello, World.

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!

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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!

Pillows: Kitty | Fringe | Moon | Namastay in Bed | Pattern | Velvet

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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.

Pillows: Bow | & Symbol | Grecian Print | Rise & Shine | Whales | Shag

I personally believe I am a mixture of Aria and Spencer in how I decorate! screen-shot-2017-08-08-at-1-50-57-pm.png

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?


Callie leigh


Dorm Inspiration: Desk Essentials

Hello, World.

Want to know a secret? I’m completely crazy when it comes to school supplies. Honestly, buying school supplies is a huge ordeal. Every year I make a big huge list of all the school supplies I need, then my dad and I go to Office Depot and I buy them. I’m super particular about which planner I use, which pens I will buy, which highlighter colors I want, and which notebooks I like. I usually have this huge internal debate about whether I want to use notebooks or legal pads, and always wind up doing the opposite of what I did the semester before. I know, I know, completely trivial issues to most people, but I just love school supplies. If my school supplies are perfect, I feel so much more motivated to get to work on the first day of class. So, in honor of my rather ridiculous obsession with school supplies, I wanted to make the next installment of dorm inspiration about them!

School Supplies for the college girl
First things first: your dorm room is going to be small. You’re going to be sharing a room with one or two people, unless you opt for a single, which means you need to have pristine organization skills. Each little section of your space counts, so make sure it’s super comfortable and home-y. My desk is my haven when I’m school. I always try to keep it  organized, and I always try to make sure that it’s a bright and cheerful space because studying can be… well, quite the opposite, and if you’re study space is happy, you’ll automatically feel happier while studying. So what are my desk space essentials?

A smartphone wristlet | A smartphone wristlet is pretty much essential in college because it keeps your student ID, credit cards, cash, and phone all in on place. AND it goes on your wrist. How can you not love that? It’s one of the best ways to organize your must-haves. In this wristlet should also be your insurance card. Make sure you have one handy for trips to the health center on campus (the flu always makes its rounds during finals), as well as any other things that may arise.

A great, large planner | I cannot stress enough the importance of writing it ALL down in college. Juggling 4-5 classes, extracurriculars, social events, ect. can get a bit hectic, even more so than in high school. I always tell people that if I don’t write it down it won’t happen. I have to write all my assignments down or I forget about them. Same goes for events and meetings. I would recommend getting your school calendar from the website, and inputting all the info into your planner. Write in registration dates, deadlines for FASFA, etc., so that way you can see it approaching, and be prepared.

A sturdy phone case | A cute, but hefty phone case will keep you happier, but also last through all the times your bound to drop your phone.

Pencil Pouch | Pencil pouches may seem overrated, but they’re a great place to store pens and pencils in your tote while ensuring that no ink or lead get on your stuff!

Pencils | Get bright pencils, if you’re taking math you’ll definitely need good pencils. I never really use pencils, but when I got to my stats class freshmen year, and only had pens, I made a trip to CVS the minute I got out of there.

Nice Pens | So, I used to just buy any old pens. I would go to a store and buy the bundle of Papermate pens, and think I had it made. Then one day I had lost all but one of my pens, so I just grabbed the next thing of pens I saw while at the store. Well, those pens were the B2P gel roller pens, and they changed my writing habits forever. Seriously, SO much smoother and my handwriting is way neater when I use them.

Highlighters | Don’t highlight everything, but create a system of highlighting that works really well for you. I use highlighters to color code my planner, and highlight exam information in my notes once I get the study guides.

Alarm Clock | You may be wondering why I didn’t put this in the bedside dorm essentials post, but I have a reason! When you put your alarm clock on your desk, unless your desk is right next to your bed, you will be forced to get out of bed to shut it off, which makes you more likely to get moving before the five minute mark for class.

Picture of your family | Having your family near you even when they aren’t is super important for avoiding homesickness as well as staying sane when you’re stressed. I always keep a photo of my family and I at my high school graduation on my desk because it reminds me why I’m working so hard and where I want to go.

1-2 Binder(s) for classes | I usually use two binders, one for my MWF schedule, and one for my TTH schedule. This keeps all my tests, assignments, and handouts in a consolidated place so they don’t get eaten by my notebooks.

Chewing Gum | I always keep a pack by my desk. Great for studying or finals jitters.

Laptop and Case | A sleeve laptop case fits super well in a tote, and keeps you computer safe! I would recommend something simple so that it can last all four years.

Hand Sanitizer | College germs! Keep your hands sanitized to avoid all the sickness, grime, and everything else.

Fun Notebooks (One for each class or a single five-subject) | Notebooks are great for college. They keep all your notes in one place, and ensure you won’t lose any! I always have a notebook per class because I like to keep all the class materials separate.

Energy Bar |  Keep an energy bar on your desk at all times to have as a quick snack while you’re studying or if the dining hall is between meals!

Index Cards | A rather large stack of index cards should always be in your desk area. I make TONS of cards throughout a semester. They’re great study tools.

Memory Stick Bracelet | For trips to the library to print something before class, this bracelet is awesome because you don’t have to spend five minutes digging around your tote or backpack for it. Trust me, right before class is always crazy in the library so you want to save time and jump on a computer right away. Also, taking less time on the computer by being prepared is courteous to your fellow students.

Tote | I love Longchamp totes, Kate Spade totes, and Tory Burch totes. Make sure you have a sturdy, large tote that can fit all your stuff. You may prefer a backpack, which is totally fine too! Whatever bag you choose, make sure it fits your needs.

Coffee Cup | I prefer to drink my tea or coffee out of a mug when I’m in my dorm room. Coffee mugs make me feel more at home and a little more relaxed. I’m not really sure why, but they do.

Travel Mug | I also keep a travel mug on my desk so that if I’m mid coffee cup, but need to leave for class, I can just pour the coffee or tea into my travel mug and go. Travel mugs are also great for morning when you have an early class, and don’t have time to stop at the dining hall or campus cafe for coffee.

What do you have to have on your desk?

Callie leigh