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I was absent last week because I was tied-up with my last first day of school ever. I’m also happy to announce that I’m finally done unpacking! The move-in process was way more tiring than I remembered. Then again, this is the first time I packed, drove, unloaded and unpacked all by myself; I usually have my parents or a friend with me to help, but I inherited a car over the summer so this time I made the long drive solo.

I live in the same residence hall I’ve stayed in for the last two years – a furnished apartment building on the far side of campus.  I share the space with one roommate and I have my own room; after spending the first two years of my college career crammed in a traditional-style dorm, I needed some more personal space.

My apartment is an older building, so it’s not the most glamorous of spaces:

jessica's dorm before

The first time I ever stepped into this apartment, I knew it would need work. I’ve found that the more comfortable I am in my living arrangement, the easier I find it to study and lead a healthier lifestyle. It also doesn’t hurt that I often get compliments on how homey my apartment feels!

Jessica's dorm after

Surprisingly, it was a lot easier to spruce up my bedroom and study area than I thought it would be. Once I laid down the rug and moved my bed against the wall the entire room felt different instantly.

Jessica's dorm after 2

Decorating the walls was a must. There aren’t many windows to flood the space with light, so the dark, empty walls drive me crazy. The majority of my wall decor has actually been free for the most part:  posters snagged from random events, handwritten notes and mementos, drawings from friends (the large one over the radio is a charcoal live-sketch given to me by my former roommate) and photographs – most of which I take on my own.

My small kitchen and living room over the years has always been a little trickier, as the tiny kitchen lacks usable wall-space and my living room decorations have typically been provided by my roommate. This year’s no different – my new and lovely roommate Julianne was inspired by this year’s Olympics and outfitted our living room with some neat London-themed pieces. Now if only we could switch out that awful green couch and chair:

barbara chandler photo print ercol london couch

The Love London couch is a custom ercol studio couch that features prints from journalist and photographer Barbara Chandler.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

So what do you think? I’ll be back with more tips and ideas for making a dorm feel more like home next week!

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Design Inspiration

5 Responses

  1. SMJ says:

    You made your space look completely different. Job well done!!

  2. Gina says:

    Your cozy study area makes me want to study.

  3. Sandra Cummings says:

    You've created very inviting areas.

  4. [...] Dorm Daze: Move-In Day Makeover Before and After [...]

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Jessica YonkerJessica Yonker is a writer for HGTV.com and a professional glitter handler in training. She loves decorating her friends' homes without their permission and practicing for her inevitable appearance on...

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