Friday, January 21, 2011

Flashback Friday*: Freshman Dorm

I have always been interested in the way my space looked. I remember making floorplans and elevations to turn my childhood bedroom into a studio apartment when I was,like, eleven. I've also always had a distinct point of view. Whether or not it was in fashion, I always had a vision, and I always did what I could to execute it well.

I'm not altogether sure this is wise, but I've been digging up photographs of some of my early decorating decisions, and I thought I would share them here. Gulp.

First up: Vassar College, 1993.

The Vision: French Country, via Florida. (very often my vision is one thing with a dash of Florida thrown in, for better or for worse.)

The Elements: Sunflower bed-in-a-bag, white wicker shelving, Matisse posters, classic ceramic lamp, and--ummmm--a display of wide-brimmed hats on the wall.

The Huh? Factor: I've never been a stuffed animal person. I'm not exactly sure where that fox came from, or why I felt that freshman year in college was the time to drag it out.

The Analysis: I had recently spent a year in Switzerland. I had a thing for Laura Ashley cocktail-length dresses. I have written here about the concept of choosing an identity to project upon arriving at college, and looking back, I truly wonder what I was thinking. But I will give it this: it is polished, considered, and, well, coordinated, in a phase where most kids were pinning tapestries to the wall and calling it a day.

What Remains: I still love stylized flowers, particularly combined with stripes. My wicker love has evolved to a love of the more "refined" woven woods: rattan, bamboo, and caning. I continue to love yellow. That's actually a lot to take form this, and it just goes to show that our style evolves, but it doesn't completely change.

I'd love to hear about your decorating faux pas or finest moments.

* The idea for "Flashback Friday" come from my friend Rebecca over at On Being Blythe. We did a post-a-day challenge last February and this was her invention to wrap up each week.


  1. Oh, Heather! This is brilliant. I will totally play along and dig through my dorm photos to jog my memory. Off the top of my head I know I was all about masculine plaids juxtaposed against, what else?...stylized flowers. (I still gravitate toward linear/graphic patterns just as you seem consistent with your "stylized flowers" across the ages. I may have blocked out a stuffed animal or two, I'll investigate and report back. There was definitely a Matisse poster on the wall in my dorm as well - can't remember which one though... I'm loving your new blog. Nice work!

  2. My dorm room was taken over by a loft I insisted my father build, which I My bedding was also something I thought looked cool and/or sophisticated - it was a maroon and pine green graphic.

    The best part? Under the loft I had a... wait for it... PAPASAN CHAIR. I know, you're jealous. I was pretty hip.

  3. Renee, I would have killed for a papasan chair back then, in keeping with my love of rattan, etc. As for loft beds, there's one coming up in a future "flashback friday" (not mine, but one I loved.) My problem with the loft bed has always been simple: you can't really see the bedding, and you lose the "focal point" of the room!

    Rebecca, I love that, as with so many things, our dorm rooms seemed to have much in common, even if played out differently.

    Thanks for reading!


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