My Apartment in College

I finally got around to transferring my old photos from my old laptop to my current one the other day (it only took me two years) and I ran across a series of photos I took of the apartment I lived in my senior year of college. And I was kind of impressed by the decorating! It was a “duplex” that I shared with a dear friend of mine; it had two bedrooms on the bottom floor, and a living/dining/kitchen area on the second. We were living off campus, “downtown” as we called it, finally out of the dorms, right by a bar. Needless to say, it was one memorable year.

We didn’t purchase one piece of furniture for the place, everything there was inherited, including the metal dining table above and random assortment of chairs. But with the addition of a white linen table cloth, sheer blinds, and some white flowers, it kind of had some shabby-chic charm.

This was a folding, plastic table meant for camping trips. We used it as our side table, covered it with a linen table cloth and accessorized with a “major” turquoise lamp from Crate and Barrel, acrylic frame from Wal-Mart with a nude drawing in it, babies breath and roses.

An ugly-but-sort-of-cute chair, also inherited, was spruced up with a floral pillow and white side-table. I think I was really trying my hand at domesticity, hence the knitting project on the table, which I’m sure I never finished.

Towards the end of the bar that jutted out from the kitchen was this little table-scape/montage of original drawings, framed postcards and art books.

The white hyacinths coupled with the babies breath and glass candlesticks and lantern give a lightness to the table setting.

In my tiny bedroom, I used a pastel colored abstract painting my dad gave me to act as a sort of headboard. The shabby-chic, floral theme continues with the scarf-turned-curtain and table lamp.

This was my ultra-girly corner. The white mirror anchored the white framed art nicely, with my favorite purses and heels on display.

I’m not sure I actually ever did any homework at this desk, but rather used it to store/display all my stuff. As a studio art major, I was really into having my favorite works of art visible as inspiration, hence the mix of postcards and photographs thumb-tacked to the wall.

What I learned from outfitting this space:

  • Accessories and flowers make all the difference. You can have ugly furniture and it will fade into the background if you get some good looking wares to go on top.
  • When decorating a bedroom, look to your wardrobe. Those cute purses, shoes, dresses, scarves, etc. are perfect for sprucing up a space. And you get to admire them, especially the more impractical items you don’t use all the time.
  • Tablecloths make all the difference. Invest in nice linen or cotton ones for a more casual aesthetic.
  • The mismatched chair look holds up! The key being that none of the chairs match, and they are all equally shabby.

About Cate

Cate is a former decorating editor of a shelter magazine based in Manhattan, who has recently moved from the Big Apple to Charlottesville with husband and baby. An interior design enthusiast, she enjoys all things aesthetic.
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One Response to My Apartment in College

  1. Stephanie says:

    This is awesome! You did a great job with it 🙂 Fun to see your space back then.

    I wish I could find all of the photos of my apartment in college! I lived off-campus with two friends for three years in a row house built in 1901. It was amazing. I painted the kitchen walls hot pink and then painted a mural of giant lemons and limes—it was wild. We had a totally 80’s sofa and two amazing blue velvet chairs from someone’s family. I’ll try to dig some up!

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