Back To School: Dorm Chic

So, it’s back to school time and the other day I was reminiscing with some friends about college dorm rooms and roommates. Let’s just say – dorm chic was not in most vocabularies when I went to college in the coughcough80’scoughcough.

Linda Merrill dorm room dorm chic

This is me in my freshman dorm, probably the first week of school. My room was technically a double, but three of us were shoehorned in, with one shared sink and two closets and the standard floor bathroom down the hall. My Mom bought me a bedding set which had a reversible floral comforter, dark green on one side, light green on the other (as you can see). I think there were matching sheets as well. That was pretty much the extent of what my parents were interested in providing for my dorm decor. By the way, that red thing in the window was a tape recorder. I also recall that it was beastly hot that fall and when the dorm heat kicked in, it was beastly hot all winter – so hot that some of my vinyl records were warped because they were too close to the radiator. I was a music major and had some really good records. Anyway…

I should have known that my eye for design was kicking in because I loved that comforter and how the pale side matched the blue walls in the room above. A couple of years later I moved into a single room in another dorm and was thrilled when I saw that some previous occupant had painted the walls a lively goldenrod yellow which perfectly matched some of the flowers on the dark green side of the bedding.

This is very similar to my dorm chic (hah!) comforter.

Goldenrod yellow

I have to say, I just loved the color combination. I had that comforter set all through college and into my first couple of apartments, until I finally upgraded out of a twin size bed.

These days, many dorms are chic affairs with 1st class accommodations, coffee bars and big screen tv’s.  I always love seeing how young people (and oftentimes their parent’s) kit out their new rooms. It helps if you have a roommate who is in synch not only in taste and style preferences but also in the concept in and of itself. No everyone cares (hard to imagine, I know!). Initially, my Mom suggested I call my roommates to see if they wanted to coordinate our bedding, but no one was ever interested.

In doing a little research on stylish dorm rooms, it’s clear that Lindy Goodson, a student at Mississippi University (aka Ole Miss) is a leading star of dorm chic design. She’s been featured with viral coverage not once but twice for her dorm room decor.

Lindy Goodson and Abby Bozeman Ole Miss Dorm Room Chic
Lindy Goodson and Abby Bozeman Ole Miss Dorm Room in 2016

“Most of the decorations were found at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, Target, Home Depot, antique stores, and things we found at our own homes,” Goodson, originally from Illinois, told ABC News of their gorgeous digs. “The lamps were on clearance from Hobby Lobby, the stools were plain from Home Goods and I just added some blue velvet ribbons to jazz them up. My roommate Abby found the dresser at an antique store and it was dark wood with a missing drawer and she had it repainted and added crystal knobs from Home Depot. The curtain on the dresser is made of a hand towel I found on TJ Maxx’s clearance aisle. The pillows, headboards, and extra-long bed skirts were made by a fabric store in Abby’s hometown.” via

And recently, here is Lindy in her new room.  She has re-used her tufted headboards and probably other items as well. The window treatments are kind of insane (in a good way) for a dorm room. Professional photography and possibly corporate sponsorships seem to have kicked in. Good for her!

Lindy Goodson Ole Miss dorm chic
Lindy Goodson at Ole Miss via

In another college dorm, Meredith Welborn and Sarah Hooton at SMU have also put together a lovely, stylish dorm. In particular, I like the funky lamps which keeps the style from being a little too twee. They also put together a handy coffee bar, complete with Keurig and tea pot.

Meredith Welborn and Sarah Hooton SMU photo by Kelsey Sweeney dorm chic
Meredith Welborn and Sarah Hooton display dorm chic at SMU,  photo by Kelsey Sweeney (link has more photos)  via  and here

Meredith Welborn and Sarah Hooton dorm chic


And, not to be outdone by the ladies, Dean M-Z who attended George Washington University, posted his former chic space three years ago. I think we have a budding Miles Redd in Dean.

Dean M Z The Deans List Dorm Chic
Dean M Z of  The Deans List 

Did you decorate your dorm room (or your kids) to the hilt? I’d love to hear all about it!

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