About a year ago, Abby Bozeman and Lindy Goodson took the internet by storm with their incredibly adorable and perfect dorm room! After posting to social media a before and after photo of their dorm room at Ole Miss, the two found their room labeled as #DormRoomGoals, and were quickly featured in articles for media outlets such as Buzzfeed, Southern Living, Today, Cosmopolitan, and more!
I recently reached out to the two to ask them a few questions about the challenges they faced turning a drab college dorm room into the perfect home away from home and advice they would give to incoming freshmen as they shop and decorate their dorms. Here is what Lindy had to say...
What was your first reaction when you saw your dorm room for the first time (before decorating)? I was nervous!! Not only due to the fact that I was going to be sharing such a small room with someone that was -- at this time -- a stranger, but my family was going to soon leave me in it all alone. Knowing that after we finished the room my family would leave me 6 hours away from home was scary, but setting it up all cozy made it so much easier.
What was the biggest challenge of turning your dorm into a home away from home? Space, I'd say. We had to figure out just how to get the most out of what little room we had, so this involved lifting our beds and sneaking storage into wherever we could.
What is your favorite part of your room? My favorite part was the paintings above our beds! Abby and I found them at a Flea Market and thought they were so funny. After we laughed at the llama and ostrich, we both realized we seriously wanted to get the paintings of the weird creatures. This is the moment that I realized Abby and I were going to get along well!!
Dorm shopping can be expensive, but if you invest in the right items, you can use them for years to come! What would you say is the best investment for a dorm room? Hmmmmm...I'd say lamps, bedding, and curtains! I am reusing all of our lamps in my house next year as well as my room at home. Since they are full-blown normal full sized lamps they don't look out of place in a home. Bedding can be reused throughout the years as well, my twin XL sheets will travel with me to my sorority house when I live there as well as my comforter is used at home still at the end of my bed! Its a twin so it's more just for looks than keeping warm at home currently, but it'll definitely serve its purpose in the future. Lastly, I just bought two sets of nice, lined white drapes for my future bedroom and was thinking about how nice of an investment that would've been for our dorm! Of course one-day post-dorm you'll probably need more than one set of drapes, but if you buy two (one for window and one panel each for closets) in a neutral color they can definitely be reused!
Lamp picks by Tennyson Studio
Dorm rooms are known for being tiny. What would you say is the best space saving tip? Lifting our beds and taking advantage of the ceiling height!! We each had the chest of drawers that came with our dorm and our own set of plastic drawers under our beds! I kept comfy clothes for class, ALL my shoes, PJs, and jeans under there! Also, on top of our hutches on our deskes, we had pretty boxes that we kept things like light bulbs and band-aids in, aka things that we didn't need often seeing as we had to scale the wall to get to it, ha!
Where are your favorite places to shop for your dorm? TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, Goodwill!!! I seriously only ever buy things from these places! I love to get inspiration from other more high-end stores and take that knowledge and apply it on a budget. Lamps, throw blankets, any wall decor, ottomans, were all from these places!
Tennyson Studio Tip: Pay attention to Hobby Lobby's special offers and sales that vary week to week. Also, take advantage of their 40% off coupon on their website and on their app!
Why did you want to go all out to decorate your dorm? In some dorms at Ole Miss, girls decorate all out -- some even hire interior decor professionals! I think that's awesome and anyone should be able to make their living space comfortable and to whatever degree of coordinated or uncoordinated they desire. We knew we were going to decorate our dorm so when we first started talking the question was mostly "what colors?" Little did we know we were both super thrifty and had very similar styles!
What was the inspiration for your dorm room? My room at home is light blue and has the painting that hung above our futon. When we were deciding colors, we knew we wanted it to be calm and relaxed with not too much going on. I love the painting in my room (from Target!) and we decided to run with that as our inspiration!
Advice for dorm room shopping? Be persistent! Don't settle until you find what you want -- the right quality, the right price. It is all out there! I struggle with this still, but my mom always helps me hold back until we find the best deal, haha! Also, its YOUR room and if you love it then its perfect!! Personal touches help make the room feel special, so if you are a llama/ostrich painting type of gal don't be afraid to embrace it!!
Advice for move in day? If you're going to school in the south -- its going to be HOT. If you're going to school somewhere else, I'm almost positive its still going to be HOT. Stay hydrated, and try to stay calm! I was so nervous about my family leaving and me actually being stuck there (I don't know what I thought was going to happen when I went away to school...). I had always wanted to go away and I just kept reminding myself how lucky I was to have this chance! So enjoy the time decorating and moving into your room with your family if they're there to help you. If not, use that time to talk to your new roommate and get to know each other! You may make a best friend (I did!!). Lastly, post a tweet of your dorm before and after! I want to see everyone's room this year, and you never know you may go viral!!
Did you ever think your dorm room would get as much feedback as it did? Not at all! I posted it to show my friends at home, mostly to show them what my endless hours on the TJ Maxx clearance aisle led to. It was getting so much attention and I was already so nervous about my parents leaving that I just pretended it didn't exist and would go away. I remember eating fried chicken with my family the night after move-in and feeling SO sick to my stomach. After dinner, I told Abby that twitter was "blowing up" over my tweet and that I thought I should delete it. She encouraged me to keep the tweet up and I am forever thankful to her! We have had so much fun with this!! The MINUTE my parents said goodbye and drove away I called them to tell them about all the attention, and that took all of our minds off of the aforementioned sadness!
Any other fun facts, tips, and tidbits? Have fun!!! Decorating our room was a blast and we took pride in having our room feel like home. That doesn't mean you can't live though-- our room definitely got messy at times! Have fun, study hard, and lift your bed for extra storage ;)
Photos and answers provided by Lindy Goodson.