For all you first time parents whose children are soon to be going off to college in a few weeks, first yikes can you believe it!?!, and second there is one aspect of starting college that is rough from moment one…walking into that dorm room which looks like something out of a movie about some awful asylum in the 1940’s.  Not all, but it seems most dorms come with this unpleasant surprise, especially the ones in the older, usually prettier buildings architecturally on campus with interiors that look as though they haven’t been updated since being built.  You seasoned parents know of what I speak; the antiseptic, mint-colored walls, drab linoleum floors, and the mattresses, ugh those are the worst!  I remember I walked in to my first dorm room after driving halfway across the country and was stopped cold by, quite frankly, the sterility.  They get you because on all the college tours you are shown the new dorms with the dorm room perfectly decorated with all the school bookstore swag available.  So, when you get to school, you are still picturing that cuteness.  Oh no, no my friend.

Fast forward a few years (or decades, but who’s counting!) and again after driving halfway across the country in the other direction I had the pleasure of seeing the same look on my daughter’s face as she walked into her freshman dorm room, then her sophomore dorm, and just a couple weeks ago the room in her, I believe the hip term now is “vintage” apartment.    In a few weeks it will be my son’s turn, though knowing him and the condition of his room, it won’t be quite as much of a shock.  Still, it certainly won’t be that warm place you’d like to picture them being.

So begins the fun of making such a cold space happy, comfy, and warm.  For me, as you can imagine owning a jewelry design business thus designing jewelry for a living, I LOVE creating things and creating spaces.  I just love design.  Anyone in my family would be quick to tell you I also have an embarrassingly severe decorative pillow addiction (something I will painfully have to keep in check whilst doing my son’s room for sure!), which I certainly equate to creating a warm, happy, comfy space.  Regardless of your affinity for pillows, we will struggle to add some life to these rooms that will be our child’s home for the next 9 months or so.

That’s where the cool idea I saw today comes in.  In pretty much every college dorm, apartment, rental unit of any kind, a big rule is no nails in the wall.  This is frustrating because one of the best ways to add color and life to a space is decorating the walls.  Enter removable peel and stick wallpaper!!  I mean what a great idea that I never thought of.  Everyone reading this may have, but I hadn’t and LOVE it.  How fun to cover a wall with some fun wallpaper that just makes you smile every time you look at it.  Why it’s like “jewelry” for your walls!!  The ad I saw was using a wallpaper with hilarious looking monkeys on it, and let’s be honest, does it get any better than that for smiling purposes?

So, college students think about it, such a fun idea.  And if you leave for your day of orientation after which you are feeling thoroughly prepared for college life and you walk into your dorm to your walls covered in monkey wallpaper…your welcome!  And great job mom and dad, they will LOVE it!!  Or you can always go the 3000-pillow approach like I did in the daughter’s room!