Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Dorm Project: Getting Graphic

A very small fraction of my dorm. Sadly the photos that survived my mad iPhone dumps don't do my dorm justice.
     Let's be honest: If you were/are a girl going away to college, the first thing you thought about was how you were going to decorate your new space. I even went as far to design the layout of my dorm beforehand using pastel drawings! <--If you couldn't tell from the large Raiders of the Lost Arc poster in my dorm picture, I'm kind of a nerd. My dorm wasn't a masterpiece, but it was neater, cozier (not sure if that's a word, but we'll pretend it is) and more homey than most.
    Although my dorm life has come to an end, I'm still thrilled to take on another design project! Wait for it... Furnishing my new apartment that I will be sharing with my old roommate, Molly! Since I'm in the process of decorating a new space, I plan to make a regular series of posts on this blog called The Dorm Project.

    Since the main items that people use to decorate their new spaces are, you guessed it, pictures, I thought it would only be logical to cover that first.

As ubiquitous as graphics/photos are, some can be very pricey!
Places with OVER PRICED graphics include:
1. IKEA. Everything in that store is well priced except for their photos.
2. Typo. $50 for a poster of the New York City skyline!? I think not.
3. Target. The same problem I have at Typo is the same problem I have a Target.

        A cheap, and often better, alternative to buying photos the traditional way is printing large photos off of Google at places like OfficeMax. You may say tacky! But I say a bargain! You can print out four 8.5 x 11" photos on glossy paper for less than $3! If these sizes seem too small, try printing out multiple in different sizes and make a collage on your wall :)

A framed 1920s Vogue magazine cover I bought at an antique fair.

   We all know that vintage is in. So what better place to look than at antique fairs!? Although some paintings/photos can come off as pricey, more often than not you can talk the seller down. The magazine cover in the picture above was originally priced at $30 dollars! Yet, I still managed to talk the seller down to $7 :)

      Speaking of magazine covers... SAVE 'EM! For my study corner in our living room I adhered a few limited edition Time magazine covers (one had Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding kiss on the cover :P) to the wall. Not only did these make me feel more studious, but they gave the corner a more modern look.

      Depending on where you're living, you might not be allowed to put holes in your walls. To avoid this, last year I used double sided adhesive (BEWARE! This might peel off the wall paint!) Unfortunately, an adhesive that wouldn't damage the walls wasn't strong enough to hold a picture frame... so my photos had to go with out :( However, if you are able to use picture frames, that's wonderful!
Great places for picture frames include:
1. IKEA. What!? Expensive photos but cheap frames?
2. Ross.
3. Antique stores. Can never go wrong with these!
    Never worry about the color of your frame when you're buying. Depending on the material, you can always paint over it to give it a cleaner or more worn look.
    For tacking up smaller pictures (of my friends and ticket stubs) I used large pin boards that I propped up on my desk.

    Although I can ramble on about this post, I will spare you and just leave this post to the basics :) I hope that this post proved, somewhat, helpful!

     I'm curious, what photos have/are you decorating your space with?
From Milan,
With Love.


  1. Replies
    1. Haha thank you! You're post on thrifting sparked the idea behind this post!

    2. Oh, yay! That's so sweet! And, in response to your comment on my last post: I love having such a long break! And agreed: turning boring things into things you love is so nice. :)

  2. great post! I'm going to be a senior in college, this is great advice! xx

    Rachel @

    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad to that you liked this post! And congrats on making it to your senior year :) I'm a sophomore now and I'm hoping that I only have two more years left haha


  3. Really enjoyed reading this post. I'm going to be living on campus again this fall and I'm sure I'll want to decorate my space somehow. I can't believe how expensive some of these prints are. Your ideas are really helpful. I should start buying some Kate/Will magazine covers! I love them!

    P.S. I totally think I have the same top you're wearing - Forever 21, yes?!

    P.P.S. So nice to see a fellow California blogger! I'm from the Central coast :)

    1. Ah, those words mean so much to me! Thank you for reading my post! I'm glad you liked it :)

      The top is from H&M, but if our tops are similar then you must have good taste!

      Much love!

  4. great tips! i especially like your idea of printing at office max. i don't know where she did it, but my blogging pal shelby printed a pdf of a font design as a 3'x4' engineering print for under $8! so there is that option too!