How to Make Your College Living Space Look More Pulled Together

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

One of my favorite parts about college is designing my living space each year. I moved each year of college and think it is so fun to take a blank canvas and transform it into a gorgeous space for you to spend your time in. Of course, I am a bit extra and take pride in how my room looks so I always try to make it look super cute and put-together each year so I decided to share with y'all how to create your own space that looks more pulled together in today's post!

Decide on a color scheme

The key to having a space the looks pulled together? A color scheme. It doesn't have to be super crazy but picking a few key colors and working from there helps to make a cohesive space.  For my sophomore dorm, for instance, my roommate had mostly navy and white stuff while mine was a lighter blue and light. Neither of us bought new bedding but since the other accents in the room tied those colors together, it worked really well and looked cohesive. This past year in our living room, we chose pinks and oranges for a fun, girly vibe.

Use neutrals as your base and then add it pops of color

I think this is a practical way to help avoid the space being too overwhelming with color (and coming from someone who loves color haha!). For any of your basics like a futon or furniture, chose neutrals like white and then build in your color. For instance, every year I had a couch/futon, the couch/futon was neutral and then we added in color with pillows. I think pops of color on furniture can be really cute but personally I find neutrals work better and can be used in different spaces in the future.

Add seating that doubles as storage

I love adding extra seating to living spaces so whenever you have friends over, the only place to sit isn't the floor, your desk, or your bed. This was something I didn't do my freshman year and while it wasn't a huge deal, I knew I wanted more seating in my sophomore room. I had a futon in our room that year but also added two storage cubes in front of it that doubled as seating. This was helpful as it held all sorts of stuff (like extra water bottles and jewelry) but it also provided more seats for when we had friends over!

Add curtains

Curtains are a small detail that make the space feel more like home. They make the space look more grown up and don't necessarily have to be super expensive. In my living room this year, I used two command hooks and a tension rod to hang them, which was such an easy and inexpensive way to do it without putting holes in the wall!

My sophomore year the closet didn't have a door, so we used a curtain to hide the closet a little!

Have plenty of blankets & throw pillows

I love having friends over so having plenty of blankets and pillows is a must for cozy movie nights. Whenever we're watching a show, my friends know to help themselves to a blanket in the basket and to get comfy! This also is a great way to tie into your color scheme!

Add personal pictures

I love using picture frames to decorate. It definitely makes any space feel more like home with pictures of your favorite people and places! It fills the space and adds a personal touch plus you don't have to spend a ton of money on frames and pictures!

Light a candle (if allowed)

Candles are such a small detail that can go a long ways. Most dorms don't allow candles since they are a fire risk, but if you are living in an apartment, they can be a great way to add "something" to the space since they make the room feel cozier.

Add a rug

Another way to make the room cozier? Add a rug! Dorm floors usually aren't the prettiest (my sophomore room had tiles that were a brownish-orangish color) so a rug helps to cover them up a little and can tie the space together depending on the color that you chose! Pro tip- avoid white, it may look cute initially but not practical for the amount of people who will walk on it and it's hard to get stains out!

Tuck away the mess

When you're living in a dorm, you don't exactly have a lot of space to work with and even though apartments tend to be roomier, messes aren't exactly very inviting. Coming up with storage solutions that tuck away the mess is key. In my freshman and sophomore rooms, I used an extra-long bedskirt from Room 422 that was amazing as it added some color and pattern to the space while also hiding all the random stuff I kept under my bed! Coming up with a space for each item in your room or apartment is really helpful for keeping it clean and making the space look more pulled together.

What are your favorite decorating tips? Let me know in the comments!

Three Cute 21st Birthday Gift Ideas

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Being a rising senior in college, a lot of my friends have recently turned 21! I love celebrating my friends and it’s been so fun to come up with unique gift ideas for each of my friends for their birthdays to make them feel special. As a little disclaimer, these all do include alcohol but I am 21 so I am legal :).

The first one that I did for my roommate’s birthday is creating a “cake” featuring different types of drinks. This is super fun because you can use the person’s favorite drinks (I’ve seen this done with hard seltzers too!)

Alcohol “Cake” Materials
- Cake Circles (1 10”, 1 8”, and 6”)
- Wrapping Paper to cover the Cake Circle
- Tape
- 18 favorite Mikes/Seltzers/similar sized bottles (keep the box for the bottom part of the structure)
- 1 bottle of champagne/wine/liquor
- Tulle in desired colors

1. Tape the wrapping paper to the cake circles
2. For the bottom layer, tape 12 of the bottles down in a circle onto the 10” cake circle
3. Create a support out of the box and wrap it in wrapping paper
4. Tape the support to the bottom layer
5. Tape the next cake circle (the 8”) onto the support
6. Tape the remaining 6 bottles onto this layer
7. Place the next cake circle (the 6”) on top of the bottles. Note that we did not tape this down so that we could transport the “cake” and it would be less heavy
8. Tape the bottle of champagne/wine/liquor on top
9. Tie tulle into a bow on top of the bottle- we created a cascading effect with ours

Optional- purchase a wooden 2 and 1 at the craft store and paint in your desired color then cover in glitter. Place on the middle layer just to add a bit of *extra* to the “cake”

For another friend’s birthday, we decided to make her a super cute table. This is definitely the most time consuming project and also was a bit more expensive to pull off! We did the whole thing in one weekend which was definitely a lot so if you have more time, I would definitely recommend spreading out the work a bit! This is a great gift to give from a few friends!

Decorated Table Materials
- One 8 foot folding table (we bought ours at Walmart but I would look around to find the cheapest option)
- Electric sander (bought at Walmart for $20- a lifesaver)
- Paint primer
- Painter’s tape
- Pencil, tracing materials to trace the designs
- Desired paint colors 
- Clear polyurethane spray (to seal the table)

1. Sand the entire table
2. Cover the table in primer (make sure not to spray the crack in the middle)
3. Use painter’s tape to section off the table (make sure to have a triangle on each side for your cups)
4. Decide on your decisions and trace them onto the table (we did this by printing off the decision, tracing it onto wax paper with a pencil, and using a sharpie to transfer the design or free handing it)
5. Paint each section
6. Let dry
7. Apply another coat
8. Let dry
9. Apply polyurethane to seal the table
10. Let dry!

This next craft is the easiest but is so so cute! I took a bottle of Prosecco then spray painted it gold and covered it in gold glitter!

Glitter Champagne Bottle Materials
- One bottle of your favorite Prosecco or champagne
- Spray paint in your desired color
- Glitter in your desired color
- Painter’s tape

1. Tape off the top of the bottle and the label with painters tape. Remove the back label
2. Spray paint the bottle
3. Cover the entire bottle in glitter
4. Let dry
5. For a special touch, write a note on the bottom of the bottle!

What are your go-to gifts for celebrating friends? Let me know in the comments!

What I've Been Watching Lately: Part 2

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Earlier this year, I shared some of the shows that I've been watching on Netflix and other streaming services. With quarantine, I would definitely say I've definitely had some extra time to watch shows so I wanted to share what I have been watching lately as well as my thoughts on each show!

Schitts Creek (Netflix)- My family and I watched this during quarantine and it was so funny! It's about a wealthy family who loses everything except for their ownership of a small town named Schitts Creek, leaving them no choice but to live there! Definitely recommend!

Tiger King (Netflix)- I feel like everyone and their mother has heard of Tiger King by now but it follows a zoo owner, Joe Exotic, and an animal conservationist, Carole Baskin. Without giving too much away, each episode gets crazier and crazier and while it is kind of strange, you can't stop watching!

Outer Banks (Netflix)- Another very popular choice! But I loved watching Outer Banks! It follows a group of kids on North Carolina's Outer Banks (even though it's filmed in Charleston!). A must watch this summer!

Too Hot to Handle (Netflix)- If you are missing Love Island and the Bachelorette this summer, this is the show for you! It is pretty raunchy but is so funny and entertaining.

Instant Hotel (Netflix)- If you have a case of wanderlust this is the show for you! It's pretty similar to Four Weddings on TLC but is about 5 different Australian airbnbs (or as they call it, Instant Hotels) and their owners. They take turns staying at each property and then rate each one! Such a fun show!

Sweet Magnolias (Netflix)- A more light hearted pick that is still fun! It follows 3 women and their lives in a small town in South Carolina.

Make It or Break It (Hulu)- This is an older one that my roommate and I randomly watched but is so good! It follows four (fictional) gymnasts and their dreams to compete in the 2012 Olympics. It is definitely more geared to teens as it is full of drama but I convinced the rest of my family to watch it with me and they wound up loving it!

Welcome to Plathville (Hulu)- This is a show my siblings and I watched at the lake and while it's quirky, it's definitely entertaining. It follows the Plaths, a family with 9 children, who live in rural Georgia and raised their children with little access to technology. The oldest son marries a girl who has different views than the rest of the family, which leads to some drama!

What have you been watching lately? Let me know in the comments!

Everything You Need for Your First College Apartment

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

I am so excited to be sharing today’s post with y’all as it’s something that has been on my radar to share for quite a while- what to pack for your first college apartment. I lived on campus for my first two years of college since it’s required at Clemson for freshmen (check out my freshman dorm here) and then I lived on my sorority hall for sophomore year (check out that room tour here). I moved off-campus for the first time last August into a two bedroom house with my sophomore year roommate Rachel (check out our living area tour, my bedroom tour, and Rachel’s bedroom tour). In all honesty, it was kind of overwhelming knowing what I needed to buy (and what I didn’t) since we were pretty much starting from scratch. I made a list of items that we needed to buy on a Google Doc so we could check things off and it came in handy so I figured it would be helpful to share with y’all as well!

One thing to note is that our apartment did come furnished meaning the couch, chair, side table, tv stand, coffee table, and kitchen stools came with the house and so did my bedframe, a desk and chair (that I actually switched out for the desk and chair in my bedroom at home), and a dresser in the living room. I’ve included those things because not every apartment comes furnished or the items it includes differs.

Our house had a half bathroom downstairs, which was super nice since whenever we had friends over, they didn't have to go upstairs and into our rooms to use the bathroom. Not every apartment has a half bath but I've included it just in case!

Also, I only vaguely went over decor items in the packing list since I'm planning on sharing a post on how to make your apartment/dorm seem more homey on the blog soon so look out for that!

I hope this was helpful and can’t wait to share more college posts with y’all soon!

What I've Been up to Lately

Monday, July 13, 2020

Hey hey! Long time, no talk! It's crazy to think my last post was back in March- you think with a few months at home, I would be able to get my act together and create some content but I think giving myself some time for inspiration to strike would be beneficial for creating content that I love, not just kinda like!

Anyways, the short story is in my time ~away~ from the blog, I realized I kinda miss documenting my life here on my little corner of the internet. It's fun to look back on different times in my life (especially in My Chic Week posts!) so I want to get back into it!

It's kinda insane that in one month, I'll start my senior year of college. Not sure how the time has flown by that much but I can't wait to be back in Clemson with my favorite people and soak it all in.

Since it's been a while, let's catch up on what I've been up to since my last post!

Spring Break in Miramar Beach, Florida

Back in March (which honestly feels like a million years ago), some of my best friends and I went to the beach for Spring Break. We spent so much time out on the beach and honestly had so much fun. Miramar is fairly close to Seaside so we went there a few times (and of course bought the iconic t-shirts and sweatshirts). We went right before everything shutdown so I'm grateful for all that time with friends before we all headed home for quarantine!

Quarantine at Home

I drove home from Clemson the Thursday of Spring Break thinking I would be home for 2 weeks and as I was driving home, Clemson sent out the text that class would be online the rest of the semester. I think quarantine was hard for everyone but it was just kinda weird being home when I should have been at school. I am very grateful to have the best family to spend it with but it made me very excited to get back to campus!

Turning 21!

Back in April, I turned 21, which was such a fun day! My mom and I went to a wine store near us for my first alcohol purchase and then we picked up Chili's for lunch! My mom was super sweet and organized a little drive by celebration with two of my high school besties stopping by with a bunch of our family friends! We then had a delicious dinner at home with a zoom call with a bunch of my college friends. I honestly didn't know what to expect having a "milestone" birthday in the middle of quarantine but I felt so loved and it was definitely a birthday to remember!

I'm Going to Grad School!

A few months ago I applied to Clemson's Teacher Residency program and I was so excited to find out I've been accepted! Basically it's a Masters program for education majors where instead of doing your student teaching your senior spring semester, you do it your entire 5th year! I'm so excited to stay in Clemson an extra year, gain more experience in the field of teaching, and that some of my best friends will be doing it with me!

Weekends in Clemson

Once North Carolina's stay at home order was lifted, I started going down to Clemson for weekends to spend time with friends and to spend time in my apartment. A bunch of my friends were there in May so it was fun to catch up and go downtown since I finally was 21 and could go out! We went out a few times back in May but now that cases have been going up a lot in Clemson, we've mainly been sticking around our houses and going on walks and stuff like that!

Weekend Trip to Charleston

At the end of May, I drove down to Charleston to celebrate my friend Olivia's birthday! She lives right by the beach so we spent the weekend on the beach and by the pool, which was so much fun! 


I'm nannying for the same family again this summer, which has kept me busy and has been so much fun!

Billy's Graduation

At the start of June, my younger brother graduated from high school. Thankfully, the school was able to pull together an in-person ceremony, which was great considering everything going on! They had graduation in the parking lot and they had the seniors come up to walk across the stage! The following weekend, we had a small get together to celebrate to make the best out of unusual circumstances!

A Trip to the Lake

My family and I just got back from our lake house in Upstate New York, which was so much fun! We had a pretty quiet trip- lots of time out on the boat and on the beach!

Welcome back to the blog- I've missed ya!
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