If you have been following along on Instagram, you are totally familiar with the fact that I converted my home office (in our detached garage) into a “dorm room” for our two sons last summer. Everen was 20, and a junior in college, Christian wass 17, and a senior in high school, and Jon and I wanted to give them more space to grow into the men they are naturally becoming.
My inspiration for the dorm room was the boys, plain and simple. I really wanted to customize this space for them. I wanted it to inspire creativity, dreaming, peace, friendship, and I wanted it to feel like home.
I spent sooooo much time planning for the use of this space. I literally thought about every inch in the dorm room, how it could be best used, and how to make it happen with such a tiny budget. The dorm design was intended to be functional, minimalistic, and easy to keep clean and organized. Everything from the appliances, to their blankets, everything had a purpose.
As far as style goes, I arranged a design consultation (of sorts) with each of them before I began designing the dorm room because I needed to determine their individual styles, needs, and preferences for the dorm. I am so glad I did this! If you can design a space around someone’s personality, they will feel more comfortable in the space and more comfortable in their own skin (which is SUPER IMPORTANT for teens).
Everen’s my Hollywood Glam/Regency/EDM producer guy. If it’s gold, gody, glamorous, would look good in Versailles, or at an EDM concert, most likely Everen would LOVE it.
Christian, on the other hand, he’s my lumberjack. He loves flannel, carving wood, throwing axes, and he loooooves all animals. His design preference is nature-inspired, minimal, modern, practical, comfortable, non-pretentious. He likes relaxing and making LEGO stop-motion movies and thematic film scores. So if I included anything nature-related in the dorm, Christian would love it!
As you can see, their design styles are totally different. So before I started designing the dorm, I knew I needed to capture and represent each of their design styles in a big way.
For my glam/glitz/EDM concert-loving son, I added LED lights behind a silver mirrored tv console, a portable Bluetooth speaker, a shiny quilt and decorative faux fur pillows.
For my nature-lover, I installed a HUGE wall mural of a forest on the garage door and positioned his desk right in front of it so when he makes his stop-motion movies, he can feel like he is right in the heart of a forest. I also incorporated natural wood elements in pieces like the wood breakfast bar/storage piece, the sisal rug in front of the sink, plants and plant artwork throughout the room.
To play off of their mutual love for unique modern features, I built a modern kitchenette area using cinder blocks, and I left the original exposed concrete floor.
In the end, it all works together. The boys have been living in their dorm since August 1, 2019 and they love it!
Design Tip: It’s always easier to make a room feel welcoming and inspiring when you infuse personality and function into your room. By figuring out the purpose of the room and really customizing it for the person/personality who will be using the space, it will make it easier to design it and for them to love it!