Tag Archives: decorating

Sunburst Mirror: A College DIY

White residence hall walls are one of the biggest problems experienced by first-time dorm decorators. Beat the blah on a budget by making lightweight decorations that can be held up with damage-free hanging strips. Like this cute, Pinterest-inspired sunburst mirror, for example!

Photo via Pinterest.

This one’s easy to make, you’ll just need a few items from a craft store and a few hours to devote to crafting. I used balsa wood (strips cut from two 1/8″ x 4″ x 36″ pieces) for the rays, but you could also use paint sticks from a home improvement store! Continue reading Sunburst Mirror: A College DIY

Lofting Beds

As I answer questions for parents and incoming students at First-Year Orientation, I tend to see a lot of trends in what people are curious about. One thing that everyone wants to know is if and how the beds can be lofted. At Carolina we keep things simple: all beds in on-campus residence halls* can be lofted anytime throughout the year, you can do it yourself and you don’t need any tools! Here’s how it works.

*Beds in Granville Towers cannot be lofted.

loft your bedEach resident will have a set of the following pieces waiting in his or her room: Continue reading Lofting Beds

Healthy, Happy Houseplants: A College DIY

I am a lover of DIY dorm projects. They’re the perfect hobby when you’re a broke college student, yet still want your room to exude a cozy vibe. That being said, there’s one easy peasy project I’ve been seeing all over the internet lately, so I decided to try it out: potted succulents.

Photo via Pinterest

You might think, so potted plants, right? Why succulents? Succulent plants require barely any attention or gardening know-how. Put them in that sunny corner of your room and water them every week or two, and they’ll do fantastically; they live in deserts, after all. Even terra cotta pots are cheap! This is the perfect project for a college student looking to bring a little nature inside.

Continue reading Healthy, Happy Houseplants: A College DIY

Dream Room Contest

Photo of prize number 3
Prize #3 contains an insulated tumbler, padded laptop pouch, a teal bathrobe and a set of pink towels.

Pin your ideas for a chance to win

The third contest in our Summer Contest Series will take place on Pinterest! If you’d like to participate, simply pin anything that represents your ultimate dream residence hall room on this pinboard:


One pinner will be randomly chosen to win the prize pack shown at right! Be sure to pin by July 15 at noon to enter.

Contest Details:

–Pinners will each be entered once.
–The winner will be selected randomly.
–Pinning more does not increase your odds of winning.
–To identify the winner, we will “like” the winning pin and repin the photo to a new pinboard titled, “WINNER – Dream Room Contest”
–We will also announce the winner’s first name and last initial on Facebook and Twitter.
Continue reading Dream Room Contest

Finally Finding Your Fit

Enjoy the college journey, but don’t forget your destination

Knitting needles
Bringing your favorite hobbies to school is a great way to de-stress.

Remember your first day of class at Carolina? I do.

I barely found my way from Hinton James to Greenlaw. Dozens of student groups accosted me as I hurried through the Pit. The line for the top of Lenoir stretched for miles.

And I was blissfully happy.

To my eager first-year eyes, the bustle and chaos seemed exhilarating. I couldn’t wait to make great friends, earn high grades and sign up for every group I could. Carolina was the biggest opportunity of my life, and I was determined to make the most of it.

Continue reading Finally Finding Your Fit

Your holiday home away from home

Decorating is worth the trouble

We put up lights around our room and put presents for each other under our little tree.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and one of my favorite parts of the holiday season is decorating for Christmas. I love all the lights and putting presents under the tree. And don’t worry, the beautiful decorations don’t have to be just for your house. Last year, my roommate and I had a blast decorating our room for the holiday season. Pick up some decorations while you are home for Thanksgiving break and enjoy turning your room into a winter wonderland.

 I would recommend lots of lights. You can put them around your windows, on your beds, and around your doors. They create a fun ambiance when you turn them on and turn the main light off. It’s fun to watch movies and drink hot chocolate while surrounded by warming glowing lights.

Continue reading Your holiday home away from home

The Village Life

Top 10 reasons to live in an on-campus apartment

You’ve lived in a traditional residence hall, but now it’s time for a change. So you should move off campus, right? Not necessarily. Read on to find out the top ten reasons you should live in an on-campus apartment.

The buildings in Odum Village, which contain four one or two-person apartments each, give the community a neighborhood vibe.
  1. Less anxiety about money. If you’re like me, you’ve heard horror stories from your friends living off campus about how they divide expenses up among their roommates. The great thing about living in an on-campus apartment is that charges are billed in the same way that residence hall charges are. When you’re not constantly worried about conflicts with others over money, you have more time to focus on what really matters!
  2. Dedicated staff on call 24/7. You live in an off-campus house and you accidentally lock yourself out one night while your roommate is out of town for the weekend. What do you do? In the on-campus apartments, there is a resident advisor, a community director and a facilities representative on call at all times. Any problems you have can be taken care of right away, day or night! Continue reading The Village Life

Home-Grown Room

Crafting a cozy and sustainable living space

Carolina’s residence halls can feel as homey on the inside as they look on the outside.

Each August, bright-eyed college first-years flock to department stores, lured by neat shelves of room furnishings. Coordinating bedspreads, furniture and dishes seem to symbolize a fresh start and new beginnings.

But as I head into my junior year, I’m yearning for a more home-grown room than what department stores can give. A cozy sofa instead of a futon. Walls plastered with memories. Unique belongings truly mine. A home, not just a 10×13 space.

In pursuit of this dream, I hopped from antique shop to thrift store to closet this summer. A little time, a little effort and a lot of creativity have given me a motley assemblage of treasures that will transform my room into a home. Best of all, restoring used items and buying what’s built to last is truly a sustainable lifestyle.

Want to craft a home-grown room of your own? Start with three key areas: wall hangings, dishes and furniture.

Continue reading Home-Grown Room

Bring it! Leave it. Do I really need it?

What’s not mentioned on the move-in packing list

Multi-bulb floor lamps aka "octopus lamps" are not allowed in residence halls.

So if you’ve been to Orientation, you should have received your “Get Ready to Live at Carolina!” Move-In Guide for 2012-2013. (You can also download it from housing.unc.edu). On pages 5 and 6, there is information about your room and a list of suggested items to bring. I’m going to give you my opinion on this list.

Please note, the items under the “Leave it.” category are not allowed for safety reasons. If you do not understand what an octopus floor lamp is, you can find more information in this post (and no it is not the first thing that pops up in the Google images search). If you think an item might be dangerous or forbidden, err on the cautious side and don’t bring it.

On the “Bring it!” list, you don’t have to bring everything suggested. This is just a list of items that are allowed. If you don’t drink coffee, don’t bring a coffee maker. Please don’t feel like you have to bring something to your room just because it is on this list. Here are my opinions on some of the items:

Continue reading Bring it! Leave it. Do I really need it?

Student Artist Showcase

Collection of student artwork enlivens campus living spaces

photo of Aleise
Aleise’s photographic art will be installed in Craige and Ehringhaus halls.

Aleise Preslar was browsing the Housing website one day looking for part-time job openings, when she stumbled upon the call for entries to the 5th Annual Student Art Exhibit and decided to submit her work.

Now, her work will be on display for many years to come, in the public spaces of Craige and Ehringhaus residence halls.

The jurors for the exhibit selected nine of Aleise’s pieces of digital photographic art to be added to Housing’s permanent student art collection.

Aleise said she was motivated to submit her work because the show provided a chance to display her work publicly for the first time. She also wanted to contribute to the art collections in the residence halls.

As for finding subjects for her artwork, Aleise says she observes things in her surroundings that are interesting. She makes the subject her own by emphasizing and subduing the dimensions of color and contrast.

Aleise mostly taught herself what she knows about photography and digital art, and she is registered for JOMC 180 next semester to learn more about photojournalism.

Continue reading Student Artist Showcase