By Ruchie Gross and Rebecca Kerzner
Brookdale. What a place. A mainstay for the Stern girl. You can’t truly know Stern College for Women without knowing the Brookdale Residence Hall. Where does the intercampus shuttle meet? Brookdale. From where can a Stern girl get her package? Brookdale. Where can all the latest news and gossip be found? The Brookdale front lounge. Over time, each Stern girl develops her own opinion on the dorm building, be it for better or for worse. For some, the thought of Brookdale brings a warm nostalgia to the mind with tortellinis from Tiberias, peering into the lounge, 7/11 slurpees and people-watching the hotel across the street with roommates. For others, Brookdale represents a rougher time, when the roommates were not ideal candidates, the closeness felt cramped, and the buzz felt invasive.
Living in Brookdale is a part of every Stern girl’s experience. But the experience is vast, and each room all the way from A to H is specific in its shape and living style. Part of enhancing the lifestyle is creating an aesthetically pleasing living space. A couple weeks ago, senior Ruchie Gross, posted a picture of her dorm room bed space on her Facebook, and it’s seriously killing the Pinterest game. Ruchie has lived in Brookdale for three years now, and has got all sorts of tips and tricks up her sleeve when it comes to dorm decor. So in an effort to help as many people as possible with their decorating needs, Perspective got the intel on how to create such a beautiful living space, like Ruchie’s own.
- Visualize a cohesive color scheme
RG: In general, I always say neutrals are a way to keep a consistent look and then you can change it up in different ways. Last year, my room was more of a pink hue, and that was because of the wallpaper; this year it’s more of a blue hue, and that’s also because of the wallpaper. I kept most of the main components consistent but was able to change the details to change the overall look.
It’s also a matter of blending things together in the right way. Sometimes people will say to me “Well, I like this thing, and this thing and this thing.” So I ask them, “Well, would that look cohesive together? Or would it look kind of like it’s all over place?” I like to make a Pinterest board of all the different things I like and have going, and then I pick and choose together to make things look cohesive. Here’s the one I made for this year’s room.
- Decide on a focal point
RG: You have to decide what your focal point is going to be. If your bedding is going to be busy, that’s probably going to be your focal point. Once you choose that as your main focus, you can choose your other objects to not take away from that piece you are trying to emphasize. So if you want a patterned bedding, don’t put your pictures in a crazy formation. If you want your pictures to be the emphasis, choose a more toned bedding. You have to keep a balance of the busy and non-busy for it to look nice together.
- Invest a little to create a more home-y feel.
RG: I like to buy things for the dorms that I can keep for the next five years for when I eventually move into an apartment. What would I want that would be neutral and last for a while? Most people might get something from Ikea, but I like to get stuff online for a little more. For example, I bought my lamp at Bed Bath and Beyond.
A big part of rooms, and making a room feel like a home, is the in-between furniture, or even a rug, or a mirror, or even a framed photograph. Having those in-betweeners can really add a lot and bring more of that home-y feel. The home-y feeling comes from the medium details in the room, because they aren’t tchotchkes. I spent 20 dollars on a rug that takes up most of my room.
I really like the wallpaper, but having the wallpaper plain made it look plain. I personally really don’t like the colors that Brookdale has in each room so I wanted to cover the walls up. I had frames I wanted to use. But once I put on the wallpaper, it lost it’s oomph and flattened out the wall and I needed something to break it up a little bit. So I just took out the sample photo in the frames and put them on the walls!
- Know about the hacks
RG: People may not know this… H&M happens to sell throw pillows for 10 bucks, and just changing a throw pillow can really change up a room. Even making your bed a certain way can change the way your room looks. You can buy vintage NYC maps at the Grand Public Library for 5 bucks. At Blick Art Materials, you can buy $3 or $4 wallpaper and just use it as a wallpaper.
These are my tips! Now go out there, make those Pinterest boards and decorate!