Aug 28, 2013

college dorm room schemes + design board

a friend of mine recently asked for some help in pulling together some bedding ideas for her daughter, who will be starting college in utah this fall. she mentioned that she was looking at some options at pottery barn teen, and i immediately stopped her and told her she was about to make a terrible mistake. (you can say mean things like that to a friend....i would have said the same thing to a client, but in a more professional and "nice" way!)

hey, nothing wrong with pb teen. i actually love pb teen, but taking an entire bedding ensemble from their collection can look a little juvenile--especially for a college student. their girl bedding tends to be bright, and more "clear" colors, which aren't as sophisticated as more muted tones.

for instance, yellow is a great color, but at full intensity (think big bird), and mixed with a hot pink AND a dose of turquoise, it can get bad.

(imagine mimi from the drew carey show... as a bedroom. yeah, YIKES.)

now, take that same yellow, but add some gray and brown to it, and you get a muted, pretty mustard color that will mix well with dusty blues, deep plum, lavender, and ALL kinds of neutrals. the palette can still be youthful, but in a controlled and sophisticated way.

here are a few color schemes that i came up with using a few of my go-to places for tween/teen/young adult bedding items: urban outfitters, west elm, etsy, and serena and lily.

so, which one did she end up choosing?
she chose the "dusty blue + black/white" option, and we ended up throwing in some green for an additional dose of color:

i am looking forward to seeing it all pulled together! my friend and her daughter flew in yesterday, and we met at west elm to make a few purchases....i will be sharing some pictures of my visit tomorrow, so stay tuned!

interested in working together?
i still have openings for september and october. 
email me at to set up a consultation!


  1. you and your friend sound like pretty cool chicks! i love what she chose. can't wait to see it pulled together.

  2. ooh! love all that black and white with the blue. lovely.

  3. Great post, Autumn! I've not been asked to work on a dorm room before. Looks fun! M.

    1. thank you! it was really fun to pull together. with a dorm, there is so much freedom because nothing is no stress about choosing the wrong window treatment or area rug! ha! hA! i was teasing my daughters friend and asking her if she wanted me to show up at her dorm and announce that "her DESIGNER" was there to help install her room. she didn't seem too interested! :)

  4. Hi Autumn,
    DO you by chance remember where the selections were from for the charcoal and coral.
    Thank you ;)
    T ann

    1. duvet-west elm
      pillow-caitlin wilson textiles
      sheets-serena and lily

  5. Thanks for the share! Any idea on some designs for a boys college bedroom? I have been thinking about sprucing up my sons dorm cause the place is a absolute dump! I just pick him up a new college bedding set and a few pillows but I am kinda lost with what else to get. Any help?