Studying My Inner D.J.- Dorm Decor For Guys (#Oliohop 4)

As always, I am honored to be a member of's monthly Blog Hop (lovingly referred to as our #Oliohop). This month I share the stage with ten other design bloggers, many of whom I have had the pleasure of joining forces with before. Our oliohops are a fun way to see one design concept in many different professional perspectives, seeing our creative minds in action on 2D and 3D boards. So hop around with us today, as we tackle one of the happiest times of the year for parents... Back To School!

With two kids in college, creating a dorm room design is a bittersweet subject matter. Sweet because I have two wonderful daughters in college; bitter because they both still live at home, but hey, a gal can dream! 

I decided to venture out to a world that I love, a world of urban decor and music. Whether your child is a mixmaster himself, a closet bedroom d.j. or just appreciates music as much as I do, he will love the D.J. inspired room I created for this dorm.

Dorm rooms follow a few basic principles that we cannot escape; but instead play up within a design.

1. Dorm room space is limited- You only get half a room, and sometimes just a third. Make it work by maximizing spaces with items that are as shallow as possible, layering when you can. Here I added storage without adding furniture. By taking a basic shelf from Ikea and stacking them, I've provided a way to store books, equipment or decorative items without sucking up valuable floor space.

2. Pre-furnished versus adding furniture- Thankfully, most dorm rooms come pre-furnished with your basics; a bed, a desk and closet. For those that don't I suggest a simply framed bed, such as the Malm from Ikea. Lacking a box spring, the malm promotes a somewhat tidy bed, allows a great backdrop for decorative sheet sets and coordinates with most modern, transitional and even traditional decor.

3. Dorm room space is REALLY limited- (definitely worth repeating)Whether you've added your own furnishings or have brought in your own, adjust your layout to create the illusion of space as best as possible. By placing a desk at the foot of this bed, we've squeezed out a bit more wall space, which a dorm never has enough of. Here we've focused it on a fun way to hide your laundry, which very rarely fits in your micro-sized closet. This washing machine looking basket is from Modcloth for just $27.99.

4. Stretch Your Budget- With as little time as you'll spend in your dorm room, shop smart and decorate with in stock items as lower priced stores. Consider that you won't be the only one in your space, so high dollar decor is not only unecessary, it's unsafe to have.

5. Find A Theme You Love & Almost Go Nuts- Notice I say almost... There really can be too much of a good thing. Designers know how to edit, but often times someone gets an idea in their head and goes far too overboard with it, making every piece in that room focus on that one color or theme. This room is a good example of working with a theme without becoming a slave to it.

Hey Mr. D.J.

So, how do you get this funky D.J. look in your dorm room? Start with this fun wall applique by Etsy for $120.00. It's one of the most expensive pieces in the room, but takes up a great deal of space and creates an amazing backdrop for your theme. It comes in many different colors, so find one you want and build your accents around that color palette. Here I used blues. Best of all, it adds color and pattern to your walls that's easily removed when you're done learning!

For far less money, and a little labor, create this great equalizer look on your wall and make the buttons into hooks for your jackets, hats or headphones.

On the left of the wall are speaker box interiors that double as coat racks, also found at If you enter d.j. decor into the search, you'll find many of the items that I've used to create this room. Etsy is a fantastic source to support smal businesses and individuals who create handmade, quality goods from home decor to jewelry. It's a favorite source of mine when shopping for my design clients!

Tie in your decor by using a few pieces of art that continue your look along with a few pieces of decor that mimic your color sheme. 

Add Fun- College is an amazing time in your life. Bring in elements that show your personality, like these fun balloon dog pillows. Play games with your roomate or other room visitors with this great Scrabble wall mounted board by Entertainmenthearth for just $27.99. Both fun and educational, play a lifesized game of Words With Friends or total strangers. Feeling creative? Take some CD jewel cases and create a chandelier with a simple light kit.

This room will be your home for the next two to four years, so make it comfortable, but stylish with my help and the help of my ten other partners in #Oliohop 4. Find them below and see what they've created! If you liked my space, please let me know below. Don't forget to see my other boards at Olioboard.

Charisse of

Kate of


Colette of


 Julie of

Matthew of


 Joanne of

Lynda of


 Antoinette of

 Selma of

Ana of




Design Styles- Focus on Contemporary- Metropolitan

I was born in Bronx, NY and have been lucky enough to have spent the greater portion of my years in design working on the East Coast perfecting one of my most favorite styles, a neverending NY trend- contemporary. What many do not know is that contemporary interior design is not a monotone style of design. Just as there is more than one shade of gray, so too are there many different layers that make up the classification of contemporary design. One of the most popular and most endearing is today's blog focus- Metropolitan.

Metropolitan design, also often referred to as "Glam Chic" has been rapidly increasing in popularity over the last five years, thanks to it's exposure on home network tv and designers who consistantly practice the art, such as Candice Olsen. The best way to describe this style is to take classic modern elements and kick the room up a notch with glamorous, lush or shiny statement pieces that enhance the cohesive look of the space. For instance, using mirrored end tables in conjuntion with a crystal chandelier pendant and other "sparkly" yet not overly dramatic pieces in a room such as this one I am currently working on for a client's family room in Phoenix, AZ. 

 A Metropolitan designed space is a bit more showy than a standard contemporary space. If you notice the ottomans I chose are plush velvet in a vivacious accent color. The look they give off is luxurious and perhaps this style is more appealing to a woman than it would be a man, but we've balanced the femininity with the more masculine steel gray in the curtains and in the largest piece in the space- the sofa, which is now a massive sectional, shown below.

Notice the lines on this sofa. It's just a bit more special than the average sofa, with fantastic wood trim that gives it a uniqueness. This sofa will be punched up with a rich, gray fabric and starburst accent pillows, then layered with more accent pillows in sexy plums and purples.

I will not yet reveal where these blingy shell tiles will fit into this design, but I will blog about this space when I am done. For now, it's a secret!

I love working with pieces like this in general within my designs. I have to get a piece or two in my design that is just their own, one not easily found or duplicated by their neighbor. In Metropolitan design, many special pieces work together. Metal accents are bold enough to be noticed, yet don't overtake the rest of the space. Lighting in a Metropolitan space must command attention. Even pendants drip in jewels, colored glass or crystals. Metropolitan rooms contain glass, mirrored accent pieces or other glam touches that set it apart from the norm. Shapes in this design style are typically swirls, bold geographic scrollwork, swooping ovals or hard-lined, repeticious rectangles. 

Here are some other distinctly Metropolitan pieces that can help to create an amazing space. This dresser can be used as a nighstand in a glam bedroom or as an accent piece on a wall in any room in a Metropolitan space. It's covered in linen and has a washed paint job with large, metal pulls to add the drama it needs to make it a mini statement in a room.

This jewel encrusted bed frame brings the glam and is a bit much for some, but it can be toned down if done well within a having a great designer such as myself. My husband (shown in the chair nearby) would agree!

The jewels, again, are a bit too much drama for some, but this sofa can come with merely the bright chrome nailhead trim, the perfect bit of glam for any male/ female space.


Here's just one more example- swooping, swan-like glass on a Metropolitan chandelier. All of the items shown above were pieces I found earlier this year at the World Market Show in Las Vegas, where Metro Design ruled and continues to make a statement.

There is no end in sight to this gorgeous form of contemporary style. If you are interested in incorporating this design style into your home with my help (whether you live in AZ or not), contact me and let's get some glam into your space!

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of Design Styles. By special request, our next focus will be Modern Industrial.