The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Sophomore Style

By Shasta Webb

Though admittedly prison-like in some instances, dorms are usually our first spaces we can call our own. They can be lonely and empty, or minimalist if you prefer that euphemism. They can be replicas, albeit small ones, of our rooms at home. Or they can be expressions of who we want to be at Mac.Sophomores, having spent their first years figuring out the limits and opportunities of the quintessential dorm room, are the experts when it comes to spiffing up concrete walls and charcoal-toned carpets.

This years’ sophomore class has some especially creative self-appointed interior designers who have managed to make potentially cold, grey rooms into warm, inviting, and cozy homes. The best part is that they’ve managed to pull it off without having to shell out the dolla dolla bill yalls.

Mariah Blegen ’13, a Bigelow resident, who “really likes flowers” chose to decorate her room with images of nature. Only five dollars at IKEA, the butterflies that sprinkle Blegen’s wall are a cheap and easy way to cover up potentially ugly white space. “I look for whatever I can buy that is inexpensive but will have a big impact on the room,” she explained. The translucent curtain hanging in the window was “easy to make” but adds a lot to the room.

Wallace residents Sam Burgin ’13 and Henry Slocum ’13 have created an unbelievably beautiful room that looks more like a high-end apartment than a college dorm.

Filled with many reused items from their room last year, the space is delicately designed and nothing looks out of place. Burgin explained that he “loves everything Swedish” which of course means IKEA furniture fills the room. Plants also have a large presence in the space, bringing life to a location that might otherwise be very dull.

Slocum explained that he spends a lot of time in the room, which is understandable considering it’s such an inviting dorm. Slocum and Burgin have managed to turn a floor and four walls into a warm, elegant living space.

Ariel Sehr ’13 and Sophie Schwadren ’13 chose a specific theme for their room in Bigelow. Known as “Nauical Nonsense” (the “T” is purposely left out to convey the “kiwi” accent) the room is covered from floor to ceiling in fish or sailing related images and objects.

Buoys Schwadren stole from her neighbors dangle from the ceiling and homemade fish curtains crafted from fabric purchased at Yard Goods hang in the windows.

Countless fish cut-outs and other sea creature representations, mainly made of materials from Art Scraps, make the room quite the nautical adventure. Sehr and Schwadren raved about Art Scraps, explaining that all of the wall decorations cost around five dollars.

Schwadren pointed out that her roommate’s name is Ariel, very fitting considering the underwater aspects of the room. Schwadren went on to explain that her grandmother’s name was Ursula, another fitting coincidence.

The girls explained that while their room is expertly designed, “what really makes the room [their] room is the many intimacies [they] share inside it.”

Rachel Gunsalus ’13 and Kate Keleher ’13 share a Kirk suite with two single bedrooms connected by a common room. Known by many of their friends as artsy and creative, Keleher and Gunsalus make many of their own decorations.

A large tapestry crafted from rolled up tubes of old newspapers was an essentially free decoration, made of all recycled materials. Keleher made small paper designs she used as accents on her closet door. Paper from the SORC and a few pens made a remarkable amount of difference in the room.

Gunsalus and Keleher each created earring stands, one made of wire and one made of an old picture frame plus used tutu material.

“As college students we move around so much that it’s hard to really get settled in, but the small touches make all the difference,” Keleher remarked.

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