Design by social network: a Pinterest vs. Reddit guide to dorm décor
College remains the single greatest opportunity to mingle with the opposite sex most of us will ever know in our lifetimes. Yet, the old-fashioned single-gender dorm room habitation laws still exist, which often result in two very different types of dorm room interior decorating: clean, comfortable, well thought-out homes away from home, and rooms where guys live. In search of tips on following those separate schools of design—or secrets to borrow from the other side—The A.V. Club combed over the two most gender unbalanced social networks on the Internet: female user-dominated Pinterest and male user-dominated Reddit.
Pinterest: DIY Chevron
A fresh coat of paint, particularly in an eye-pleasing pattern like Chevron, can turn ugly, old furniture into original conversation starters with just a little bit of effort. The same pattern can be applied to rugs and boards to cover up revolting dorm carpeting and to gain style points for looking like the turbo boosts on a Mario Kart track.
Reddit: Carpet remnants
Similar to the style that lines many doghouses, dorm room carpeting is designed to provide no comfort while just barely concealing the concrete floor. But even poor college kids can afford to lush up the room by scoring remnants from a carpet store. It make look a little mix-and-match, but damn, does it feel good.
Pinterest: Beach towel as a headboard
Dorm room beds exist only as the most rudimentary sleeping devices, with none of the fineries some may be used to at home, like headboards. Of course, carpentry isn't everyone's bag and some schools aren't thrilled to have underclassmen modifying the dorms beds, no matter how much better they make them. A colorful beach towel hung vertically at the top of the bed achieves the look of a headboard without breaking out the heavy lumber.
Reddit: Two egg crate pads stuck together
The two keys to a good night's sleep in a dorm bed are don't scrape your face against the stucco ceiling if you're in the top bunk and be comfortable. Tempur-Pedic memory-foam action would definitely be the way to go if it didn't annihilate your already-tight party budget, but as one Redditor pointed out, two cheap egg crate pads put together essentially create the same effect at a fraction of the cost. Your wallet lives to party another day.
Pinterest: Clipboard organizers
One of the unwritten rules of college is this: avoid people carrying clipboards at all costs. There’s simply not enough time in the day to sign every environmental, political, or religious petition that comes your way. Instead, swipe the clipboards from the petitioners’ grubby hands and use them for desktop organizers. You’ll be able to keep all your personal, school, and work-related papers in separate piles, and you won’t be signed up for yet another hopeless “Keep money out of politics!” campaign.
Reddit: Computer “battlestation”
Let’s face it: the last thing you’ll be doing at your dorm room desk is schoolwork. Instead, a desk is the perfect place for your three-PC, 18-screen computer “battlestation.” (Depending on your needs, you may need to trick it out with an additional desk/folding table.) It’s here that you’ll spend countless hours channeling your inner Zuckerberg and creating the next Facebook—or, more likely, playing Diablo III and that upcoming panda expansion for World Of Warcraft.
Pinterest: Origami toilet paper
Dorm life ain’t like staying at the Ritz, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a touch of luxury-hotel class to your bathroom. Folding the loose end of a toilet paper roll into a triangle is nice, but this is college, dammit! Fold that sucker into an origami bird and be the envy of your suitemates! Little things like this would make even Hotel Hell’s Gordon Ramsay cry and curse with joy.
Reddit: Surround sound
Since you already have music pumping directly to your ears 24 hours a day, and most likely have music pumping through your dorm room windows for no reason, there’s only one place left to go: your bathroom. If you happen to have some crummy speakers lying around, why not mount them above the toilet for those times when you feel like listening to Beach House while taking a dump. Or, as some Redditors have suggested, listening to porn in glorious 5.1 surround sound.