• 61°

Right at Home: style tips for off-campus living

For college kids who move off-campus, learning to accommodate the styles and needs of housemates is good practice for life after school.
Take Erica Weidrick and Caitrin Curtis, upperclassmen at the University of North Carolina, who are moving into a new townhouse with a third friend. While they’d all been living together for a year already in a dorm, they wanted some organization and style help with this new arrangement.
Here are some typical problem areas, with advice from two designers on how to solve them:
“We all come in and just drop our stuff in a pile, and sometimes mail gets lost or keys disappear — usually when we’re late,” says Weidrick.
Veronica Valencia, a Los Angeles-based designer and stylist, suggests setting up a bin for each housemate, and not allowing any overflow.
“It’s true, we hit the front door and everything we’ve been hauling all day falls to the floor,” says Valencia, who blogs at DesignHunterLA.com.
“If it doesn’t fit in the bin, you have to put it away immediately,” she says. “I love fabric bins or wood crates. If you have an entry table, consider fabric wrapped magazine boxes, one for each person.”
Weidrick and Curtis also liked a wall shelf with hooks and small baskets for keys and mail.
“The living room is a challenge because that’s where we spend most of our time, so it’s where most of our junk ends up. It’s hard to keep a shared space organized when everyone is coming and going at different times,” Curtis says.
What they need is stylish storage where the clutter can hide when company comes.
Valencia’s fix: “Two words: storage ottomans!”
Consider an ottoman in faux leather or suede, with a flip-top tray that can be used as a resting place for TV remotes, phones and snack dishes. Clutter can be scooped inside when the need arises, and, voila! The ottoman provides extra seating.
M Elodie Froment, PB Teen’s vice president for product development, suggests using a pair of trunks. “They’re great because you can store extra blankets and other essentials.”
Trunks come in a variety of finishes that can appeal to guys and girls.
“We all want our shared space to be warm and relaxed, like our bedrooms,” says Curtis. “But the living room and kitchen are supposed to be social spots, and it’s nice to be able to change the atmosphere from ‘just chilling’ to ‘hosting a party.’ ”
Valencia’s answer is to “think in terms of moveable and modular. Add floor pillows so your coffee table can accommodate a study group, and poufs for extra seating on movie night.”
She suggests sharing Pinterest inspirations and finding styles and patterns that all the housemates can live with. Your own room’s where you’ll be able to put your personal stamp.
For common areas, Froment says, “Pick a neutral color scheme for the larger furniture items, and add splashes of personality with decorative pillows, art and décor. If you’re not planning on painting your walls, identify one to decorate with removable wall paper or decals.”
If floors are bare, add a rugged nylon rug in a bold geometric or floral. If you can’t afford or agree on artwork, the rugs bring pattern to the floor and give rooms a finished feel that’s a little more grown-up.
Weidrick and Curtis like ambient lighting that will turn down the stresses of school.
Froment suggests a fun floor lamp, perhaps pairing it with a playful wall light. “Accent with string lights for a soft glow,” she says.
In bedrooms, Valencia follows the “3H” rule of organizing: “hamper, hooks and a hanging closet organizer.”

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Blotter: Man found on church property with litany of drugs

Crime

Man charged in connection to 2019 overdose death

Business

‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday

Education

Schools capital funding still frozen as RSS sends local budget to county

Business

Shields, Cheerwine Festival receive N.C. Main Street Awards

Kannapolis

Duke University launches kidney disease study in Kannapolis for people of African descent

Education

Horizons Unlimited will hold in-person summer camps

Education

Education briefs: Catawba planning for more in-person activities, free summer school tuition

Coronavirus

County’s full COVID-19 vaccinations top 22,600

High School

High school golf: With Merrell, Mustangs back on top

Local

Spencer investigating rat problem on South Iredell Street

News

Livingstone, Mission House Church to host national ‘Black Voters Matter’ listening session

Education

Shoutouts

Business

Groundbreaking on Pennant Square signals next phase in downtown Kannapolis revitalization

Nation/World

J&J vaccine to remain in limbo while officials seek evidence

Nation/World

Prosecutors: No charges for officer in Capitol riot shooting

Nation/World

Biden to pull US troops from Afghanistan, end ‘forever war’

Nation/World

Former Minnesota cop charged in shooting of Black motorist

Crime

Blotter: April 14

Elections

Former North Carolina Gov. McCrory enters US Senate race

Crime

Salisbury woman arrested in Myrtle Beach for abducting child

Health

County updates health director job description, will advertise for position

High School

High school tennis: East beats Carson, still hopes to share NPC title

Elections

Board of Elections to purchase upgraded voting equipment using federal grant