Back to school time is in the air! School supplies and new clothes are being purchased as people prep for the new school year. My Mom, Claire, Elizabeth and I moved Elizabeth into her apartment this week and had a great day together! I thought you would enjoy the details of her college apartment that she will be sharing with her three roommates.
Of course we needed a theme and focus and Elizabeth wanted her apartment living room to be Ralph Lauren inspired with a collegiate feel. Her bedroom is the same Florida coastal look she had from freshman and sophomore year.
Ralph Lauren immediately evokes navy and brown images for us. The first items we selected were the couch and loveseat. From there, my Mom searched and curated a variety of great affordable pieces that will last the two years Elizabeth is living in her apartment. The floor plan provided by the rental company helped determine the layout and what was needed.
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Most of the large pieces needed to be assembled and we had someone put everything together a couple of weeks prior to moving. We used our garage as the staging area and it helped us visualize the layout and assess what we needed.
My Mom chose the loveseat, sofa and two swivel chairs first. Putting the items into a floor plan and also on a mood board are very helpful for visualizing and planning. To keep the space light, we ordered a white console table and a white kitchen table and chairs with a grayish top.
The next step was ordering an area rug. We started with a sisal one, but decided we wanted something with more interest and softer. The Walmart indoor/outdoor rug is currently sold out, but we found a similar one. The indoor/outdoor material is durable and affordable.
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The next focus was on end table and lamps and filler items. My Mom had a successful trip to Home Goods and found a navy two door cabinet, the blue and white square ottoman seat and some accessories - the brown suede storage bins for the console table, the navy pitcher for the bar cart, the round gold lantern, the mini globe and the chinoiserie owl. Target had great throw pillows, placemats and the faux tree is a nice addition to warm the space.
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To achieve a collegiate one of a kind feel, Elizabeth and my Mom searched Ebay and Etsy for a variety of retro Miami of Ohio pieces at affordable prices. My Mom framed a matchbook and postcards by gluing them into shadow boxes from Amazon. They framed vintage photos in Amazon and Target frames. Etsy even had a retro felt pennant already framed. A great find on Ebay was a set of three Miami varsity letters that my Mom framed.
For the gallery wall, we used a variety of finishes and textures - wood, black, gold and and white. To break up the frames, we added a vintage tennis racquet and Elizabeth found an old fraternity paddle she bought on moving day at the antique store across from her apartment.
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We brought peel and stick navy grass cloth wallpaper with us, but the ceilings are so high, it would be too much work to attempt and difficult to remove. Here is the link if you are looking for a really pretty wallpaper.
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In addition to a collegiate themed gallery wall, we bought a variety of art work at Home Goods and Target because we knew we needed to hang something above the sofa. We brought extra options and those were easy to return after the move.
Movers picked up the items from our house the day before our move. On the day of the move, we departed for Miami early and upon arrival, picked up the keys and met the movers at the loading dock. We unwrapped and sorted items as the movers brought them into the apartment. Once the big items were placed and the bed frame was put together, we worked together to organize.
Elizabeth's bedroom is bright and fresh. Her full bed looks cozy and welcoming with the light blue duvet and the Draper James quilt and shams add a fun pattern. The white Nantucket cottage headboard looks great with the euro shams and bedding. The area rug is a great piece and Elizabeth used it in her freshman and sophomore year dorm rooms. The white dresser is a great size and will hold so many clothes. We really love the white Target desk with the bamboo legs and gold drawer pulls. The artwork over the bed is from last year. We found a vintage 1950's Florida map tablecloth, cut it and put it in a frame. The framed art over her desk is a free map from The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach that my Mom framed. We reused her wall baskets from last year and hung those with small clear command hooks.
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One really great addition to the room is a floor mirror from Walmart. It has an easel stand in the back so it is versatile and sturdy. We added a woven La Jolla basket and a rattan chair to break up the white. We definitely had fun accessorizing with the topiary and the little ceramic monkeys.
We had to get creative about window treatments in Elizabeth's room because the windows are so high. Elizabeth stood on a chair and used the no nails twist and shout curtain rod to hang the adorable gingham room darkening curtains. They are very light weight and will be easy to close in the evening. Another option is to use a tension rod.
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We used bins on the top shelf of her closet for extra storage, organized her desk drawers and stored some items under her bed. We organized the bathroom by adding a shower caddy over the shower head, added navy bath mats and navy collapsible bins.
Once all the items were put away, we accessorized with baskets, some plants, 1950's yearbooks my Mom found on Etsy, a Ralph Lauren coffee table book, and rolled up blankets in a basket. The final task of the day was laying out the two gallery walls. We decided to do the larger gallery wall on the big bare wall. Like a puzzle, Elizabeth and my Mom placed and rearranged the pieces on the floor. They found the center line of the wall and started with a center piece. We all worked together to eyeball and guide the placemat of the pieces. The final results of both gallery walls was great!
We ended the day in Miami with some photos, carried our extra items to our car and headed home. We are all excited for Elizabeth and her roommates to have a cozy, comfortable apartment!