HANNAH ZICKEL SHARES WHY SHE DECORATED HER DORM ROOM THE WAY SHE DID AND WHY SHE BELIEVES THE SPACE YOU LIVE IN SHOULD BE IMPORTANT TO YOU.PHOTO CREDIT: HANNAH ZICKEL
By Kimaya Singh
The metallic gold letters glisten in the light as Tyler Potterfield draws the blinds to let the sunlight flood into her room.
There are colorful cushions scattered on the couch, vibrant photographs tacked onto the walls, and inspirational quotations pinned onto the bathroom door. Potterfield turns away from the window and begins to tidy up her room.
“Everything in here is important in making me feel comfortable and safe.” Potterfield, a sophomore dance and PR and advertising major, explains as she fixes the cushions on the couch.
“Even the cushion placement is important because this is my space. It’s my room,” she continues. “Actually, it’s more than just my room. It’s my home.”
Instead of dorm rooms simply being a place to sleep, Potterfield believes they are a place to live.
Students both on and off-campus who share this sentiment are thus trying to turn a dorm room, on-campus apartment, or off-campus house into more than just four walls and a ceiling.
Instead, they are trying infuse their living spaces with what they associate as comforting and representative of both their upbringing and their personality. Many times, this personalization is a subconscious effort when it comes to choosing colors and furniture.
However, the majority of students do make a conscious effort to decorate their rooms with memorabilia, photographs, posters, and other décor that captures their personality.
The summer after her senior year, Hannah Zickel, a freshman theater performance major, spent her days at the beach and her nights thinking about her future space. Like many freshmen, Zickel envisioned great plans for her future dorm room.
“Before I even moved in, I knew that the room I’d be living in was going to become my home for the next nine months, whether I liked it or not,” Zickel explained. “It only made sense then, for me to try and like it as much as possible.”
After arriving at Chapman and unpacking, Zickel got down to what she believed was the most important part of the move in process- the decorating.
“It’s something that’s very personal,” she explained. “My two roommates and I are very different so we all just splashed a little bit of our personality into the room.”
For Zickel, her roommates, and many other students, DIY projects are a big part of the allure of dorm decorating. Because of the easy access in finding tutorials on the internet, students are crafting and decorating in much more economical ways than before.
Both Zickel and Potterfield have created several DIY projects for their rooms and Potterfield even plans to have hall bonding activities where her residents can create customized decor for their rooms.
“I think that letting people create something for their room makes them feel like the room is theirs,” she said. “We all know that these rooms have been occupied by tons of Chapman students before us but personalizing the room really makes it become a special and safe place.”
After a tumultuous housing history, sophomore communications major, Kyle Mendoza now appreciates this value of having a comforting space to fall asleep every night.
“I lived in the dorms my freshman year, moved fives times my sophomore year, and now in my junior year, I’m finally in a house that I think is like a home,” Mendoza said.
Because of his happiness in having a home, Mendoza and his roommate have put in copious amounts of effort into making their house both look and feel good. The walls of their living room are decked out in Hawaiian shirts, fraternity paddles, trophies and achievements they’ve earned, and an American flag.
“It’s all about making sure the place where you live makes you look forward to coming home,” Mendoza explains. “It’s all about loving the place where you live.”