For Krista Kaufman, a first-year social work major, healthy living is not only about where you live but how you live. Her room is one of the many examples of how students living in the residence halls can make a home for themselves despite the uniform shape rooms.
She shares a Yoder 3 room with Ly Nguyen, a fellow first-year and business major. Both the girls love to be surrounded by life, beauty and art. Walking into Krista and Ly's room is like walking into a forest that collided with a rainbow. The dorm room is earthy and soothing while still being colorful and alive.
It is accented with colorful scarves that have been draped over pipes. Small print artwork is also on display. Krista has collected the art displayed in the room over a long period of time and says that she tries to pick pieces that inspire her. The room is made more homey with rugs and wall hangings. An herb garden fits perfectly on a window shelf and lends the room a fresh smell. Three other potted plants are also on display in other places throughout the room.
Krista said, “In the first month that I came to Goshen, the herb garden was especially important to me. It was something to go to that was a constituent in a time of change. It was just really great to have something to care for in that time of adjustment. Plus, it is beautiful and has a great calming smell.”
Adriel Santiago, a sophomore communication and theater double major, and Patrick Ressler, a sophomore music major, have also transformed their room into a comfortable place to hang out.
They live in a triple and wanted to have a centerpiece to help decorate such a large space. They accomplished their goal through a tiled printing technique called rasterbation.
Rasterbation is the process in which a giant image is reformatted in a computer and then printed out on normal-sized paper in pieces. This is a technique that anyone can learn how to do and can be accomplished on most computers and printers. Once the pieces have been printed, they then have to be put back together to form the final large image.
It took over 60 pieces of paper for Santiago and Ressler's vision to be made real. They chose five of their favorite musicians to be the focus of their room and also be the subject for the rasterbation. The room also includes collages, Andy Warhol artwork and potted plants.
One of the key aspects to the creation of a comfortable and stylish room, according to Kaufman, is to really make it personal. For some, this is more difficult because of roommates and conflicts in style. However, Kaufman said that decorating the room can be a unique and effective way to get to know your roommate. Because Nguyen flew to Goshen from Vietnam, she was not able to bring many decorations with her. By being involved in the arrangement of the room, the girls feel that the room reflects both of their personal styles.
When talking about decorating with Nguyen at the beginning of the year, Kaufman said, “It was really fun to get to use our artistic eyes together while decorating our room. We had just met, but it was a great way to get to know one another.”
Santiago said that at the beginning of last year when he was just getting to know Ressler, they both made collages depicting things that they found inspiring. They then hung the collages side by side and framed them with other pieces of paper that had been cut into interesting shapes.
Santiago said, “The most important thing about decorating a dorm room is to make sure that your roommate and you both have a say. You have to make sure everyone feels included. There needs to be a recognition of both styles.”
Kaufman said, “After a stressful day it is a real relief to be able to come back here and feel some peace and relaxation. I feel like this is my sanctuary and my home, so I have put a lot of effort into making the room feel welcoming.”
5 Tips on How to Decorate Your Room
1) Don't spend money to decorate! Use what you have around and make art. Or you can go to the Goshen Public Library and rent art.
2) Pick artwork and posters that inspire you.
3) Instead of separating your decorating space from your roommate's, mix your things together and talk about what you like and don't like. You will learn a lot about your roommate and also feel more at home in the room.
4) To make the room more homey, use scarves or even T-shirts to hang on the walls or the ceiling. Cloth can make all the difference in creating a space that is warm and inviting.
5) Have at least one plant in the room. This added touch of life will help you feel happier and more relaxed.
Katie Gencay is a sophomore communication major from Knoxville, Tenn.