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4 Ways to Incorporate Antiques Into your Dorm Decorating

I will be the first to admit that I have a weakness for stores like Target, Hobby Lobby and Pottery Barn, that have “Live, Laugh, Love” signs in every color and throw pillows splashed with inspirational quotes (I am a guilty owner of both). Products like these are staples for dorms across the country, and they make a room look both comfy and chic. These are the decorations that get  tossed into my mother’s minivan each August when I’m  off to college, and some might even make it into my first apartment! But, I try to balance my fondness of these go-to pieces with my desire to decorate in a way that establishes exactly who I am the second someone walks into my room. One of the ways I’ve struck a balance between “mainstream” and “authentic” in my room has been incorporating a few key antique pieces into my dorm decorations. If you are looking for a way to spice up your room or give it a unique twist, here are four ways I have made antiques a subtle but important part of my dorm’s look.

1. Small Pieces

I came by my love for antiques because my mom has our house filled with them. She always loved joining me on my missions to find a few key pieces for my room! When we were hopping from antique store to antique store one day these glass swans instantly caught my eye because they were relatively inexpensive and versatile! I ended up putting them on a shelf, but small, glass antiques can also make fun bookends, desk decorations, or paperweights, especially when they come in pairs!

2. Paintings/Pictures/Portraits

The great thing about paintings, pictures and portraits you find in antique shops, is how unlikely it is that you’ll ever see someone with the exact same one! My best friend and I found two versions of this painting in two different colors at an antique shop in our hometown, and we were obsessed! I love flowers, and this instantly contributed to the homey vibe I was trying to achieve in my dorm. The only problems with these items is they can be fragile, and the artwork can easily fall out of the frames but placing them on a shelf we’re they could lean against the wall was a quick fix!

3. One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure… DIY Style

Sometimes things you find in antique shops aren’t in the best condition. Or sometimes, they straight up look like you found  them at the dump. On the same day I bought my flower painting, I also found an old window frame with cracked glass and chipped paint. My friend laughingly snapchatted the purchase, and my family gave me those weird “why did you just spend money on that junk” stares… but with some command strips and tape, I put fancy paper behind each section of the window to create a background, and attached small items like seashells and cards to the front! It ended up being one of my favorite dorm decorations, and an easy DIY project for someone like myself who isn’t crafty at all…

4. Girl Put your Records On (Or in this case up!!)

                                                     (Artists from top to bottom: REO Speedwagon, Chicago and Survivor)

My love for antique shopping is not the only interest my mom passed down to me. Both of my parents instilled a love for old music (besides my mom’s 60’s country, that’ll always make me want to rip my ears off). I especially love classic rock. After seeing some records at an open market antique shop in Boston, I decided to have my mom dust off some of her old records from when she was a teenager, and I put them on my wall They’re a great addition to my dorm, and are the perfect size and shape to find a place to fit them on my wall!

The finished product:

Whether you’re looking for some quick inspiration for some finishing touches on your room, or looking to come back with more decorations in the spring, keep antiques in mind as a way to enhance your room’s style. Happy decorating collegiettes!

Victoria Harding is a senior at Emmanuel College majoring in communications with a minor in management. She is a fourth year Her Campus at Emmanuel member, and is thrilled to be HCE's President this year! Victoria is also a Resident Assistant, member of Emmanuel College's 1804 Society, a residence hall desk assistant, and intern at MEDIAGIRLS. Follow her on Twitter @VictoriaRose_29 and Instagram @victoriahardingg.
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