Better dorms and gardens

Door beads, lava lamps, flashing lights, Grateful Dead posters …. No, this isn’t a description of a “hippie commune” in Haight-Ashbury, rather it’s become the stereotypical image of a college dorm room. While this may be true for some students when decorating their rooms, others stray from this path and have created quite a different atmosphere to live out their years of college.

With this in mind, there definitely are some common ideas for decorating, some related to style, others related to what’s hot this year in the entertainment business.

Some of this year’s hot items to plaster on your walls are movie posters from the popular flicks “Trainspotting” and “William Shakes-peare’s Romeo + Juliet.” There are also the free posters floating around campus for “Ransom” and “Jerry Maguire.” These popped up in numerous rooms in the dorms, evidence that these are this year’s blockbuster hits, as compared to the plethora of “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs” posters on walls last year.

“Star Wars” is also another obvious hit with the recent re-release in the theaters. “Got Milk?” ads are another decorating idea, whether you collect them or not, for their celebrity appeal.

Other decorating ideas have more to do with what’s happening locally in Boston and New England. With the Patriots making it to the Super Bowl, Pats paraphernalia is apparent in many rooms, as fans declared their loyalty to the home team.

With the Herb Ritts exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts on display for the past few months, art buffs took the opportunity to purchase cop-ies of some pieces to place in their rooms.

But not all of the trends have to do specifically with what posters and pictures are plastered on walls and ceilings. Other trends are shown with the kinds of furnishings used in dorms to add a certain atmosphere.

Besides being cooler looking than regular desk lamps, floor lamps are big since the lighting in apartments and dorms is pretty harsh on the eyes. Floor pillows, bean bags and futons are also fairly popular, as an alternative to sitting on hard floors. Although these kinds of things have always been around, they seem more apparent in the college setting, since they are cheap and comfortable — two main characteristics of anything a college student owns.

Continuing on the line of cheap, collages of pictures are a good idea to brighten up a room.

Nicole Boyko and her suite mates in Kennedy Hall went with this idea but altered it slightly to fit their personal interests.

“We wanted to create something that would make the room a little better suited to our interests, so we took a bunch of pictures and came up with the Hottie Hall of Fame,” Boyko said.

In order to do create original ideas, it seems that our generation has a thing for recycling old trends and spicing them up a bit to fit individual style. Mark Guertin, of Loftman Hall, exemplified this with his room.

“We put up some Christmas lights and it all started there,” he said. “We decided to put up some more lights and then we got even more stuff to put up and just went with it.” Besides Christmas lights, their room also contains strobe lights, black lights, a disco ball, black light posters, paintings and a tire (hanging from the ceiling).

What it comes down to is that each individual should do what they want with their room, from transforming it into some sort of place of worship of the Doors, to making it into a greenhouse filled with plants. Whatever your style is, take some of the trends from this year and adapt them to fit it, and enjoy!