Dorm Tours

A Swiftie’s Dorm Room Celebrates Taylor with Chic, Subtle Details

published Oct 24, 2023
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Home Type
Dorm (suite)
University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont
Square feet
Sq ft
green and white bedding, gallery wall of posters, macrame hanging above bed, various throw pillows orange and yellow, disco ball with rainbow lighting
Credit: Isabel Petrou

When University of Vermont sophomore Isabel Petrou designed her dorm room, she focused on the little things that make her happy — including UVM merch, pops of greenery, and lots of Taylor Swift lyrics.

Credit: Isabel Petrou

Isabel’s Space

How did you end up in this dorm room? I was able to pick out my dorm online — it was like adding it to my shopping cart. 

Why did you pick this one? I was drawn to this space because it’s a suite-style dorm. This means I have a living room and two full bathrooms. 

What’s your dorm room best known for? My space is more of a place to relax and get work done, rather than the party room. I go to my room after classes to take a deep breath and focus on my studies. I also watch movies and TV shows in there. It’s a place for self-care but also productivity. Having alone time in silence — or listening to music or a podcast — is very important to me, and my dorm room is the perfect place to do it.

Credit: Isabel Petrou
NEZZOE Makeup Mirror, $19.99, at Amazon; ACITHGL Bubble Candle Set of 2, $13.99, at Amazon

Isabel’s Style

Define your personal home style: Boho organic minimalistic. I get inspired by greenery and plants, and bohemian crochet and patterns. I tend to prefer warm colors over cool ones because warm creates a comforting energy to me.

What’s your favorite element in this space? Overall, I love my room because it’s very me and super cozy. I also love my disco ball and sunlamp.

But if I had to pick one thing, I’d say my wall of posters, because it has a lot of quotes I love and live by. It also has some of my favorite music artists and movies on it. I love seeing all the Taylor Swift stuff every day, as she’s my all-time favorite artist. I also love the color scheme — red and black with hints of neutrals — because it gives a vintage sort of feeling that really speaks to me.

Credit: Isabel Petrou
FEISCON Travel Jewelry Box, $15.99, at Amazon

Isabel’s Budget

In an effort to remove the stigma associated with talking about money in college, we’re asking students to share how they plan and budget for their space.

How much does your housing cost per semester? $4,584.

How much did it cost to decorate your space? About $500.

Credit: Isabel Petrou
QUIGO Sunset Lamp Projector, $15.26, at Amazon

What was your biggest splurge for this space and how much did it cost? My Ugg throw blanket, about $60.

Best budget find? My comforter was about $65, which is a steal for a nice comforter.

Credit: Isabel Petrou

Isabel’s Advice

What was your biggest challenge in decorating your dorm room? I encountered a few challenges. In dorms, you can get serious fines for ripping off wall paint, so I had to make sure anything I wanted to hang could be hung with painter’s tape or Command strips. This is why I don’t have too many decorations.

Also, the room is small, so my roommate and I have limited space to design on our own without taking over the other one’s side.

And finally, dorm lighting is very harsh, so I only use my fairy lights, a sunlamp, and a salt lamp.

Credit: Isabel Petrou

Do you have any other advice for students? The most important thing you can do when planning what you’re bringing for your college dorm is think about organization and maximization. I recommend buying plenty of collapsible bins for shoes, snacks, bathroom necessities, and such. I would also buy extra clothing storage products like plastic drawers that fit under your lofted bed. Get a makeup organizer, because that way you don’t have to rummage through a messy makeup bag. Don’t forget a jewelry organizer as well as a shower caddy, so everything is accessible but organized. Lastly, I would buy a three-tier rolling cart to store any little things you use often.

Credit: Isabel Petrou

This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.

Share your style: Dorm Tour Submission Form

Isabel Petrou

Public Communication

Isabel is an incoming sophomore at the University of Vermont. She is studying public communication. She grew up in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where she frequented the beach often during the summer. Even though her heart belongs to the ocean, the mountains are becoming a close contender. Her favorite part of living in Burlington, Vermont, for college is its unique coffee shops. Her perfect day would consist of going to a cute café in the morning, then spending the day at the beach swimming and reading, then ending the day by shopping and getting dressed up for a nice dinner downtown. Through Dorm Therapy, Isabel is excited to be a voice for young adults embarking on their college journeys and she hopes to make this big transition of life more comfortable for others in the same place as her.

Follow Isabel
SchoolUniversity of Vermont '26
MajorPublic Communication
FavesShopping, the beach, TV/movies, walks, reading, Taylor Swift
Get to know Isabel Petrou
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