Dorm Tours

Calming Neutrals and Glam Accents Come Together in This Chic Single Dorm Room

published Jul 12, 2023
Home Type
Dorm (single)
Ithaca College
Ithaca, New York
Square feet
Sq ft
desk, small vanity mirror, orb desk lamp, M, makeup brushes, white soft rolling desk chair, natural light

Maegan Bellassai, an Ithaca College musical theatre major, wanted to turn her bland single dorm room into a calming space with a muted color palette and dazzling details.

MIULEE Pack of 2 Decorative Velvet Pillow Covers, $13.99, at Amazon; Lush Decor Round Pleated Soft Velvet Decorative Pillow, $26.99, at Amazon; other pillows at HomeGoods; quilt at Pottery Barn (gifted); Ornavo Home Modern Round Velvet Storage Ottoman Foot Rest Vanity Stool, $69.99, at Amazon; FIREOCITY Custom Neon Sign, $79.97, at Amazon (gifted); EZVALO Music Bedside LED Lamp with Wireless Charger, $79.99, at Amazon (gifted)

Maegan’s Space

Tell us about your dorm room: I was randomly assigned to this single dorm on campus. This was not my first choice for a dorm, as it’s on the smaller side, but I am happy to have my own space. I was a little haunted by the cold metal walls and tiny room, so I was determined to make it warm and inviting.

I tried to use the height of the room to my advantage by stacking baskets high above my closet and raising my bed to store stuff under it. I love that my room gets a lot of natural light, because I am a huge believer in not using the Big Light. Adding a lot of extra lamps, an LED sign with my name, and string lights helps to warm the room in such a soothing way. 

My college is very far from home and I wanted a space that would make me click my heels three times at the end of the school day and say, “There’s no place like my dorm!”

Storage bins at Amazon (similar option)

Maegan’s Style

Define your personal home style: I really wanted a neutral and warm vibe. I drew some inspiration from coastal decor, boho vibes, and chic style to create this. When I have friends over, they often describe my dorm as a very calming space. I find that this room is a place for me to ground myself.

What’s your favorite element of your dorm room? I love my bed! I took time to find pillows that were different yet cohesive with the rest of the space. 

Proudest DIY hack? My headboard! With white upholstery and pearl beading, this piece really made my room look cohesive without breaking the bank.

What is your dorm room best known for? I love hosting, so whenever a friend needs to vent or just watch a movie and decompress, my room is the place to be.

Maegan’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.

Cost of housing per semester: $4,600

Do you have anyone helping to fund your housing? I have scholarships!

What was your biggest splurge for this space and how much did it cost? My mattress topper, $100.

What was your best budget find for this space and how much did it cost? My big wall art that I got from HomeGoods for $60 (similar option).

Chunky Boucle Ivory Andie Swivel Desk Chair, $429, at Pottery Barn Teen (gifted); wall art at HomeGoods (similar option)

Maegan’s Advice

What’s your biggest challenge in your dorm room? My biggest challenge was trying to make the most of the little space I had. With my single room only being 126 square feet, I wanted to make my dorm beautiful, functional, and not cluttered all at the same time. By raising my bed with bed risers, I was able to use the space under my bed for storage. Taking advantage of the height was a great problem-solver.

What’s your best tip for dorm living? Setting up a cleaning schedule is very helpful. In college, your schedule gets so packed that having a designated time for things like laundry or vacuuming makes all the difference. I would also say to shop early for your decor. If you head to the local Target in your college town the week of move-in, everything will be completely sold out!

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

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Maegan Bellassai

Musical Theater

Maegan Bellassai is a Musical Theatre major at Ithaca College in upstate New York. She has a passion for singing, dancing, acting, and creating content. She has walked as a model in New York Fashion Week, performed off-Broadway at the prestigious 54 Below, and is an avid Disney-lover.

Follow Maegan
SchoolIthaca College '25
MajorMusical Theater
FavesModeling, traveling, decorating, cooking, Disney adulting
Get to know Maegan Bellassai
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