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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Teenage Dream: My Bedroom

This past April, after I finished my first year of college and hadn't yet gotten a job, I discovered Rookie, literally the best thing ever. I started off reading all the posts in order, and then followed links to posts that caught my eye, having almost a year of articles to catch up on (and if you read Rookie, you'll know that's A LOT OF POSTS). One that really stuck out to me was How to Make Your Room Look Like A Movie. I was fascinated by the aesthetic of the films mentioned in the article and, looking around my room, found it lackluster and boring. The only self-expression was a few knick-knacks on shelfs and the fact that I had pink walls and floral curtains I once fell in love with in a Seventeen magazine (good story: I went up to my mom with the picture and said "I need to have curtains just like this" and she said "I have those curtains, let me go get them for you." My room was turquoise at the time with all white and black accents - I have painted my room 6 times in the 7 years I've lived here - and the curtains sparked me to paint it Ballet Slipper Pink and change almost everything about it).

Especially after actually watching The Virgin Suicides (really amazing movie, you should get your hands on a copy, rent it from the video store if those even exist anymore, or Netflix it immediately) and falling in love with the perfect blend of dark and innocent that Sofia Coppola puts into the whole ~vibe of the film, I needed to make my room look like the ones I was seeing on the internet.

A still from The Virgin Suicides (source): ISN'T IT PRETTY?

I began compiling pictures, screen-shotting Instagrams, and searching shops, my closet, my bathroom, and anywhere I could for the perfect items to scatter about in the organized chaos of a classic teenager's bedroom (or perhaps unorganized...I have been meaning to get out to the organization store).

The thing was, I had spent the last months simplifying my bedroom: taking down the books from my bookshelf to make room for a bit of decoration; putting everything I had scattered about into neat little boxes; cleaning out and organizing under my bed; making it look like a mother's dream - or, at least, my mother's dream. Hoarding comes easily to me - it's my first instinct. Oh no, don't throw away that little scrap of paper/ribbon/tiny square of tissue/movie ticket - I'll do something with it someday. And I usually do, but never really had. Now I had a reason to get out all of those little knick knacks and begin the process of teenage-ifying my room.

Now, let's start with the most basic: my shelving. I have a HUGE bookshelf in my room. This used to be completely packed with books, but I had to retire my books to a bin under my bed (sob) because I just don't have enough shelving to have all my books AND all of my decor in one room. It's a really small room, guys, meant for maybe a 6-year-old who doesn't have any books or interest in decor and/or keeping a lot of things in the room at once.
Pictured are the first and second shelves of my huge bookshelf. The first shelf is just part of my extremely nerdy book collection including the entire Harry Potter series, A Song of Ice and Fire series, my favourite Jodi Picoult books (and the ones I don't have on my Kindle), the Silverwing series, and a few of my favourite and most nostalgic books from my childhood - yes I was reading novels in my childhood. I'm just that cool. 
The decor on these shelves ranges from things I've had since I was 8 to things my gramma had to things I've picked up at thrift shops, to Christmas or birthday gifts. Some things you can see here are my coveted Spice Girls Official Merchandise fanny pack (found in my gramma's basement from when I was 5), an origami crane I made, one of the MANY Hello Kitty collectibles I have (I'm hoping to surpass Asako Kanda's 4,519 collection for the Guinness World Record Hello Kitty Collection. When I move out and have a house, one room will be ENTIRELY dedicated to Hello Kitty - I dare you to try and stop me), a mini plastic trunk from a dollhouse set filled with dollhouse items that I'm planning to put on brooches and such, a creepy naked doll with hair only on the top of its head, and some Precious Moments and Willow Tree figurines.

This is a full view of my third shelf, including a floral vase filled with candy canes and a Halloween-bead headband I made, my most aesthetically-pleasing books and favourite magazines, a snow globe, a box filled with all of my knitting notions, and a cut-open Halloween candy grab bag I received as a Halloween gift and now serves as a placemat of sorts.

Here are some close-ups of the previous shelves. My pen-holder is actually a cupcake-shaped bandage tin from Urban Outfitters about 6 years ago; the mini Batman lunchbox is filled with my thumbtacks and found for $1.50 at Michael's craft store; the porcelain doll I've had since I was about 8 years old, the Betty Boop tin came from a thrift shop; Captain Kirk was a Christmas gift 2 years ago; the sprinklings as I like to call them are made up of beads, confetti in different shapes, a miniature Tamagotchi, and a yellow sucker whose origins are forgotten; the little doll is basically me in doll form (red hair, glasses, bow in hair, reading a book) and is actually one of those message dolls that you're supposed to put messages in and I don't really know what you're supposed to do with them, it's just cute; The pink cylindrical bin was from Michael's and used to hold my pens but is now holding just anything I don't have a specified container for (embellishments by me: heart-shaped female sign made out of pipe cleaners, rhinestones, and beads saying "I swear we were infinite" from my favouritest book The Perks of Being a Wallflower); a teapot with flowers, butterflies, and a cat on it that my gramma gave me; crocheted owl by me/mini Hedwig from Harry Potter; a Twining's tea box covered in paper that I made; a Sweettarts tin that has binder clips in it; 2 boxes filled with paper clips (it's a long story).

Closeup of my magazines (I used to have a subscription to NYLON, my Rookie Year One, a book about eating organically and environmentally-friendly, and a book about vintage fashion called Vintage Fashion that has really awesome pictures, some knitting pattern books, and my card book - all the cards I've received for the past 3 years, hole-punched and held with single binder rings. The top of my shelf has 3 large glow-in-the-dark stars on it, block letters saying WISH (that you can't see), some flower crowns, some dolls from my gramma's house, and an empty lemonade bottle that is now a flower vase. 

Here are some other shelves in my room. The three box-shelves came from Beau Clair and have Mooch my best friend stuffed monkey from when I was little, an elephant/friendship snow globe that came from my gramma, and a white miniature teapot, with a canvas I got at a Mennonite furniture store, a canvas-collage I made with Willow Sheilds on it, and a completely sparkly canvas I got for Christmas that says "Never let anyone dull your sparkle" from Claire's, as well as a white porcelain bunny figurine and 2 mini bedazzled vases that I bedazzled myself - Closeup of that shelf next to it. 
The bottom two come from my side table - a stack of books (seen next to it) with my favourite tin box on it (it looks really classy with some Japanese icons, a deer, and the words "Random Crap" written on it) filled with all my bows, a vase with a homemade star out of pipecleaners, the little teddy bear is from when I used to dance and my parents gave it to me at a recital and I kissed it with lipstick about 8 years ago. 

DIY is a really big thing with me, so here are some things in my room that I've DIYd:

 (Clockwise from top left) A plain cardboard box that I covered in stickers that I fill with bracelets, a wooden box I bedazzled and LEOfied, my bulletin/inspiration board filled with things from magazines, things I've picked up from places, and a crown I made out of tinsel, my STAY SASSY sparkly banner
(Clockwise from top left) My collage filled with nostalgic things, pictures from my real life, and magazine clippings, my glow-in-the-dark star ceiling, my owl picture made with my Cricut and inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest 100 years ago, my magnet board which is really a cookie tin painted pink and bedazzled (words Remember To on the top)

My pride and joy in my bedroom is my art wall. These pieces mostly come from the internet and printed off on my crappy printer, but also have been collected from magazines, book covers, calendars, collages I've made, and greeting cards/postcards:
The full thing in all its glory
(Clockwise from top left) My Dollarama cat mirrors (with me making a stupid face because I was in the picture holla) and a teacup picture from a calendar, My daisy-chain garland with tinsel in it that is on the top of my headboard + a greeting card and some other art, art on my other wall, including magazine clippings, calendar pictures, a book cover, and a Disney princess greeting card; my other art wall that's above my dresser complete with Wonder Woman, Perks references, a Daniel Radcliffe collage, Gilderoy Lockhart, a kitten greeting card, a postcard of New York City I got in Manhattan, and Beyonce as the Virgin Mary

The other pride and joy in my bedroom is my dresser. It is really what was inspired by the Virgin Suicides and some of Tavi's descriptions and tips from the Rookie article I mentioned before.
Here is a full view

(Clockwise from top left) A vintage vase from a yard sale with flowers and a pink star wand that I accidentally ended up bringing home from a Rookie meetup in Toronto this past October along with a porcelain jewelry box that has a carousel on it that my parents got for their wedding, a tiara, pink elephant salt/pepper shakers, a carousel-shaped pencil sharpener picked up from a gas station, and a collection of pretty books (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a Nancy Drew novel, and a journal I got from my gramma); the most Virgin Suicides-y part of my dresser: the perfume bottles. Most of these I actually use or have used in the past, but one of them is just an empty one I got from a thrift shop along with a silver teddy bear-topped book figurine that is supposed to be for the Tooth Fairy that has my name engraved on it and a ballerina figurine my gramma says came from Italy like a million years ago; a zine I got from Hollie, an owl figure I painted with nail polish, a Buddha, a sunglass-wearing Willow Tree, a starfish, a bottle cap from the lemonade that is now a vase, some buttons, and a mini photo-frame that I like too much with the burgundy velvet to put a photo in that I got from a thrift shop, and I can't forget my Posh and Sporty Spice dolls
Another big part of my dresser is the sprinklings: beads, rhinestones, confetti, glitter, candies from Hollie, mini barrettes, 

Here's an important one: ORGANIZATION. Organization really can be important, even when you're trying to make a sort of chaos. 
(Clockwise from top left) my 2 chalkboard boxes with my textbooks in one and my craft supplies in the other (ok, half of my craft supplies - the other half are currently residing, like, everywhere) along with a teeny shelving unit filled with teeny boxes that are filled with everything from paper clips to rhinestones and my bookshelf with all of my SCHOOL stuff (ew); my Vintage Barbie calendar; my necklace holder (it's actually just a bunch of small nails nailed into the top of my dresser - ~*the more you know)

Last but certainly not least: nostalgia. Nostalgia is very prevalent in my bedroom. From things that are from my own childhood to things that I have nostalgia for even though I didn't own them in their time. 
My teddy is wearing a teddy (haha) with my name on it; a bunch of tapes I just got from my gramma's house including the Frances Collection, Pippi Longstocking, and 101 Nursery Rhymes (I WORK WITH KIDS OKAY); my American Girl doll I got in New York City when I was 12 and a teddy bear I got at the hospital when I got stitches (his name is, appropriately, Stitch, and has 3 stitches in his own chin)

Well, that's it. My room. This is in no way a tutorial, but feel free to take some inspiration from my room to add to your own. My biggest advice, you ask? COLLECT AND DON'T THROW AWAY. Anything. Ok, some things are good to throw away, like garbage for example. But confetti you find in your sweater hood from that surprise party you went to? Keep it! A candy necklace candy that made its way into your bra and fell out onto the floor that night? Stick it in on your dresser as a sprinkling (true story, by the way). Barbie accessories you're thinking of putting in the next yard sale? Put them in a box somewhere: You never know when you'll want to make some tacky brooches or display your Spice Girls figurines on your bookshelf. 

xo Summer