August 26, 2014

Dorm Flowers

Dorms, by their very nature of construction materials, are cold and depressing with all those cinderblocks and gray paint. Who wants to "study" in that environment? That is, until you decorate them!

Since my youngest was headed off to her senior year in college, which is quite amazing since I'm only 29 myself - ha ha, I decided to cheer up her new room and at the same time, cheer myself up too. I wanted to make some flower arrangements that fit the following criteria for any college student:

easy to take care of
hard to kill
doesn't take up too much space
hard to kill (I guess I can't stress that enough)

For this project, I thought about bookends and how I could combine them with flowers so they'd be useful AND pretty!

I bought a couple of white wooden magazine organizers at West Elm (they were having a back-to-school sale) and then this awesome cubist sculpture also happened to plop in my cart. Amazing how those things happen...

On my way home, I stopped at Trader Joe's since they have great deals on orchids and they also just happened to have some succulents.

Then I stopped at the flower market and found these uber-cool air plants. If you don't have access to a wholesale flower market, you can also find air plants for sale at a number of sites so just google it and you'll see tons of options.

First I set out to construct my magazine holder gardens.

I used two plant container liners per organizer. They can be found at any garden and most craft stores. I squished them so they'd fit, making sure to overlap the edges in the middle so that when they got watered, the water didn't spill all over.

Then I arranged my orchids and succulents based on height. All these were bought for less than $20 total at Trader Joe's.

I cleaned the leaves as I went along and squeezed water through the roots so they weren't a dried up gray, but a green color before I put them in the container. All you do is to literally take hold of the root while running it under water and pull gently down the root. This basically forces water back into the orchid roots and rehydrates it.

The arrangements are so easy, it's almost embarrassing but the effect looks amazing in and amongst the books. I tried it at home, and then the final product is even better

For the windows and the table in the common room, I used air plants (sorry I didn't ask their botanical name at the flower market) to add a splash of color and chicness. 

I grabbed these round vases (you can find vases like these at garden stores or through places like West Elm and Terrain), and attached some wired twine. Because it's a dorm, I got some 3M hangers that work upside down. They're meant for lights but they worked perfectly for what I was trying to do.

It made the small prison-like window seem less ugly and added a little sumthin' sumthin'  to the room.

Now the year can begin, the bar is set up (they are all seniors and 21) and I can live vicariously through their tales - that is until I visit and get to play with them too!

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