There's a new reality show on NBC called Lost. It's where they take people, blindfold them, drop them in the middle of nowhere and have them find their way back to the Statue of Liberty. We here at Trends decided to play Lost, Duke style. We took some random freshmen, blindfolded them, gave them a bud and dropped them in the middle of a random dorm room. They had ten minutes to find their way to the Chapel. Could they do it? No way. Take a stroll around Duke dorms and one thing becomes clear--aside from the occasional window seat or high ceiling, every place looks the same. It's impossible to tell the rooms in Craven apart from the ones in Crowell, and the only difference between Pegram and Brown is the issue of free substances versus substance free. In the interest of annihilating conformity, Trends went on a mission: seek out the most creative rooms at Duke, and make a painted room of our own.
The first part of our quest was easy; it turns out that more than a few Duke students have opted out of standard white walls. Senior Talya Klein, who recently moved to Central Campus, painted a bedroom wall peppermint green, with pink polka dots. "It's just so much fun," she says of her newly decorated apartment, which also features a pink shag rug and a decadent bathroom boasting an angel theme. Meanwhile, on Main West, senior Lauren Crais is inhabiting her blue room for the second year in a row. Using less than a gallon of paint, and six hours of labor time, Crais and her roommate spent their junior year making a one-room double into a real home. "It doesn't really feel like we live in a dorm.É it's cozy; not a cell anymore," she says about her crib. Other stories poured into Trends about walls with graffiti, walls with handprints, walls with quotes and murals of the ocean. We were so inspired, we had to get in on the act of dorm decorating. Trends took the plunge and decided to paint our very own room.
Our first stop: Home Depot. For about $20, we bought enough paint to cover an entire single on West, plus brushes, rollers and the essential drop cloth. After picking out a color scheme (bright blue with pale yellow accents), we cleared out the rugs and covered the furniture. Then we went to work. Painting is very easy; not spilling the paint is very hard. In less than two hours, the walls were covered--and so were the floor, computer, a CD case and a brand new pair of New Balance sneakers (thankfully, the graffiti look is taking hold). It took less than 20 minutes for the blue paint to dry and the embellishments to begin. In under three hours, a plain-white single was transformed into a small masterpiece, periwinkle with yellow stars on the ceiling.
The architect William Morris engraved a saying over his fireplace: "Art is long; life is short. Live beautifully." Trends is proud to accept his challenge and begin to create our own little world outside of the standard Duke style. Looking around at the new blue room, it's becoming increasingly clear that there's no place like home--especially when you paint it yourself.
--By Faran Krentcil