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Delafield Neighbors

Gingersnaps: Before the Dorm

Jul 23, 2014 07:22PM ● By Laura Ustanovska

It’s been years in the waiting… since I began to dream about decorating my very own college dorm room. I would dream about colorful bedding, stylish storage and dainty do-it-yourself (DIY) decorations. Now, with summer free time and graduation-gifted savings, the time has come that I can make my dorm DIY visions come true. My local go-to DIY shop: Monograham Paper & Gifts - Delafield, WI.

Monograham is no mainstream Michael’s craft supply, but rather the cutest “thoughtfully curated paper and gift boutique” in the Lake Country. The woman behind Monograham, Amy Graham Stigler, can lend her chic expertise to any design endeavor, including dorm DIY! To put it simply, “[A girl’s dorm] room should look like a continuation of her favorite outfit,” Stigler said. “I also love vintage, so little porcelain dishes, mirrored trays and glass lamps add an upscale and often unexpected touch to any space.” Monograham can help you get your hands on unique vintage finds at their summer flea sale, coming this month! Stigler is also the designer and creative director behind Smock—a paper brand that brandishes the most adorable paper goods a girl can set her eyes on. It was the Smock prints found at Monograham that got me thinking about DIY.

Now, where to start? Stigler noted, “Every college girl needs an alphabet garland,” so I put my own take on the idea. I began with a nautical Smock paper sheet (because I’m a lake girl at heart), and threw in a lacy vintage string. Scissors and some decorative tape were all the tools that I needed to craft a string of garland, fit to spruce up any drab cinder block dorm wall. I then fell in love with a paisley Smock print, and dared to dabble in decoupage. I covered the surface of an old frame with strips of the paper and replaced the frame’s glass with corkboard. Stigler thought, “Having an over-scaled bulletin board filled with all things inspirational—quotes, photographs, magazine clippings and of course, lots of cute greeting cards and postcards—is a great way to corral all the cherished little odds and ends that one acquires.” My own creation can hold anything from pictures to fortune cookie finds, but can also double as a jewelry tray or a coaster for a coffee mug!

As I head off to Northwestern University this fall, I’ll be sure to stop by Monograham for all sorts of sweet nothings whenever I’m in town. I’ll pick up stationary stock for letters home, and maybe a gift for my roommate! But I’ll stop to see the new Smock prints, as well. “It always makes me feel so happy—and slightly humbled—to be enveloped by all the colors and patterns of my own designs,” Stigler remarked. Girls, make her smile even brighter this fall by flaunting a Monograham inspired dorm.

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