If I squint, I still see this blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl is still running hand in hand barefoot across the fields in Kentucky singing Hannah Montana at the top of her lungs.

But somewhere along the way.

Life happened.

My tiny little dancer with her twirly whirly skirt is now officially moved into her first college apartment.

And along the way something amazing happened.

I discovered that the only thing better than decorating a room?

Is decorating it with a daughter that you love.

We just finished it this weekend and I can’t wait to show you.

Drumroll, please.

Here’s her room full of budget decor (and a few fun ideas for apartment living).

Here’s a look at the overall space.

We divided the room into sections with individual purposes.

Kind of like zones.

The entire design for the space started when we discovered this rug.

You can see the actual pattern here up close.

It’s so much prettier than in the listing.

It has shades of blush and pink and khaki.

You can see it here.

In one corner of the room, we added this chair for homework and quiet time and reading and studying.

This was hands-down our favorite thing we bought for this space. We added this throw to snuggle up with and a round tufted pillow like this.

It’s the perfect size and looks so high-end and it’s so roomy and comfortable.

You can see it here.

There’s a little side table for a cup of coffee or her books and a plug right to the left of the chair for a charger.

On this side of the room, there is a desk and two velvet chairs (in case she has friends over and needs extra seating in the space).

We are going to add an organizer under the side of the desk. We love this desk because it’s perfect for small spaces and has tons of room on the top for studying and storing make-up and hair supplies. Both the chairs and the desk came from her room at home, but I’ve linked super similar chairs and desk below.

Here’s a similar desk.

Here are similar chairs.

This side of the room has the chair and the dresser and the bed.

Westleigh picked out this dresser and it’s so cute.

It’s a modern take on a dresser that’s a little glamorous (like her) with tons of storage in the drawers.

You can see it here.

We added some raffia picture frames on top that we got at Hobby Lobby with a gold lamp from her room at home.

If you don’t have a Hobby Lobby in your area, I found these super cute wood bead frames that are similar.

And then there’s the bed.

Westleigh and I picked it out together and it’s SO CUTE and affordable.

It’s a lighter wood and super sturdy and easy to put together.

You can see the bed here.

The best tip for a bed like this? I found this amazing box spring that comes in a box that you just screw together and cover with a zipped cover. It gives the bed height and lifts it up and provides even more support for the mattress.

You can see the box spring here.

Also, we hung my beloved khaki and white striped curtains at the window with those same gold curtain rods and gold curtain rings I have used a zillion times.

You can see the curtains here and the rings here and the curtain rods here.

On the other side of the room is the door to the bathroom.  There’s also a small table with space for all her books and notebooks.

Along with some space for jewelry organization and extra storage.

It was so much fun to work on the room together.

But the thing that makes me the proudest?

The thing that makes this mama’s heart smile?

See this sweet girl?

She put the furniture together herself.

We ordered it and had it sent to the house and she put it all together. When we were there hanging things up in the room, she took the electric screwdriver from her dad and said, “I know how to use this.

I gave her a standing ovation.

LET’S GO Westleigh.

Another generation of DIY’ers is here. 🙂

Here’s the folder with all the links and sources (or super similar items) from the room.

You can see it here.

Let me know if I missed anything or if you have any questions!

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Cristie Cristie

    Love it all! I did have a thought.. it’d kinda fun, handy and comfortable to Add a Poof by her reading chair, to put her feet up or hold a laptop etc, Whatcha think? 🫶🏻

  2. Image for laura laura

    okay my son’s rental house with eight boys in four rooms is likely a health hazard 🤣 Love Westleigh’s initiative! Beautiful space!

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      My son is in a dorm suite with 4 other guys and yeah, I totally relate to your comment. Thanks for making me laugh out loud.

  3. Image for Karen B. Karen B.

    Karianne, What fun. Your great eye for style and bargains has clearly been passed down. :-) Westleigh's room looks great and how exciting for her to be starting college. Have a wonderful week. Karen B.

  4. Image for Janice Paschal Janice Paschal

    Super cute and functional space. I know you two had so much fun doing this project. Praying she has a wonderful year.

  5. Image for Donna lukish Donna lukish

    I have moved 4 children so far into college apartments and that includes two daughters. The room is gorgeous but my first thought is why a twin. A full size bed would have fit very nicely. For guests, you need at least a full size bed. Your daughter is obviously not ten any more. It’s a pretty room but she’s a coed. Maybe an air mattress would suffice.

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Donna, LOL! Of course she’s not ten! That’s why she had input into this room!This was Westleigh’s choice! I asked about a double bed and she wanted a twin bed for more space in her room. Happy day! KariAnne

  6. Image for Darlene Darlene

    Such a soft and pretty room! I just love your decor style! Could I ask what frames you used for the prints? Thanks!

  7. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    This is just lovely. And the room looks quite spacious. A far cry from the room I shared with two other students in a very old dorm my first year and one other girl in subsequent years. This will be a cozy and peaceful place to study. Is Westleigh majoring in interior design by any chance?

  8. Image for Lori H Lori H

    Lucky girl that Westleigh! Your great decor tastes have rubbed off as well as the skills to master manly tools:0)..I still feel unsure of how to use the drill. What fun to have spent the day together creating such a sweet room ..memories! Awwww....nothing better! I saved those curtain panels with the rings for later..love them....and that bed!! Sweet!

  9. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    Love all the beautiful choices you two have made. Especially the fact that Wesley knows how to do things and use tools also. Will take her far in the future. Blessings,

  10. Image for Linda Linda

    I love everything about this room, as usual. I tend to go with navy blue, but blush is right up there with my favorites.

  11. Image for Sylvia Thompson Sylvia Thompson

    Love this post! So much fun decorating with a daughters! Also LOVE THE CHI O pillow! Go Chi-O! Now next question--do you do long distance--like in Arkansas-- decorating plans?? Need help!

  12. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    That is so pretty. All her friends are gonna be jealous. Love that rug. Pinks are some of my favorite colors. Her room is so soft looking. Just beautiful. All of it.

  13. Image for Micki Micki

    Lovely. Wouldn’t change a thing. Could you share the names of the wall paint colors you used in Westleigh’s new room and in your entry (as seen in beginning of post to the right of door)? Both look like perfect neutrals. Thank you.

  14. Image for Maggie Rowe Maggie Rowe

    I would gladly live in this room and I'm 50 years older than Westleigh. Can we dial back to 1971 please and have you do my dorm room, KariAnne?! I am so over the macrame plant hangers that were all the rage then. :)

  15. Image for Debbie in SC Debbie in SC

    Oh Westleigh's room is ADORABLE! It is so comfy and calming. And it is about the size of my first studio apartment in downtown Chicago! LOL. Oh it is so pretty, soft and serene. You both did a beautiful job! Westleigh has a wonderful Mama! It's so pretty. It will be her happy place this year!

  16. Image for JoAnn Tarlton JoAnn Tarlton

    Absolutely beautiful and conducive to studying and resting! So lovely and thoughtful like everything you do!


    What a beautiful room you and your precious girl have created! And, how nice that "Dad" brought his tools so that Westleigh could use them! She is just like her precious Mom -- so gifted and so beautiful! We wish her all the best in the coming year. She is going to be so happy to have such a gorgeous room to come home to after her classes. I just love how you have added all those lovely extra items. Great Job!

  18. Image for Anita Anita

    This is such an adorable room for a gorgeous girl. The colours are calming and beautiful and I love the use of zones which really helps in a small space. Love it.

  19. Image for Linda Scott Linda Scott

    Just beautiful!! If I had a room like this in college I'd make sure I kept getting advanced degrees!! My college walls were yellow (and not a good yellow) painted cinderblocks and I had a roommate (and we still keep in touch 45 plus years later!!) so it turned out to be a great experience. But a room of your very own, WOW!! Such a great time in a young person's life!! Best to all for a happy and successful college career!!

  20. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Wow! What a great creation! You all did a smashing job. So lovely! I know Westleigh will thoroughly enjoy it. 😍

  21. Image for celestial celestial

    Wow. Just...wow. This room looks much better than my current home. I'm a bit shocked that you spent over $1K on furnishing it, and most of it brand new. We bought sheets and blankets for my kids because of the extra long beds but everything else they thrifted or scrounged. Now I'm feeling a bit neglectful... Do most parents do this for their outward bound children? Truly, I didn't know...

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      I get it. It's definitely not for everyone. It was super important to both girls (not my boys AT ALL--they got a comforter set and that was about it) to have a room they loved so we worked and saved and planned for so long. Both girls worked all summer so they could have a room like this! :) happy day! KariAnne

  22. Image for Nina Nina

    What a lovely and peaceful-looking room! The decision to invest in furniture of good quality was a smart decision (in my opinion). When your daughter graduates, she will either be able to still use it in her first home, or resell it and upgrade to even better pieces. Of course older, sturdy furniture can be thrifted, but it takes time to hunt for it, check it for defects or missing hardware, figure out how to get it delivered, and clean it. Time is money, as they say. Finally, your blog delivers much inspiration about how to create harmonious color schemes and arrangements in the home. With any budget, these principles can be applied.

  23. Image for Vickie England Vickie England

    Sooo sweet AND sophisticated! Go Chi O! Love that she's a "sister". Love, love that she let you help her with the decorating. I have 3 boys and like you, the best they would let me do is send a new comforter set, sheets and towels. When my oldest moved into his freshman dorm room, I was all ready to unpack bins and get his room "set up". He (somewhat) politely kicked me out! Wouldn't let me do a thing. I cried all the way home. LOL

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