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Pimp my dorm room 

School isn’t prison and your room needn’t be a cell. With a few choice additions, your generic digs could be a sweet hang.

Pictured above is a typical Dalhousie Howe Hall single dorm room. Empty, it's perfect for minimalist psychopaths. But you deserve a room with personality that won't scare the neighbours. So how and where do you start? We asked Suzanne Saul, co-owner of Attica Furnishings (1566 Barrington Street, 423-2557), to give us a few design guidelines, and after a 12-hour HGTV marathon, we added a few of our own tips.

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1.Suzanne Saul: The biggest change to make is the bedding, and there's an opportunity here to make a statement and give the room some life.

The Coast: See if your grandma has any old Hudson's Bay blankets with the iconic stripes. They scream Trudeau-era vintage chic, as does anything with wildlife (deer, foxes and owls preferred).

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2.SS: Cheer up the room with new curtains and an area rug. Replace the dark, heavy curtains with something light. Cube drapery panels (maybe in white) will brighten up the room and add a sense of geometry.

TC: Band flags are not curtains. Sugar Ray was on Cribs, and even he knows better.

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3.SS: Use storage items to not only keep the room neat and tidy, but to also add some colour and personality. Hampers, wastebaskets, shelves and bulletin boards can be fun and functional. For a more sophisticated look, place woven storage baskets across the top of the wardrobe.

TC: Plastic milk crates are not sophisticated but old wooden milk crates can look cool. Take a trip through the north end vintage shops (mostly on and around Agricola) and see what you can find. Mix and match.

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4.SS: Add some wow with a clock, wall decor, frames and a mirror. Keep photos of family and friends, as well as memos and reminders on photo mobiles. Use a few for even more impact.

TC: Avoid Matisse posters. Puppies and boobies are also not acceptable. Sign up for a screenprinting class at the Roberts Street Social Centre ( and make your own art, or if you have a little money, go to NSCAD's Seeds Gallery (1892 Hollis) and support other students.

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5.SS: Don't forget that your main focus is to study, and buy items that will help you do just that, such as a desk lamp and chair. Having a comfortable desk chair is key---why not make it stylish to boot!

TC: It's so true. Beg mom and dad to buy you a decent chair, or try to find one on Kijiji, before you get all gnarled up like us. Your future carpal tunnel will thank you.

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