By Maddie Wigle | Photos by Sean Paige
For some students, their rooms are more than just a place to sleep. These artistic residents took the time to go all out with their decor.
Senior studio art major
Mimi Guido has discovered her love of skulls. A display of deer, sheep and coyote skulls sits on shelves in front of her closet, which also happens to be accessed through a windowsill.
It’s widely known that many of the houses in Harrisonburg are given nicknames, but few of them suit their label as well as “Camelot,” where Guido lives. The Victorian house, located on South Main Street, is so artfully decorated that one wonders how the residents aren’t all interior design majors.
Guido, a senior studio art major with a concentration in photography, lives on the first floor across from the spacious foyer. When asked what inspires Guido in decorating her room, she responds, “Absolutely everything.”
Her walls are covered in a diverse array of art prints, photography (some of her own) and various pieces she has collected from her relatives. Above the vanity is a panoramic picture of her great-grandfather’s football team, and above the nightstand is her great-grandmother’s marriage certificate. In the right corner of the colorful room sits a vintage rocking chair Guido says is her favorite because in a photograph next to her bed, her mother sits in the same chair.
Guido’s rescue cat, Lloyd, who will turn 1 in March, has set up shop in the closet among the hats and shoes and accessories, but he emerges from the windowsill to greet visitors.
Several local Harrisonburg artists are displayed on Guido’s walls, but the most intriguing aspect of the space are the collages she has done herself. Pictures of her friends, miscellaneous drawings and magazine tear-outs fuse together to form the collages.
“I would just have a drink and mod-podge,” Guido says. “It’s therapeutic.”
Senior anthropology major
During Ansley Luce’s freshman year, she broke a mirror. Instead of discarding the pieces, she put it back together and now has it displayed near her door.
This choice is exemplary of Luce’s decorating style. She took what others would discard and made it an art piece. “Accepting coziness” is how Luce, a senior anthropology major, describes her approach to designing her small room in a house on Green Street.
When asked about her favorite piece of furniture, she laughs.
“Well I only have three, but I guess my bed,” she says.
She considers her room an art display, explaining that the goal is not so much trying to make her room appear bigger but rather making the limited space feel comfortable. Luce describes her room as eclectic: an organized exhibit of places she’s been but also places she wants to go. A map of the world from a National Geographic magazine is exhibited on the wall opposite her bed. There are also coasters from Finland sitting on the night stand.
Above her bed hangs a painting of a man’s face that Luce did herself, a canvas of nearly all blue hues.
“He has become my guardian,” Luce says. “I’ve tried to move him or put something else up, and it never works. The room doesn’t feel right without him.”
Luce draws inspiration from numerous sources but she does give credit to a few blogs, including the store Free People and a tumblr called “coffee in the mountains.”
Lights and mirrors hang from the corner of the room, reflecting the sun’s rays through the window. The window is adorned with curtains given to Luce by her roommate, who has had them since she was a baby.
Missing and broken knobs, like chipped teeth on the marble-topped dresser, characterize the charm of the furniture. An oriental rug ties the room’s rich burgundy and royal blue together. The white bedding is a sharp yet soothing contrast to the darkness of its accent pillows, which are animal print and deep mustard.
Senior graphic design major
When the only way to enter a room is via ladder, an interesting experience is bound to ensue. As one climbs up the rickety structure into Chrissy Sibilia’s attic room, you are greeted by pistachio walls and a low but comforting ceiling inside the house on North High Street.
A string of Polaroid pictures hangs above the television, the juxtaposition of old and new. Her bed is centered on the east wall of the room, making it the dominant piece of furniture, while her desk sits under a light bulb art installation she created. She constructed it by hanging fishing line from the ceiling and attaching it to the string of lights. At the desk sits her favorite item in her room: her chair from Ikea.
Between the foot of the bed and the television, the room opens up a little. To the left of the desk is a door fit for a hobbit. A painting of John Lennon’s eyes serves as the welcome sign for the adjoining area. This door leads to the most intriguing part of the room, aside from the ladder. Lit naturally with pale colors, the space feels open and welcoming.
“I love it,” she says, clearly proud of the self-made studio.