This Dorm Room Is Way Nicer Than Our Apartments — & You Have To See The Makeover

When we recall dorm rooms from our college days, we think of string lights and the same generic posters on every single wall, whether it was Bob Marley or Gustav Klimt's The Kiss. But one Texas State University freshman's mom helped transform hers into a space that could easily be featured in a design magazine.

Sheila Ybarra, mom of biology major Skylar Bantz (pictured), worked for over 10 hours with a team of eight family members and friends to completely make over her daughter's new home, which is in a 50-year-old building known as "scary" Sterry Hall. Her Facebook post with photos of the makeover went viral, with thousands of commenters complimenting the project and asking questions.

"All of her friends are super-excited about it as well as her dorm neighbors, but most of all the two girls just really wanted a space that was comfortable and felt like a home away from home," Ybarra told Refinery29. "A dorm makeover can really change your mindset for college and being away from home."

Ybarra told the Houston Chronicle that she split the cost with the parents of Skylar's roommate, Adeline Vela. "We are pretty budget-friendly, so most of the items we got were from Ikea, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon," she said.

It's hard to believe that they started with a basic, drab 16-by-16 space. The team replaced the college beds with loft beds, and fit an entertainment center, coffee machine, and printer in the nooks under the beds. The newly palatial-looking room is outfitted with a faux-brick wall, monogrammed desk chairs, a homework-and-beauty nook (duh, you need one), and lots of fuzzy throw pillows.

We've seen plenty of fancy dorm rooms before, but this one definitely wins points for style and innovation. Click ahead for the before and after photos and our interview with Ybarra.

The "Before"...

Where did you do most of your shopping?

"Most of the shopping was done at retail stores, like the Bed Bath & Beyond bedspread, Ikea furniture, and Target pillows. However, I did have to do some shopping online and, of course, I tend to go to Amazon since I have Prime and could get it fast!

"Whenever you're searching for dorm-room items, it's really important to make a plan and start shopping early. I noticed about 30 days out 'til our move, a lot of items have already been picked through in the stores."

Where did you get everything shipped?

"I had items shipped directly to the house since the university would not allow you to ship prior to your move-in. What I did was I purchased clear, see-through storage tubs from Ikea — that way, I could see what products were in each tub when we brought them up to the dorm."
...& The "After"

Did you and Skylar disagree on any of the decor?

"No, I think we were on the same page [about] the entire design process. We had had a meeting prior with her roommate Adeline, and Adeline's mother and we all decided the color theme, and we would all communicate on a group text message and take pictures of items that we had seen in stores.

"Her roommate's mother was in charge of picking up the chairs, rug, bedspreads, customizing a pillow headboard, and making the sheer custom curtains as well as the sheer drapes underneath the bunk beds. Skylar and I were in charge of picking out all of the furniture, the wallpaper design, accent pillows, and other large living items such as a refrigerator, mini-vacuum, television, and coffee station.

"Skylar accented her room side in silver and Addy accented her side in gold, and the primary colors they chose were dusty rose, white, and gray. It was a great compromise between the two roommates. Each of their sides looks a little different, but it really showcases their individual personalities! You just want to make sure you're not too matchy-matchy."
How much did everything cost?

"Each family spent around $1,200 each, and a lot of time on preparation!"

What did you do with the standard school-issued furniture?

"Texas State University gives you the option to rent bunkbeds in certain halls. We were fortunate that our daughter was in an older hall, so that meant that the room was smaller and they gave the occupants the opportunity to rent university-approved bunkbeds from a vendor they approved.

"You can get about 4 feet of extra space under each bed with bed risers. We were able to put a set of drawers under there, a television, printer, coffee station, as well as a small refrigerator and freezer. It was a win-win for the room, since it is notorious for its small size.

"Some people on FB were skeptical of the decorations, citing various perceived hazards and violations, but when it came to room checks, the girls were only asked to take down a ceiling light."
How did you get that cool faux-brick look on the walls?

"Wallpaper has really come a long way now. I searched around for wallpaper on the internet and was surprised at all the options I found. You can actually get flame-resistant 'peel-and-stick' wallpaper. It is more expensive than regular wallpaper, however, it can truly transform a room. Since the university rules do not allow you to put holes in the wall of the dorm, the wallpaper allowed us to decorate 20% of the space. It actually made the room appear larger."
Do you have a decorating background?

"I worked for an interior decorator in college and I was also a corporate decorator in my twenties."
Do you have any advice for those who want to pull this off themselves?

"Have a meeting prior to [moving in] with your roommate if possible. It was a great opportunity to get to know each other as well as compromise on a style for the space. Plan it out and do some research on the dorm that you're going to be living in. We got measurements of the dorm room beforehand, which helped us pick pieces of furniture that fit the room perfectly!"
Skylar did a super-informative dorm-room haul video, which you can watch on YouTube.
"Scary Sterry not so scary," a commenter wrote on Ybarra's Facebook post.
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