Sometimes I think my gifts are silly. Like maybe I spend a little too much time painting, or coming up with new ideas to make something, or decorating rooms. Often I feel guilty about my creative brain and think that there are more important things I should be doing.

But then I meet someone like Kristen Bailey and I get a new perspective and think maybe my gifts aren’t silly or frivolous. Kristen recently graduated from Conway High School and will be attending the University of Central Arkansas this fall. And while most girls are shopping for dorm supplies with their moms, Kristen isn’t able to do that. Her mom passed away unexpectedly a few years ago.

Kristen was recommended by her CHS counselor, Jan Armstrong. I met Kristen for coffee one morning and I could easily see why. Kristen is an intelligent, kind, hard-working girl. Almost every time I contacted her she was at her job at Larry’s Pizza; a job which she will continue while she attends UCA.

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to help Kristen decorate her room. I really enjoy working with small spaces to make them as welcoming and comfortable as possible, and to be able to do this for Kristen just made my heart happy.

When I asked Kristen what words she would use to describe her ideal dorm room, she said “fun” and “energetic.” Of course, I translated that into lots of color! I started with some watercolor ikat fabric that I found online and built the room around that.

We were fortunate enough to have our fabric for the headboard, bedskirt, and chair pillow donated by Linda Marie’s Gift & Fabric Store in Vilonia and seamstress Debbie Moreland (Mom and Pop’s Shop @palletandthread on Facebook) donated her time and skill to sew everything for us. 

Cody Sublett of Cadron Creek Craftsman made the headboard and his dad, Rick Sublett of Rick’s Auto Upholstery upholstered it. This project would not have been possible   

without our donors.

The bedskirt is not your typical bedskirt, it is made of several panels with ties on the top. This way you are able to raise or lower your bed to any height and adjust your bedskirt by tying it further back on the bed’s platform springs. This was such a useful thing I learned during this project. Using panels also allows easier access to storage underneath the bed. Dorm rooms can start to look cluttered because there is so much to store in such small space, but elevating your bed makes room for lots of concealed storage underneath.

I also ordered a queen coverlet. I really want Kristen be able to take the things we purchased for her dorm room and use them when she moves out. Since her bed was raised to the highest setting, the coverlet looks perfect on her bed.

We also used blackout white curtains attached to the wall with command hooks. These soften the room so much.

The desk chair was a little bit sad, so we replaced it with this blue velvet rolling chair that is so stylish and a little more 


A shower curtain was used to cover the sink. This will also give extra storage underneath. And since we used a shower curtain, there’s no worry about getting it wet.

And of course you have to have a dry erase board and cork board over the desk. The super cute blue desk lamp also has a port for charging electronics. How handy is that?!

And I was able to get my paint out and paint a canvas that would coordinate with Kristen’s new room.  

We did a room reveal and it’s one of my favorite projects I’ve ever worked on. Kristen brought her dad, Larry Bailey, and it was the sweetest moment. I’m so thankful to Publisher Kelly Sublett, WINC. Magazine and the Log Cabin Democrat for supporting this project and to our sponsors. Also thanks to Andy Isom and Craig Seagar with UCA for their help getting into the room during the summer.

Sometimes gifts that we think are a little silly can have a big impact on others. I’m so proud of this project. It was a moment I’ll never forget. There were happy hearts at the reveal and I hope Kristen’s mom is looking down from heaven knowing that we took care of her little girl.

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