Building The Nest: Redhawk Room Decor


Adeline Ong

Flowers, oranges, and coffee pods on microfridge in Bellarmine Hall.

Many Seattle University students anticipate the start of a new school year, moving away from home and into a space that they can  call their own. Whether they live in a dorm or apartment, students spend weeks searching for unique items to decorate their new spaces. Lights, posters and pictures of family and friends adorn the walls of many Seattle U dorms, yet each individual room has its own unique essence and sense of character.

Living away from home for the first time can be challenging, and reminders of family and friends serve as a comforting part of dorm decor to cope with homesickness. One first-year roommate duo, living in Bellarmine Hall, emphasized that their color scheme and connection to home played a large part in their decorations. 

“My favorite colors are pink and green so I tried to make the room reflect that, and I hung up pictures of family and friends so that I can reminisce,” first-year Nursing major Andra Dirtu said. 

Dirtu’s side of the room has a large collage of pictures that cover most of her wall, as well as several posters and hanging decor that create her pink and green aesthetic. 

Like Dirtu, first-year political science major Grace Woodruff also has a large portion of her wall decorated with pictures. 

Grace Woodruff’s bedroom wall decor with photos in Bellarmine Hall. (Adeline Ong)

“They’re film photos, and I took them myself. They’re of me and my friends from back home, and they remind me of being home,” Woodruff said. 

Second-year Environmental Science major Alec Willard-Herr has a room adorned with dozens of plants, most of which reside in a large greenhouse that sits near the front of his room. He says his decor has helped him stay connected to his family at home, especially his mom. 

“I really bonded with my mom when it comes to plants,” Willard-Herr said. “She’s been gardening my entire life and she got me into plants, and it’s really taken off in the last year.” 

As a second-year student who lived in Campion Hall last year, Willard-Herr was excited about having more space to adorn with greenery. 

“I wasn’t able to have as many plants last year, I put a lot more effort in this year and I think the greenhouse has changed a lot about the room, it makes it all come together,” Willard-Herr said. 

However, transporting plants and an entire greenhouse into the room did not come without challenges. 

“I had to disassemble the whole greenhouse to get it here, put it all together, put it in a spot where I liked it and put all the plants where they are happy,” Willard-Herr said.

Willard-Herr is thrilled about the way his plants and the greenhouse have progressed, and is looking forward to adding even more plants throughout the year; taking care of them like he and his mom do at home.

Second-year Political Science major and Resident Assistant (RA) Gretchen Franz is also thrilled about having additional space in her room this year that she can use to decorate. As an RA living in Bellarmine Hall, Franz has a room to herself that she has decorated with various posters, furniture and like other students—reminders of home. Her newest addition is a collection of jet propulsion lab posters that hang in a row on one of her walls. 

Alec Willard-Herr’s plant terrarium in Chardin Hall. (Adeline Ong)

“They’re in the style of vintage lab posters, except for planets, which I think is pretty cool,” Franz said.

Like Willard-Herr, Franz also has her own collection of plants that she decorated her room with this year. For Franz, the plants counteract the rainy and overcast weather that often dominates Seattle.

“I have seven in total, some I’ve had for quite a few years,” Franz said. “They make the room bright and cheerful, especially when it’s sad and gray outside.” 

Franz explained that her room this year was essentially a copy and paste of last year’s layout, and that the direction she has always chosen for her room is a combination of components that makes the space feel like home. 

With their own personal flair and taste of brightly colored lights and posters, reminders of home and many other decorations unique to them, Seattle U students express themselves and who they are as individuals through their decor. 

“I always do my best to make sure that my room feels like home, and I know that other students always do as well,” Franz said.