Life & Style

Highlighting the homes of SU’s hidden interior designers

The homes of SU’s hidden interior designers

Syracuse students share what makes their college living spaces cozy, original and special.

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Dyana Gales
“There’s a little cove and it works for me because I play the drums. It’s my favorite part of the room. I don’t even know what else I’d put in this space if I didn’t play,” Syracuse University student Oji Anderson described her bedroom.

Syracuse University upperclassmen have been graced with the privilege of finally escaping the dorms and—with their home decor talent, and the help of Pinterest—creating living spaces that truly feel like home. 

Finding the perfect hideout can be daunting, but SU students are offered many off-campus housing options. The fan favorites include South Campus apartments, university neighborhood housing and the Marshall, Theory, and the 505 on Walnut apartment complexes. 

“Ultimately the vibe was to make it homey,” South Campus resident Jasmine Kennedy said. “I know when the seasonal depression hits, I’m going to be inside my apartment the majority of the time.”

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Dyana Gales
Syracuse student Oji Anderson’s drum set in her bedroom in the University Neighborhood.

After the hassle of finding a base for their perfect sanctuary, students pull out all of the stops to transform their housing into visually stimulating spaces featuring both maximalist and minimalist designs.

SU upperclassmen were happy to open their doors to reveal the remarkable use of architecture, lighting, and woodwork, to share spaces that represent their individuality. 

Architecture junior Oji Anderson found it imperative to find a space that would represent her fully. Anderson found sanctuary on the third floor of an Ackerman house in the University Neighborhood. 

“I went really maximalist with decoration because I want this to be really homey because, well, I don’t live at home,” Anderson said. “I live with my friends and kind of venture around. So I’ve never had such a home. This room is my room and I’m proud of it.”

With the exhilaration of finally finding a place to call home, Anderson decided to fill her room to the brim with decor that represented her identity. Among these items are pieces of expressive artwork from Anderson’s collection.   

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Dyana Gales
Decorative wall art in Oji Anderson’s bedroom.

“A lot of the decor in my room is either art I have done myself or photos,” Anderson said. “I don’t think I could live in a space that’s bare because I feel my room really reflects my personality.” 

With an extensive number of wall art, Anderson’s main goal was to ensure there wasn’t an empty spot to be found on her slanted walls. But with the architecture of the apartment, there was one spot that needed an object a bit larger than a poster to fill the space.

“I put a lot of posters in my little drum cave and I like the music corner because it doesn’t take up any space of the actual room since it’s an extension,” Anderson said.

Dyana Giles
Oji Anderson keeps mementos of friends and families in the corner of her room, lit by her reflective lamp.

While Anderson chooses to deck out her room as a way to represent herself, biology and sociology junior Jasmine Kennedy, who resides on SU’s South Campus, prefers to do so with a softer aesthetic. 

“I’m a minimalist girly, I like the simple clean look because I feel like it goes with everything,” Kennedy said. “I’m not going to get sick and tired of it.”

The dorm furniture in the South Campus apartments posed a challenge for Kennedy in establishing her minimalist vision. But with a little help from the internet, she curated her room to fit her desired aesthetic perfectly.

“My room was one of the biggest struggles because I’ll have 10,000 ideas at once but I don’t like a busy look,” Kennedy said. “I’m like, ‘How can I add my music taste into this room and elements of my culture?’ I wanted subtle things that I feel represent me.”

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Dyana Gales
Jasmine Kennedy’s bedroom features wooden furniture.

Though Kennedy ended up with a beautiful gold and creme color scheme her success came from her largest struggle — wood.

“The hardest thing was working with the wood. But I was like, you know what, I can give my room a neutral minimalist vibe,” she explained. “I ended up adding my own pieces that have wood in them.”

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Dyana Gales

Advertising junior Destiny Erazo, who lives in the University Village apartments, was also able to work with the amenities her building provided to create a space that exudes comfort. For Erazo, the key to that comfort is stuffed mementos from home. 

“Every single decoration I have is from home,” Erazo said. “I don’t think of them as decorations, I think of them as pieces of me that I admire.”

Alternative Text Trinkets lined up on Destiny Erazo's desk. Bedroom with plush stuffed animals

Another aspect of Destiny’s personality is her love for music. She considers her album collection an essential element in her home decor. Though she loves collectibles representing her favorite music, she also collects trinkets for her decor.

“My little K-pop desk, it’s a piece of me that everyone knows, and it’s a conversation starter,” Erazo said. “It’s like I get to be a kid again.” 

Erazo, along with Kennedy and Anderson, have worked hard to create spaces filled with personality while maintaining pleasing aesthetics.

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Dyana Gales
Destiny Erazo’s shelf features collectible items from her favorite musicians.

Though the three creatives had different stylistic choices, it’s safe to name the students as the unknown interior designers of Syracuse University.