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Personalizing your place never looked so good

With a school as diverse and eclectic as this University, it should come as no surprise that this diversity is also represented in students’ living quarters. Eugene has a myriad of housing choices to offer students. Whether it is living in a fraternity or sorority house with 30 other people or living alone in a quaint, quiet studio apartment, there is a viable option for everyone.

Despite their differences in living situations, the four students profiled for this article share one thing in common: they have taken their respective homes and personalized them. Be it in decoration or overall vibe, they have managed to turn their “college houses” into homes. And no matter where you live, it’s possible for you to do the same.

A chill vibe in a one-bedroom

“I just like making the place really homey,” said Mary Bartell,@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@ an education major who lives alone. “I want to be comfortable when I come here after a long day of school. I just want to chill and relax.”

Bartell’s one-bedroom home reflects her laid-back demeanor and independence.

The walls of her house and bedroom are strewn with posters of The Beatles, her favorite band, and paintings that her older sister did while she was in high school. Over the summer Bartell painted the walls of her living room to make her house seem warmer–but before you do the same, make sure to clear it with your landlord.

Using Christmas lights to set the mood is another way Bartell has managed to make her house unique and inviting. They’re also a good way to spruce up a house on a college budget.

“I love lights,” she said. “I think my lights add a good twinkle and atmosphere to the place … Christmas time is the best time to get them, so stock up.”

Bartell’s personality shines through the decorations in her bedroom. Tapestries cover the windows, not only for the sake of decor but also to keep the place warm during the winter, she explained. Behind her bed hangs her favorite part of her room; a huge Ray-Ban sunglasses poster she got in high school that completely encapsulates the chill, laid-back vibe that represents her house and bedroom.

The Campbell Club

Not everyone has the desire to live in a one-bedroom house by themselves. In fact many people choose quite the opposite. Biology major Spencer Parker is one of these people. @@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@

Parker lives in the Campbell Club, a student cooperative house with 25 other people. The Campbell Club has a distinct Eugene vibe, which is immediately obvious upon entering the house located on East 16th Avenue and Alder Street. There is a sense of organized chaos in the house, from people skateboarding on the front porch to others running around the kitchen making the nightly group dinner that everyone comes together for.

Every nook of the house has a unique look and feel to it, and the rooms where its residents live are no exception.

“I’ve got a rocket ship mural on my wall,” Parker said.

A hand-painted mural is something that may seem a bit out of the ordinary in other places, but not at the Campbell Club.

“All the rooms are pretty unique. A lot of them have murals and are really pretty and crazy,” he said.

In the midst of the noise and constant motion that is the Campbell Club, Parker’s room conveys a sense of calm and serenity. The acoustic guitar propped up against the wall in the corner, a well-organized desk and a bookshelf compliment his methodical delivery of speech and calming presence.

Living with 25 other people definitely has its pros and cons, and Parker pointed out that this lifestyle is simply not for everyone.

“There’s not much privacy,” Parker said. “I have to share a bathroom with everyone on my floor, which is 10 people.”

However, for him the positives far outweigh the negatives.

“There’s always people here to talk to, and having dinner together is really cool,” Parker said. “We have open mic every Tuesday too, which is also really cool.”

The social three-bedroom apartment

In between living alone and living with 25 people is the happy medium of living in a small house or apartment with several roommates.  This is the route that educational foundations major Mary Roake [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@ She lives in a three-bedroom apartment with two of her friends.

“I don’t think I could ever live alone,” she said. “I like being social and coming home to people.”

When you walk through the front door of the apartment, a spiral staircase that Roake said she and her roommates love is there to greet you.

“It pretty much sold it to us, the spiral staircase in the apartment,” she said.

And the hand-painted Oregon Duck logo in the entryway gives a picture of the collegiate pride found in many residences in Eugene.

Throughout the bottom floor of the apartment, there are a multitude of collages highlighting different events that the roommates have shared together. Included are pictures from birthday parties, prior to Duck games and times just spent hanging out together at home, along with a poster of Audrey Hepburn.

Roake’s room is designed in a crisp, neat way that helps to highlight her favorite parts of the room, which include numerous small mirrors placed above her closet and empty wine bottles that she now uses as vases for her flowers.

“I don’t like to have my room look cluttered, so there’s a lot of white space,” she said.

She also said vintage stores in Eugene are a great resource for students to find inexpensive, stylish furniture.

“You’re in college so your furniture is going to get messed up, you don’t want to spend a lot of money and than have that happen.”

Fraternity life

For years, filmmakers have made movies attempting to capture the stereotypical college experience. From “Animal House” to “Old School” and all of the countless films in between, highlighting college life and the sometimes-raucous adventures that coincide with it has been a subject that has captivated audiences.

While not everything depicted in these Hollywood films is completely accurate, Dylan Gustafson, a double major in psychology and Spanish, and a member of the Chi Psi fraternity, in a sense gets to live out the glorified Hollywood notions of college. @@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Dylan+Gustafson @@

When you enter Chi Psi, two words immediately come to mind: man cave. You can hear the bass of a stereo system playing upstairs, and members who live in the house are dashing through the halls excitedly discussing their big plans for the upcoming weekend.

“As soon as I came here my freshman year, I said I was going to have this room someday,” Gustafson said, “and I made it happen.”

Gustafson’s room goes hand-in-hand with the man-cave vibe that is “The Lodge,” as it is referred to by its members. His walls are covered with posters of voluptuous women, an American flag and a poster of Tupac Shakur that hangs ever-so-slightly askew as you enter his quarters.

One major advantage of his room, Gustafson said, is that it is two stories. The bottom story is filled with a TV, a Super Nintendo system and a couch. When describing the couch, he chuckled and said, “It can seat three comfortably. Four is a little tight, but it works.”

Walking up the staircase in his room leads to a loft where his bed is located; placed under the fraternity’s painted Greek letters on the wall.

His room represents him as a person, and he said his best advice for anyone trying to personalize a room would be to “throw up a bunch of posters.”

Gustafson continued on to say that living in a fraternity house is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience that is he is glad to have had.

“Everyone says after living in the dorms, ‘I’m going to go live in a house with four or five of my best friends,’” Gustafson said.” I get to live with 20 of my best friends and it’s awesome.”


You can tell a lot about a person just from looking at how they live. The design, layout and overall feel of a room have the ability to give you a general idea of someone, even if you have never met them before.

To make your new apartment or house a home, decorate your room in a way that reflects you and makes you happy. This will not exactly be the same for any two students, but the diversity of Eugene and the University allows for a situation that will fit anyone.

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