Â??trading Rooms’ Opens Resident Hall Rooms to Senior Design Students, Freshman Teams in Decorating Challenge

Two rooms, two designers, two sets of roommates, 12 hours and $200 to redecorate a residence hall room.

Colorado State University’s Housing and Dining Services is launching Trading Rooms, a new event in the residence halls that will provide a fun way for students to customize their crib.

Like the show "Trading Spaces," two teams, each consisting of a set of roommates who live in a residence hall on Colorado State’s campus, will work with one of the university’s senior interior design students to redecorate the opposing team’s room on Nov. 5. Teams have just 12 hours to complete the transformation of the room.

"The idea for this program grew out of the current trend of making residence hall rooms look and feel more like home," said Stephanie Clemmons, associate professor in the Department of Design and Merchandising. "In fact, studies show students who have a well-decorated college space that feels like home are more likely to remain in college. We wanted to encourage students with something fun and new – such as Trading Rooms – that will help students customize their residence hall room and, ultimately, be more comfortable."

Senior-level interior design students from the Design and Merchandising program will apply to be one of two creative leaders behind the transformation of each of the two rooms. Each set of roommates – one set of female roommates and one set of male roommates – will meet with their assigned designer prior to Nov. 5 to share their desired style and outcomes for the redecoration.

The designers then will be given $200 to purchase supplies for the redecoration, and designers are encouraged to be unlimited in their creative use of their budget and design materials. The university’s Housing and Dining Services Operations Management carpentry shop will be available to the designers to construct some accessories.

     The design must incorporate existing furniture already built into the rooms, including two built-in study desks, two study chairs, two built-in closets and two single beds. Designers and competing roommates are allowed to decorate with items including pictures, plants and rugs; however, students are not permitted to paint their own rooms.

The student designers and residence hall teams will meet again at 8 a.m. on Nov. 5 to begin working on the room. Each room must be completed by 8 p.m., when it will be unveiled to the roommates who live there.

Design students will be selected based on a short interview. Innovative ideas for small spaces and decorating on a budget will be considered during the interview. Selected designers will be able to use the Trading Room program as a portfolio piece in their job search after graduating from the university. Roommates selected for the redecoration will be chosen based on three reasons why they think their room should be selected as well as compelling stories about the teammates.

Teams, which must consist of two sets of roommates living in a Colorado State residence hall, can apply online at www.housing.colostate.edu for Trading Rooms until Friday, Oct. 14. The selected roommates and designers for the event will be announced on Monday, Oct. 17.