“Wow, your room is so neat.” “Thank you!” “When are you going to decorate?” Well… I’m not planning to.
I admire people who put thought, time and energy into making their room their own space. Whether they display art, flags, personal photographs, postcards, memorabilia or lights, I am always in awe of how much they can do with a blank wall. Somehow, you can walk into their room and have a pretty good idea of who they are, what they like, how they vibe, where they’ve been or want to go. I am not one of these people, however, for a variety of reasons.
First, I don’t have much to hang up. There are no artists, bands or countries that I like enough to display, and framing entire issues of The New Yorker would be going slightly overboard. I generally don’t buy postcards when I’m traveling and have no printed photographs. Even if I did, I’m not sure I’d display them: I’m generally a private person, and having my life taped to the wall for all to see does not put me at ease.
The second reason, perhaps, is sheer laziness. The walls in Kimball are rough, and it seems no quantity of tape will stick to them. My main occupation weeks one through three consisted of keeping up with the peeling off of my only two posters – as soon as I would stick one to the wall, the other would slide to the ground and the cycle would start over, a constant reminder of gravity’s perks. Command strips or thumbtacks could solve this problem, but are they worth it? One requires a trip to the store and the other means risking a hefty R&DE fine at the end of the year.
Finally, and most importantly, my blank walls are a matter of preference. Though I enjoy seeing what other people come up with, I prefer staying as far away as possible from sensory overload. Blank walls are soothing, and after a packed day I enjoy coming home to a simple space. Procrastinating also becomes much less tempting if you have nothing to stare at and no temptation of skipping an assignment to keep decorating instead.
Last year, my walls were actually blank. This year, in an attempt to be a little more aesthetic (and avoid having to explain the white void engulfing my room), I brought back some posters and postcards. I also went to Ikea yesterday, and have to admit I couldn’t leave that magical place with empty hands. I caved. By “caved,” I mean “bought some string lights and a pillowcase.” Granted, we are nowhere near the photo collage of anyone’s dreams and won’t be anytime soon – but it’s something.
P.S. Thank god for windows – that’s one blank wall taken care of.
Contact Axelle Marcantetti at axellem ‘at’ stanford.edu.