The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Step Inside Three Seniors’ Deeply Personalized Apartment

Sophia Holub

For the enthusiastic and amiable trio, a home is created by an open and inviting atmosphere. This is especially evident when you enter the on-campus apartment of seniors Elannah De La O, Toviel Francis and Christina Nguyen in Colgate University’s Parker apartments.

“I read a study about people and wall decorations [that said] people who decorate their walls with photos of their loved ones tend to be more empathetic,” De La O said while pointing to her wall decorations. “I don’t really have a ‘style,’ I just like putting up things that make me happy. I tend to put up posters of my favorite K-pop artists, artwork, and photos of my family and friends.” 

De La O’s charming, pastel-colored room is decorated with objects that are reminiscent of her passions and the people she loves. Her wall is a carefully crafted collage of precious memories, charming artwork, and celebrated artists. Elements from the past and present come together to create a vibrant portfolio that celebrates De La O’s unique personality. 

In De La O’s room, almost every decoration is an artifact of cherished memories.

“I’ve had this blanket for forever now. It was given to me by my great-grandmother. It reminds me of my childhood,” De La O said as she gestured to her cartoon bed covering.

There is a frame on her desk containing a sketch in loving memory of her Uncle, a fun-loving image of BTS boy band member, Min Yoon-gi, at a strawberry farm and a photo booth picture of De La O and her friends.

Alice Herst

Francis uses distinctive decorations to create the same inviting ambiance in his own room. 

“I like a warm setup to my room, nothing too in-your-face. I like a homey space with a calm atmosphere where my friends can feel welcome. Everything on my bed has been given to me by my mom and friends,” Francis said.

On top of his bed lies a blue pillow that was stitched for him by his mom. 

“I named it blueberry,” said Francis with a laugh. “It has been there for me whenever I need to study or sleep.” 

His vinyl bamboo window coverings complement his panda bed sheets, bringing a stylish and inviting theme to his room.

“I want my room to feel like an extension of me,” Francis said.

Making his room a comfortable space for both work and rest has been a significant consideration in Francis’ layout. Francis carried his Colgate desk downstairs and set up a coffee-colored, spacious worktop in his room. 

“I got it for free from a friend who transferred out. The desks provided by Colgate felt cramped and I needed an accessible workspace. This desk can hold many objects at once such as books, snacks and my computer setup. My PC can easily fit underneath it. This setup helps me be more efficient and wind down with some games whenever needed,” Francis said.

Francis’ fairy lights give his room an autumnal glow. The red and orange autumn forest set as his desktop background paired with the glow from his PC generates a feeling of warmth in his room. Francis complemented his PC with a small image of Calcifer, a mystical Studio Ghibli character who takes the shape of a fire. Francis hopes his room presents as a “warm autumn evening.” 

“Aside from homey and comforting, I want my room to be vibrant. I want some life to it,” said Francis.

The apartment mates’ kitchen and living room are a testament to their cozy and peaceful home life. 

“We try to put a little bit of ourselves into the apartment,”  De La O said. “Our cohesive differences come together to make it our home.”

Twinkling lights in the shape of stars line the living room ceiling, giving the room a warm, mellow glow. They gently illuminate the photos containing a multitude of stunning landscapes, architectural masterpieces and distinct close-ups of animals. 

“Our apartment mate, TK, is a photographer,” De La O said. “All of the photos are his. I guess everyone in this apartment is drawn to some form of artistic expression.”

The trio has accentuated the space with a few plants around the kitchen and the living area. 

“It’s pretty minimalistic,” Nguyen said. “I like lots of flowers and plants, and that’s mainly what I use to decorate.” 

The housemates often place flowers from the Hamilton farmer’s market throughout the space, bringing a little aspect of the village to their home.

Sophia Holub

As we wrapped up the apartment tour, the trio set up to watch their favorite TV show, “Black Mirror,” from their living room projector. They each pulled out a blanket from a little wooden basket in the corner. 

“We like to watch movies and shows down here together,” De La O said. “We screen basketball games during basketball season for whoever’s interested.” 

“We even have study sessions down here sometimes!” Nguyen added. 

As the trio watched their favorite show, only the light from the projector and the soft star-shaped lights filled the room. The trio has succeeded in making their apartment into a comfortable, artsy and inviting sanctuary. We shared some last laughs, but I am sad to say I had to leave as it was getting dark outside. As I made my way back to my apartment, I felt inspired to collaborate with my roommates to turn our apartment into a peaceful and creative hideaway of our own.

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