To tour Okere’s room, hover over the image. (Photos: James Byard/Washington University)
The Thomas Eliot B House room of Washington University in St. Louis sophomore Camryn Okere is more than a place to crash and study — it is a curated collection of art, an expression of her personal ethos and a modern marvel in storage.
It is also the winner of the Office of Residential Life’s inaugural Room Decorating Contest.
“Camryn’s space really stood out to the judges,” said Kawanna Leggett, executive director of residential life. “The judges were impressed with how she incorporated inexpensive items and inventive hacks to bring her own style to the room.”
As winner of the “best overall room,” Okere won a $500 Residential Life housing credit for the fall semester.
Okere, who is studying leadership, strategic management and international business at Olin Business School and design in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, spent months planning her ideal room and tracked costs, sources and vendors on an Excel spreadsheet.
“I do everything on a budget,” said Okere, who shops Ikea and Amazon for functional basics like storage boxes stacked under her bed and couch and retailers like Marshalls for unique design elements like the toothy skull that sits atop her television shelf. “That means I often have to assemble pieces on my own, like my desk, which had a thousand screws. All of my friends, at some point, put time in this room, which is another reason why I think it’s special.”
Okere’s room is so cool that Dormify, the online retailer that sells fashionable dorm bedding and decor, has asked Okere to serve as a style consultant. Dormify was founded by another stylish Washington University graduate, Amanda Zuckerman, who earned a bachelor’s in fine arts in 2013.
“My room definitely reflects my personality, but it’s also replicable,” Okere said. “I like the idea of inspiring other people to make the most of their rooms.”
WashU Spaces showcases the offices, laboratories, studios and living quarters of the students, staff and faculty of Washington University in St. Louis.