Transform Your Dorm: Downton Abbey

Housing is coming, Kenyon College. And as much as we lay awake at night, dreaming of a Taft Cottage, there’s only one place that we all truly want to live in: Downton Abbey. Not just for the delicious British melodrama and Maggie Smith’s quips, but because that place is damn gorgeous. So, though we can’t live in Downton, we can try our darndest to make the best of whatever we’re being forced to live in. Here is The Thrill’s guide to making your dorm seem as close to Downton as you (somewhat plausibly) can.

Results may vary.

Tips for the devoted fan:

“I’m your biggest fan/I’ll follow you until you love me…”

Introduce the Spanish influenza to your significant other. Put a picture of that dead significant other in your dorm. Hook up with someone else, then use that picture as an excuse every time you’re having relationship troubles. Profit.

Start an illicit relationship with a first year. Move to McBride together. Do your best to fix up your dorm room as best you can, but know in your heart that it will never match the beauty of your palatial single in Watson. Be contented, nonetheless.

Be the Dowager Countess Lady Grantham. Don’t use electricity.

“I couldn’t have electricity in the house, I wouldn’t sleep a wink. All those vapors floating about.”

Get a typewriter and dream of a better life, which may or may not involve sex with Jon Snow.

Hire that guy from down the hall to act as your footman. Whenever you have a guest over, make him bring you tea and have him get your meals in Peirce. Bonus points if you have a signal to make him give you a ‘Jimmy is Unimpressed’ face.

Tips for the casual fan:

For the bedroom, start with the linens. Ditch the comforter that you—and everyone else in your first year hall—bought at Target and go for linen sheets, which you can get at most department stores. You want something simple and clean; white is a safe bet, so long as you’re careful with your hook-ups. You can get a bit crazier with a canopy—a nice brocade fabric will do for that. Other than that, keep things relatively simple with a nice-looking rug and a few pieces of wooden furniture, if room allows.

Dead Turkish man is stylish, though not essential.

If you have a spacious dorm room, a suite with lounge space or apartment-style housing, think carefully about the vibe you’re going for. The sitting room is much different than Robert’s study or the dining room and so on. So make your choice carefully.

Sadly, you can’t smuggle Robert’s dog into your dorm.

Oriental rugs are a must for all rooms, as is art. Yes folks, that means you’ve got to ditch your MCR poster. According to sources, Downton Abbey is filled with some high class art, including a few original Van Dycks. I know the struggles of shipping your personal collection of fine European art to Gambier, so I suggest buying a few reasonably priced prints.

Candlesticks: $5, Electric candles: $12, Knowing You Have The Classiest Dorm In Gund: Priceless

Candlesticks: $5, Electric candles: $12, Knowing You Have The Classiest Dorm In Gund: Priceless

Finally, look at your lighting. Fluorescent bulbs just aren’t going to cut it with this one. Downton is all about chandeliers, lamps and candlesticks. Installing a chandelier in your dorm may be difficult, but the latter two are all around. Goodwill occasionally has some great finds for this, but if not, you can always grab your stepmom’s Shabbat candlesticks. No one would ever be the wiser.

10 responses

  1. You can also decorate with servants who you can mistreat as much as you desire. Also note that as in the show, if there’s a baby (about to be or already) born, someone has to die … #spoileralert

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