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Parents Pay Designers to Decorate Dorm Rooms

Making a gallery wall at the heads of the dorm room's two beds unifies the room in a way that can bring each person's tastes and styles together seamlessly. (Courtesy of Dormify/MCT)
Photograph by MCT

Forget the Laura Ashley comforter and the ubiquitous print of Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss." Today's college kids have the inside track on a more stylish and tailored dorm room, mostly thanks to their parents.

These days, moms and dads are throwing down as much as $5,000 to decorate their child's dorm room, according to Curbed.com — sometimes they're even hiring designers to make the decor magic happen.

"Designers are doing individual rooms and calling us for products," Karen Zuckerman, founder of online store Dormify, tells Curbed.

While it's the kids who actually have to live in the dorm rooms, Bethesda, Md.-based organizer Rachel Strisik Rosenthal tells Curbed that she's usually contacted by the parents, something Curbed attributes to "helicopter parents" who feel the need to hover over their children and help ease the separation anxiety.

This, of course, comes with a hefty price tag.

Rosenthal recalls a professional designer in New York "who just moved a student into a dorm room — and the planning and design fees were $5,000 alone," she tells the home site.

Some parents and students see their dorm, however, as a first apartment and want to invest in its design immediately and often plan to take items with them once they graduate.

One Harvard student paid online design firm Zoom Interiors about $3,000 for "high-end things he can move into an apartment," Fischel Fraser, co-founder of Zoom, tells the site.

Whatever happened to Ikea?

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