For as long as I can remember, I have loved interior design and decorating different spaces. A Saturday spent getting lost in the model tiny homes in Ikea, ice cream in hand is a Saturday well spent, in my opinion. When I was younger, every couple of months, I would get an itch to change my entire bedroom and would spend hours blasting music, meticulously curating the trinkets on my bookshelf and pinning posters to the wall. Over the years, I had Hunger Games movie posters, a world map, a postcard collection, and one tree frog poster that strangely hung around. Moving into my university house was an unbelievably exciting opportunity to put together a brand new space that projected my sophisticated yet spunky university personality to the world. I always love seeing how new friends decorate their spaces when I first visit their houses. I was looking forward to having my friends over to my house too. 

Over time I’ve noticed two trends in university room design and how they reflect the personality, the curator and the creator. A curator is a caretaker and keeper of a collection or exhibition, whereas a creator brings something into existence. For example, if you have a friend interested in the visual arts, they may hang their artwork or use their art materials as decoration- maybe, a cup of paintbrushes or an array of paints. A creator might also decorate their room in collages, organize objects uniquely and use unlikely objects as decor. In contrast, a curator collects things they see value in, like other people’s artwork or a special object, and presents these things carefully. The difference between a collector and a curator, in my opinion, is that a curator makes sure their objects stay in good condition and takes pride in taking care of their things.

Curator

I am a curator. My room is full of books, other people’s artwork, and a clothing rack that I organize every few months to reflect the season’s trends. In addition, I have a compass, shaped candles, and an hourglass carefully placed on display on my shelf. Every week, I enjoy Swiffer-dusting my desk and shelf, looking over all my objects, and thinking over the memories they evoke. I also have a lot of framed photographs in my room, taken mainly by other people. Curators and creators have equal design value and can even overlap and blur. Curators are artists through how they choose to organize spaces to show off the things they find. A curator’s room feels like a museum exhibition of their personality, and each feature gives context and clues into something about the person who lives there.

Creator

A creator’s room is lively and bold, a space in progress that reflects the creative realm they are currently inhabiting. A creator brings things into existence rather than finding them elsewhere; this may look like unlikely objects taped to walls or their artwork on display. A creator may also have an inspiration of the moment featured in their room, another artist they are interested in or a piece they love. A creator’s space may be a little messier than a curator’s, as their room is also their studio. A creator’s room might have a cohesive colour scheme or be wild, bright and colourful.   

When it comes to decorating a university room, it can be difficult to make your mark in a rental and bank-account-friendly manner. Posters are the perfect go-to as you can add whatever kind of art or graphic you want to your wall easily with tape or putty, without breaking the bank. This month, Muse collaborated with Queen’s student-run business, 82 Prints, to offer an amazing poster giveaway! I highly recommend checking out their site, both curators and creators alike, to find the feature piece your room is missing. The 82 Prints Instagram account, @82prints is the perfect place to find room decor inspiration this winter semester. 

Curators might want to feature their favourite artist, show, or food on their wall with something like these beautiful 82 Prints posters! 

Creators might love this series of paint sample posters, featured on @82prints!

Have a look around your room. Are you a creator or a curator, or a combination of both? Where do you draw inspiration from, and what objects of significance do you choose to surround yourself with? The next time you visit a new space, be it a coffeehouse or a friend’s house, take note of the decoration choices and how this reflects personality. See what clues you can find and what stories you can discover in your friends by asking about their interior design. Support your creator friends if you’re more of the curator type; if you are a creator: don’t be shy to share your artwork because we can’t wait to show it off for you through our space design. 

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Taking the Teen Along for the Ride