Is your off-campus house too eclectic? More likely than you think 

Grace Canny, interior designer extraordinaire

I’m sure you’ve been to one of these abodes — quirkily named, maybe a little run down, but not without charm! The kitchen might be small, and maybe the house is lacking AC, but the third bedroom supposedly gets beautiful light in the afternoons. With a worn but cozy sofa, it’s pretty standard as far as college houses go. And that’s when you see it – there on the wall behind the dining table – a traffic sign stolen from the Poplar Street construction. 

Illustration by Megan Suka.

Every college student turned interior decorator falls for the Eccentricity Trap. It starts like this: your home has a few bare spots, but hey, you’re 20 and life is long, so you better start collecting… but you’re 20… and functionally broke, so what’s free is yours! A sign that says ‘A Wine Mom Lives Here’ in the kitchen? That’s perfect.

A Lana Del Rey shrine with the poster you definitely legally purchased at a school-hosted event? Tack it up!

A limited-edition, half-melted, Kathy Murray milk chocolate bar on the kitchen counter? That’s a valuable relic. You need to keep that, I mean it. 

Propagated plants in a cut Yerba can strewn about the house? Essential. Critical. Imperative. 

I’m not trying to put an end to the tried-and-true ancient porch couch plus dirty bong combo. Some of these pieces are quintessential staples that make a college house a home, like your housemate’s boyfriend who never leaves. But you don’t need another whiteboard filled with inside jokes only relevant to your friends. Take down that silly little poll. Remove your polaroids of every person to enter your home in the same hat off of the fridge. Less is more.