RoomHop: Sticky Situation Edition

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RoomHop, our dorm-to-dorm pilgrimage, continues seeking inspiration in the form of well decorated domiciles. This dispatch from Lauren Beck prompted by the wonders of hand-crafted tape art.

Make no mistake—the intricate designs on the walls of this EC suite are not the product of an NSOP trip to Urban Outfitters. To the contrary, the scores of tape coating the suite are the result of long (and sticky!) hours of cutting and applying tape, and of an oddly enduring solidarity between the girls living there. (They laugh when I mention that my roommates and I can’t hang pictures without bickering.)

The entire process took three long sessions. The suitemates – Itanza Lawrence, Valerie Pinkerton, and Sofia Pacheco-Fores, Sonal Mallaya, and Jenny Shen – had ideas about what they needed, and began by tacking post-its to the walls, so they could establish a tentative layout.

“We knew we wanted a fireplace there, a cabinet there,” they explain, motioning toward their one-dimensional accoutrements. Working from images pulled off of the Internet and from a book on 19th century Parisian interior design, the five girls sketched out the components of the room on sheets now framed (in tape) on the suite’s dining room wall. Then began the application process, with each girl taking responsibility for constructing individual features. The fireplace, I learn, is Sonal’s work. The fish bowl in the entry way is a Sophia creation.

When taping, the suitemates say, you get to a point when you… can’t stop taping. The most frustrating part of the process, the girls report, was a night so humid that the tape fell immediately from the walls. The best part? “When we decided to turn the A/C to full blast and continue taping that night anyway, and stayed up until 5:00 am working on it.” Their enthusiasm seems to have been unflagging.

It’s not surprising that the girls’ majors are mostly (at least tangentially) related to the arts—among the group is an art history major, an archaeology major, and an architecture major—though none explicitly work in the visual arts. Regardless, the room sits like something of a masterpiece—EC’s crown jewel.

And unsurprisingly, a handful of the girls are also Roomhop all-stars. Jenny Shen, CC ’14, was behind the 30 foot, to-scale map of Manhattan (also created fully of tape) that Bwog spotted last year in the hallway of her Ruggles suite. Two years before that, she and now-roomate Sophia were responsible for the wall mural ghosts, made of a somewhat bewildering combination of washable and semi-permanent paint, featured in Ben Krusling’s 2008 Carman double.

When asked how they made lines so level, they report that perfection was not a major goal. The aim, they explain, was, “Making our suite a little more homey than what EC provided us with. And the imperfection also adds to the irony of attempting to create a Parisian-inspired interior out of masking tape (not to mention on a college student’s budget).”

Yet more impressive, though, than the straight lines are the lines that aren’t straight. Their “drapes” curve and seem to move; a skull seated on a bookshelf is rounded perfectly; the rounded edges of the cuckoo clock are exact.

The girls tell me that in the corner they had wanted the tape bar to bridge into an actual bar—with hanging glasses and stools seated at the base of the window, which must have one of the best views on campus, overlooking all of uptown to the west. But like the rest of the room (and despite the would-be expensive view) their fantasy bar exists only in the tape world.

“Tape is cheap,” the girls explain.


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  1. anonymous  

    this is actually amazing.

  2. literally  

    the coolest room i've ever seen

  3. Anonymous

    This is fantastic, I wish I had that much patience and creativity

  4. Anonymous  


  5. I LOVE  

    How creative this is!!! good job!!!

  6. (Correction...)  

    Jenny (and everyone, for that matter) is class of 2012!!

    Love you ladies. So much. :)

  7. person  

    Your room's decorations speak volumes about your personality and what makes you unique and special. Consequently, my walls are completely blank.

  8. Wow

    That's even cool for a not-dorm room. Kudos.

  9. Anonymous  

    Name corrections: Mallya (not Mallaya) and Sofia (not Sophia). Get it together, Bwog!

  10. Anon  

    That's fucking amazing. You guys are awesome!

  11. CC'11

    Misses Columbia though I didn't while I was there.

    Columbia bubble/fantasy-world, especially this one >>> real world.

  12. These gurlz  

    are the best!!!!!!!

  13. Anonymous  

    what kind of tape did they use for this? (can you find black masking tape?)

  14. Anonymous  

    This is SO awesome

  15. Anonymous  

    it makes me want the comfort of the actual stuff that they drew (like a fancy bar and a fireplace) and so it makes me sad.

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