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Back to School 101

(ARA) 'It's time to dump your summer crush, get a new hairstyle, and start a new school year. It's also time to make your out-dated room into the pad where everyone wants to hang out. No need to spend all of your summer babysitting money to make it happen.
Here are a few tips from Daryle Gibbs, head of Product Development at Pier 1 Imports, on how to make your room a place where you'll want to be grounded.
Organization 101
You won't get an A in class if you don't get it together. Go through your desk and toss your old junk -- including the notes from 5th grade math class. Try lined wicker baskets for desk or shelf storage. 'Fabric boxes with lids are good for storing trendy pieces you're not quite ready to part with, and CD racks are a must. Music CDs and DVDs can clutter up a room faster than you can say Limp Bizkit,' says Gibbs. 'Another great option is a decorative trunk. You can store love letters and yearbooks inside and when the lid is shut, you have extra seating for study sessions.'
Now that you've attained 'controlled clutter' you'll know right where everything is.
World Cultures Class: Bohemian Rhapsody
And since you have passed organization class, you can finally see the floor! Think about your personal style and what you want your room to say about you. Are you a bohemian kind of gal? No problem -- you don't have to live in India to get the look. 'Shimmery, bright, fabrics in throws, window treatments and beaded silk pillows are all the rage right now. Add a lush, luxurious Flokati rug from Pier 1 and you'll be bohemian glamorous,' says Gibbs. With Moroccan hurricanes for lighting and floor pillows for lounging, you're all set to have people over to watch 'Friends.'
Geography: Seeking Asian Inspiration
Maybe you're an Asian-inspired gal like Gwyneth and Madonna, carrying your yoga mat under your arm around town. 'Clean space, good color and choice accessories can bring Zen to any room,' says Gibbs. 'Hanging inexpensive paper lanterns creates a meditative feeling and bamboo window blinds are an easy fix. A comfortable Papasan chair with a neutral colored cushion against a painted red wall is very chic -- you always want to look chic when you're studying world history. Asian pottery and dishes make creative wall d├ęcor -- don't be afraid to step outside the box when decorating.' Accessories with gold accents, charms and beading -- used sparingly -- can also work into an Asian-themed room.
Home Economics: Be Smart with Your Money
- This is the perfect time for students, who are often on a limited budget, to take advantage of the many retailers that offer special incentives to help you find everything you need to make your room your own,' says Gibbs. Pier 1 Imports offers a 15 percent discount with your student ID through Sunday, Sept. 28. 'People should also take advantage of the free decorating advice that stores often offer. They can help you achieve the look you want and save you time.'
For more decorating inspiration, visit www.pier1.com.


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