The inhabitants of 139 College Ave are those lucky people that seem to possess an effortless flair for decorative design and creative ambiance that forces you take a second look at the barren white walls of your humble dorm room and begin to seethe with jealousy… We’re all aware of how environment can affect the interiority of one’s being, and so in one way or another, we each attempt to adapt our spaces with a fundamental charm that suits our independent likeness. Sure, I may have a couple vintage posters or an elaborate collage of text-images making use of my wall space. Perhaps some cheerful lights installed for the holiday season that keep for the rest of the yearlong, but 139 has a true semblance of homey comfort. I’ll refrain from stooping to a wallowing depression for now, as I’m assured that one day I too could be like them. In an interview with Contrast Editor in Chief and current dweller of 139 Ali Dillulio said, “me and my few friends [that I live with] have always wanted to live off campus… I think it was partially shaped by the fact that when we were freshman there were a lot of really big parties off campus and we had this stupid, idealized, glorified perception of living off campus. We were like ‘Ahh one day we will be them.’” Fitting with the growing trend for those that have found shelter under the roof of the blue Victorian style house, “It just worked out that this place fell into our laps,” said Dillulio.
The interior of the house was decorated with furniture found and collected by various house members. Some pieces were left behind by past residents of the house, some were taken from family members and other pieces contain mysterious origins. “We had this granny aesthetic that developed from the start that was totally accidental and kind of horrible but… it works,” said Dillulio. This “granny aesthetic,” may explain the presence of an abundant amount of embroidered pillows, scattered across the house.
Each room appears to have its own decade of influence along with its tone and feel. Dillulio’s room (which amounts to the entire attic floor) centers on a large brown 70’s rug that dominates the floor space. “There’s no way to get around it and because of it my room looks like the set of a 1970’s porno.” The architectural design of the room contains many built-in aspects, including a large wooden desk and side panelling. Dillulio chose her room because she enjoyed the idea of having her bedroom also be a proper workspace. Many of her housemates take advantage of the space to do readings or to lie down on the floor and roll about the room. “A lot of furniture that had been left up there and left around makes it kind of like a hodgepodge of things that turned into this hilarious 70’s mod thing.” Dillulio’s favorite piece and the only furniture she plans on taking with her after Vassar, was left behind by the landlords; a multi-tiered wooden table that now sits at her bedside. Dillulio took on quite the task of the carpenter in restoring the vintage desk. “Everyone was just going to throw it out but I had this love for it and hung on to it for all of last semester. I never did anything with it until this year when I finally glued it all back together and refinished it,” said Dillulio. This bedside table compliments the warm tones of her bedroom, which can feel like a dark cave without the lights hung up in the corners.