Dorm Follows Function

August 20th 2015 Comments: 18 Topics: ,

My latest project involved a client who was demanding, opinionated and was brought up in high design. And should I mention, she also didn’t pay very well – that is, not at all. Sounds like a nightmare client, right?

Well, this one happened to be my kid. You see, my wife and I just moved our daughter into her very first dorm room at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Of course, prior to this I insisted upon drawing the floor plan of her meager chamber so we could scheme and debate (and debate and debate- she inherited her father’s headstrong adamant nature) so that we could know in advance how to cram her life stylishly into a new abode. Luckily, she had met her new roommate in advance (a lovely young lady from Northern California) so coordination between the two new friends ensued months prior to actual move in. I taught her how to photoshop mood boards so we could marry the two youngster’s styles and tastes. I was even reluctantly introduced to myriad dorm Pinterest pages (who knew such things existed?).

After many, many, many visits to the Bed, Baths, Urban Archeologies, Container Stores, Ikeas and Beyond of the major Dallas metropolitan area, both my teen clients seem to be happy with their new realm. Over the years, I’ve done many homes but none has made me happier and more fulfilled than the new chic launching pad of this special little girl.

She may be out of our nest but I was elated to help her feather her a new one.









Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley


  1. Sullivan is one lucky young woman to have the design services of such a talented duo. Hope you all do not find empty nest syndrome too onerous!

  2. Dee says:

    This is about the sweetest, most fun thing I have read ever!!
    So happy for you three! You are going to have such a good time with these life changes. Everyone here in Montgomery is going to miss you so much but, hopefully, we will get together soon in NYC!!
    Love you!

  3. LLD says:

    The dorm dosen’t look like your usual style 🙂

    I’m almost there with my kids and I keep telling myself everyone manages to continue to breathe even when their kids fly the coop. You will too….slow and deep!

  4. Gaines Blackwell says:

    Greg, I know you and MR are changing locations but careers too ? T&T Dorm Design, LLC, NYC ?. From the smiles of your first clients you are going to be successful in producing contented dwellers if not riches. Perhaps the cost of living in NYC will be less than Montgomery ……..

  5. Andy Akard says:

    Dorm follows Function!?
    Just how long have you been waiting to use that one? Great looking room.

  6. I remember these days. It’s so much fun. You and your family look happy, always a good thing. Congratulations to your daughter, I hope she has a great college experience.

  7. Wanda Hodge says:

    Greg, I really like this “Father/Daughter” project. What a memory for both Sullivan and You! Congratulations and Happy College Days to Sullivan. Also, best wishes and happiness to Mary Robin and you on “Round Two” or “life after the children move out on their own”. That is also an experience that will be different that you expected, believe me! However, that is the way life is suppose to be. I am sure, “the best is yet to come” , as the saying goes. Be sure to come back to Cullman as often as you can. Have a happy “Phase II” of your life.

  8. This made me smile so big. My experience involved marrying the desires of a roomie who wanted pink and green and all things monogrammed with my daughter who wanted sleek and modern and gagged on monograms. Hmmmmm. I decided to bow out and let them duke it out. chicken little
    Love and miss you and MR

  9. Leslie says:

    Lucky Daughter!
    Lucky Parents!
    To enjoy the journey together!!

  10. Stephanie says:

    Love this

  11. Kristin Boan says:

    Too funny. And you thought Alan #### was difficult

  12. Tony Walker says:

    Great job for your lovely daughter and her friend. Enjoy NYC. You will be missed in the Gump.

  13. Rhonda Summerlin says:

    Well I thought my Granddaughter had lost it last wk when she sent picures of her newly ensconced dorm room @ U of GA. . She had strung lights around a futon! Called it mood lighting. If your daughter has them strung on her wall then it must be the thing to do! Thankfully I refrained from commenting my thoughts.
    Excited for you guys as you begin this new phase of life. Do hope we will continue to enjoy hearing from you via your posts & Best Wishes to Sullivan.

  14. Janie Jurkiewicz says:

    Have a great time Sullivan!

  15. Jordan says:

    Very inspiring! I think it’s so important for dorms to feel like home – I think you did a good job of doing that for them! Thanks for sharing.

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