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Decorating with Color

Room 541 in Brown Hall is not your typical quad-style Concordia dorm room.
Traditionally, each quad in Brown is equipped with a desk, chair, bed and wardrobe for each of the four residents. But the residents of room 541 added something extra to that list: a ball pit.

Roommates Anthony Benz, Jeremy Kramer, Timothy Wisdom and John VonMosch transformed their dorm room over the course of last semester into the dream room of every kid at heart.

Everything in the room exudes a playful atmosphere, both energetic and stress-free. Multi-colored Christmas tree lights are strung around the room, a collection of colorful soda cans span an entire wall and bright posters and pictures of video games line any left over wall space.

Perhaps the most unusual and unique piece of this child-like ambiance is the ball pit centered in the middle of the room, highlighted by lights, and filled with over 3,000 size 65 millimeter play balls you would expect to see in a McDonald’s PlayPlace.

The ball pit isn’t just for decoration. It can hold up to three people comfortably, but a few extra people can manage to squeeze in. While the ball pit can be used for almost anything, studying and hanging out are what most people do, according to Room 541.

Lacey Neuman Bissonnette, hall director of Brown Hall, recently visited the room and experienced the ball pit for herself.

“It’s cool to see how people can make their space their own,” Lacey said. “The phrase ‘ball pit’ sums up the energy in that room.”

Constructing the ball pit was relatively simple, according to the four residents. The outer walls are made from pieces of cardboard duct-taped together and plywood shelving from the wardrobe closets. Blankets cushion the bottom of the pit to provide extra comfort, and a plethora of bright balls in every shade of the rainbow sit atop the blankets.

All four roommates point to Wisdom as the mind behind the ball pit construction.

“It started off as Tim’s idea,” Benz said, “but we all worked on it together.”

All of that hard work has not gone unnoticed. Room 541 won “Room Décor of the Month” for the campus-wide “Of the Month” awards in October.

Chris Meller, resident assistant in Brown Unit 5, applauded the creativity of his residents.
“It’s clever,” Meller said. “It’s something that you wouldn’t see in a typical dorm room. Plus, it allows us to be a kid again for a little bit of time.”

Anyone is welcome to visit the ball pit; however, there are a few considerations that Benz, Wisdom, Kramer and VonMosch would like everyone to keep in mind. According to room 541, the rules of the ball pit are as follows: No bodily fluids in the ball pit. No open food containers in the ball pit. And most importantly: have fun.

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