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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

Burton 1 Cribs by Jess K. '10

A look at the interiors of several rooms on Burton 1.

In Matt‘s recent entry about the movie 21, he mentioned that he found Ben’s room “more soulless than any dorm room I’ve seen at MIT.” I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I would find it hard to believe that the producers behind 21 did their research (among other things – apparently, according to them, we don’t date or have fun?), because rarely do MIT students forgo the opportunity to decorate their room – especially in dorms like Burton-Conner. Because Burton-Conner residents are permitted to paint their walls, they often take it a step further and use their rooms to truly express themselves.

Below you’ll find accounts of six very different rooms on my floor, Burton 1, all decorated in such a way that creates a place that not only serves as home, but uniquely displays their personality. Each person was photographed in their room after being heavily prepped by a team of hair and makeup artists, as well as relaxing in their personal trailers parked outside of their rooms. No, actually I just ran frantically around the floor with David ’08, aka DTemp, a photographer for the MIT yearbook Technique, who is a total pro as you’re about to see. I hope you enjoy reading this entry as much as we enjoyed making it!

Dima ’10 and Rich ’10
Dima and Rich’s room is located in the opening of the biggest suite on the floor, so it’s a pretty central location for people to hang out and drink tea. It is furnished both tastefully and practically, with a Picasso painting that Dima often tells people he painted himself amidst Ikea furniture. “We actually didn’t initially know what we were going to do with our room,” said Dima (pictured in the foreground). “But we did know we wanted a comfortable place to unwind after a challenging day of classes, a place to drink tea while discussing scholarly topics, and most importantly, get all the babes – or, at least, a large proportion of them.”

“So with these goals in mind, we set out for the local Home Depot to buy paint. We ended up buying the paint “Royal Academy” by Ralph Lauren, which for those who don’t know is a complex shade of burgundy, not unlike a French Merlot. So then we painted our room, and 5 trips to Ikea and a little guidance from Francisco, our interior decorator, later… you know the rest. Oh yeah, and we also had a feng shui fountain above our tea shelf last year but, due to a feng shui overload, it broke.”

Rich’s side of the room, opposite the feng shui tea shelf, contains his desk, futon, and handmade loft. “Basically, I had a huge space in my room, so I went to the Porter Room [a big room in Burton Conner with broken down lofts] and looked for spare wood, and one Saturday my dad came over and we built it. The ends were already made, and we made the top part. Then I put Christmas lights underneath the bed and it created a really cozy area. I thought it would really open the room up if we could put my desk or futon underneath. We wouldn’t have space for a futon if I didn’t build a loft, or at least the room wouldn’t be as open.”

It’s fairly rare to find two sophomores in a double, as most move into singles, but Dima and Rich also have arguably the best room in Burton-Conner – the double is not only quite spacious but includes its own bathroom (not pictured here, although you can see it in the extra photos at the bottom).


Angela ’10

At the end of the year each floor in Burton-Conner holds rooming, in which each of the residents can either pick a new room or squat their current room. Often times, freshmen will move from doubles to singles at the end of their first year. “I picked my room because I thought it’d be nice to have a single, since our floor is already so awesomely social that it’s pretty much impossible to feel lonely,” said Angela. “So this way I could have some privacy without feeling isolated. Also, my room has a river view which is pretty, and it gets lots of sunlight in the morning!”



Cathy ’10 and Anisha ’11

Cathy and Anisha are one of the few pairs of roommates of different class years – but it definitely happens. “All the good rooms were taken, so I had the option of a coffin single or a double, and of course when given the option to have a double with a super-cool freshman, who wouldn’t make good use of the opportunity?” said Cathy, the grinning girl on the right. Anisha, though standing stoically next to her, commented, “I think I was really lucky to be temped with a sophomore, ’cause it helped me meet so many more people more quickly.”


Though they’re practically polar opposites, as Cathy hails from upstate New York and Anisha all the way from Malaysia, they can still agree about their favorite part of the room. “It’s definitely the ‘I hear you’re gangster…’ poster. I feel it represent the overall vibe of the room pretty well; I mean, I am pretty gangster,” said Cathy, with a big smile. “It makes me laugh everytime is see it, and it also makes me laugh knowing that it is the first thing Anisha sees every morning when she wakes up!” Anisha agreed, “The gangster poster is a pretty good reminder that I’m definitely not in Malaysia anymore. As for Cathy being gangster… well…”

As for decorating, “we didn’t really do much to our room cause I kinda like having lots of space,” Anisha explained. “And so we focused all our creative powers on the paint job.” Cathy nodded, “Aside from the painting, we created this strip of names around our room. We tell everybody who comes in to grab a sharpie and sign the wall. I LOVE it, the people sign in soo many different ways and it’s so fun. Last year I always had people sign my wall in simmons and loved it, so I really wanted another signing sort of thing. So Anisha and I decided upon the strip of un-painted-ness to be signable and SHAZAM! It was. And I love it!”


Garrett ’11 and Matt ’11

In the complex rooming algorithm of Burton-Conner, certain doubles are slightly larger and thus designated to take on a third resident, should the need arise. Garret and Matt’s room is one of these, and thus during fall semester existed as a triple – until one of them moved out around Thanksgiving. “Our motivation to decorate the room came from when our third roommate moved out, not because of him, but because then we would have a lot of extra space,” said Garrett (pictured first above). “Therefore, we could pimp it out and make it feel more like home. Also, some real motivation came from the fact that I was going to buy some speakers, so I wanted to paint as well – paint over the cables, and build shelves. I built all the shelves for the speakers and the coffee table, nothing extensive.”


Garrett and Matt’s huge double is now a great place for freshmen to convene and study for their exams, or just kick it. “When we moved in, it was quiet, white, and crowded; now it’s blue, loud, and crowded – with guests, which is legit.”


Simone ’10

Simone, another sophomore in a single, mixed her fuzzy bunny loving side with her pimp side in designing her room. “We painted the walls a light green and the ceiling a light pink, all in hopes of complementing my beloved and well-known pink satin sheets,” she noted. “I absolutely LOVE bunnies, and recently discovered during the B1 Halloween party that I love being a pimp. My room, therefore, reflects my love for both of these things. Whether you look on my shelves – a bunny finger puppet, on my window sill – stuffed animal bunnies, on top of my bookcase – two more bunny finger puppets and a bunny book, and probably on me – you can see for yourself- you will find bunnies! Similarly, if you look around, you will find pimpness – the satin sheets, the pimp stick, the pimp hat, and the pimp chain.” Also of note – the “Big Daddy” sticker on her printer.


And lastly, but certainly not least (maybe the most?) –

Connie ’11, Lauren ’11, and Mahati ’11

The triple girls, as they’re known (as they are currently the only triple on the floor), weren’t all home when we came by to photograph them, so only Lauren is pictured above. However, both Connie and Mahati contributed their thoughts on the decoration process. “Living in a triple means we have to be creative about finding place for all of us to put our stuff and our decorations,” noted Mahati. “Our room is a perpetual disaster zone. We recently rearranged furnitutre, which took hours more of deliberation, drawing floorplans, etc., and then a few hours of implementation. We divided the space into two – one for hanging out and mess, and the other for studying, sleeping and less mess.”


Although – there isn’t much of the less mess section. “It’s usually too messy for people to hang out here,” Connie said. Mahati agreed, “We theoretically have a nest of pillows to accomodate guests, but often, my violin and music stuff it sprawled all over it, along with everyone’s dirty laundry.”

As for the look of the room, Mahati mentioned that they all like to paint their walls occasionally, especially when stressed. “We went for a artsy, earthy, color-saturated, cluttered, eclectic look,” said Connie. “It’s actually got a lot of Indian influence, which all of us really like. We started off choosing two really bright contrasting paint colors and we had a lot of hangings from China, India, and a random Tibetan store in Plymouth.”

All three girls were given the option to move into singles at the beginning of the semester, but each turned it down. They all agreed that they loved their room, even if it was crowded and messy most of the time. “We can add whatever we want on a whim, and our room is just a way for us to be creative every once in a while,” said Connie.
So those are the six cribs of Burton 1 we chose to highlight, although we have several more rooms on the floor, and we photographed twelve in total. The rest can be found here:


Anyway, we hope you enjoyed this (first?) installment of Burton 1 Cribs! Thanks for reading, and a big thanks to everyone who made this entry possible!

44 responses to “Burton 1 Cribs”

  1. Kelly says:

    Sounds cool:-)

  2. Roshan '12 says:

    Thanks for the post. It was really informative?
    Is there any furniture when you first move in?
    Like: beds, shelves, lamps, desks, chaiirs, etc.?

  3. Jess says:

    Yes – all rooms come with:
    * Mattress (twin extra-long)
    * Desk
    * Desk Chair
    * Bureau (called an “elephant” in BC)
    * Closet
    * Phone
    * Ethernet access
    * Wastebasket
    * Bookcase/shelves

  4. Roshan '12 says:

    ah well, not first! =p
    lol, I meant to put an “!” after informative.
    and I meant chairs, lol
    I have a question: where do you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner? I’m wondering how often I’ll be buying and stuff…
    Also, if you buy cereal and stuff to eat, would you store it in the kitchen? [is there storage?]

  5. Roshan'12 says:

    wow!! that was fast!!
    thanks Jess!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hey Jess!
    Thanks for the post!

    Do we have to get all the linens (bedsheets, curtains etc) ourselves?
    Also, when we vacate the dorms for the summer, what happens to all our stuff?

  7. Anonymous says:

    “Do we have to get all the linens (bedsheets, curtains etc) ourselves? “

    Buy it yourself.

    “Also, when we vacate the dorms for the summer, what happens to all our stuff?”

    You take it home, duhhh grin.

  8. Jeremy says:

    Great post. I’m a big fan of the pimp stick.

  9. Jeremy says:

    btw, can’t wait to meet you and everyone at CPW!

  10. Isaac Newton says:

    What are the chances of getting a single as a freshman?

  11. Keri says:

    Anonymous (“You take it home, duhhh grin“) –

    This isn’t always the case – many dorms have storage rooms where you can keep some of your stuff over the summer.

  12. Piper '11 says:

    Yeah, at East Campus everyone piles their stuff in the designated “fridge room” of the hall or downstairs. I suppose one could also rent storage areas or something if they really want to.

    Also, many people stay over the summer for UROPs and stuff. (This doesn’t mean you can’t go home, by the way – I’m going home for a week or two beginning summer and a week or two at the end of summer.) In this case, you would get summer rent and not have to move at all =D.

    @Isaac – Depends on the dorm. MacGregor is almost entirely singles (by that, I mean 3 rooms were accidentally made into doubles somewhere), so your chances are pretty good there. Places like Baker you might not have as good a chance. Places like EC you have a decent chance [I have a single now].


    This is not the reason to pick a dorm. I was determined to go to MacGregor because they have singles and I really wanted one. Last minute, though, I changed to East Campus, figuring it wouldn’t be too hard to switch to MacGregor if I wanted to. During Rush, when I checked out Macgregor, I realized it really wasn’t the place for me and I should stay put at the East Campus. MacGregor is awesome in its own way, but it didn’t quiet fit me culturally, and I would’ve been unhappy living there even if I had the single I really wanted =P. [And this was BEFORE in-house rush, so I was in a double at the time and didn’t think I’d wangle out a single here at EC.]

    Cliffnotes: Singles are frosting on the cake. Focus on liking the cake. =D

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Keri and Piper!
    Lugging everything back home would have been a real pain =).

  14. Oasis says:

    Wow, amazing pictures and commentary.

    You remain my favorite blogger. =p

  15. Samantha says:

    You can see my signature on Cathy’s wall!

  16. Paul says:

    I am amused by how the number of people I know on Burton 1, despite never actually having set foot there. (Hi Cathy! Hi Dima! Hi Lauren!) I think this happens rather frequently to quite a lot of people, not just me. Seminar classes (which is how I know Dima and Lauren) and student groups (how I know Cathy) are great for meeting lots of people across campus.

    Also, awesome entry. smile

  17. DTemp says:

    Hymm, I never heard that the bureaus were called Elephants before!

    Oh and to the person that asked if you get a single as a freshmen… probably not. But you’d be crazy to pick a dorm based on that metric. Really, no matter how much you want a single, being in a living group that you love is WAY more important. Picking your living group is the most important thing you do freshmen year, way more than your classes or picking a major.

  18. Connie '12 says:

    HOLD THE PHONE!: Ralph Lauren designs PAINT?!

  19. Raina '12 says:

    Whee, I had so much fun reading about the rooms and looking at all the pictures! Thanks Jess smile

    I was wondering though, do people generally wear shoes into rooms? I’m used to slippers or going bare feet at home, is that unusual in a dorm? And also, do people generally bring their own printers to hook up to laptops? Thanks in advance to anyone who answers :D

  20. Sri Lankan says:

    Angela Monster looks so tiny in her picture

  21. Celena '12 says:

    Thanks for this post Jess– my mom and I were just searching the site for dorm pics yesterday night, and didn’t see many.

    I see Evan’s room is as neat as ever.
    (When I toured BC and visited his room, he was vacuuming)

    Btw, @ David/DTemp– Amazing pictures!! Great job. =)

  22. Judy '12 says:

    @Simone ’10 (idk if she’ll read this)

    OMG… I heart bunnies so much, tooooooo @Simone ’10 (idk if she’ll read this)

    OMG… I heart bunnies so much, tooooooo <3
    And I have the exact same bunny plush (yes, the brown one).

  23. Judy '12 says:


    Does each room have a bathroom?

  24. Cathy says:

    damnn…there are so many hotties on B1!

    JK, you are AWESOME! I love the blog :D

    and for all the pre-frosh, come on over! burton-conner (especially b1) is definitely the place to be! Have fun at CPW y’all!!

  25. Andrew '12 says:

    Great post! Some of these rooms seem suspiciously clean, as if Jess had warned them ahead of time…

    See ya at CPW!

  26. Piper '11 says:

    I have some people who can vouch for me when I say my room is clean pretty much all the time (and then it collapses for a couple of days). Not to say that ‘s a norm, though…

  27. Judy '12 says:

    How do people request for single rooms? Is it first come first serve or do people have to pay extra?

  28. Piper '11 says:

    So first you get an assignment over the summer, and this assignment is ALWAYS temporary (so even if you get a single and want to stay on the same hall/entry, you still have to move). Then there’s REX/Rush, where you go around and check out other dorms. You decide to either stay in your dorm or try to move to a new one (you can ALWAYS stay in your dorm if you want to, the adjustment lottery may or may not move you if you request a move).

    Then each dorm holds an in-house rush of sorts. At East Campus, you check out the different halls, fill out a form requesting an order, and go the next morning to get your final rooming assignment. On this form, you can request a single.

    But as before, look for the culture, and if you get a single it’s just icing on the cake =)

    You can find out more about rush here:
    This includes stuff a little more in-depth, as well as some posts about dorms individually =D

  29. Piper '11 says:

    Umm, I forgot to mention that your summer assignment is the result of a preliminary lottery request you make =)


  30. Jess says:

    @ Raina: I’m barefoot all the time in my room, and wear socks or go barefoot a lot around the floor. Sometimes even downstairs when I go down to get my mail or do my laundry.. so, no, it’s not uncommon. And some people bring printers; they can be useful when your dorm’s printer is clogged up with jobs, so if you want one, feel free!

    @ Judy: Some rooms in Simmons have their own bathrooms, but only Dima and Praveen’s room has its own bathroom in Burton-Conner. It’s different for all dorms – in BC, we have usually one big one per suite, which can be anywhere from 5-12 people (typically around 5). When I lived at Next, I shared a bathroom with about 10-15 people, which is pretty typical.. so it depends. Hope that helps!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Jess, is BC having an open house during CPW? I really want to check it out because it’s one of my top dorm choices at MIT, but unfortunately, my CPW host doesn’t live in BC.

  32. Jess says:

    Yep! BC is open, as are all the other dorms, and will be having dorm tours the whole weekend. We’ll also be having ice cream socials and other prefrosh events.. and Burton 1 will definitely be around if you want to come hang out with us smile

  33. Steph says:

    Excellent post, Jess. I always wanted to know what some of the rooms look like.

  34. Julia '12 says:

    I was looking at the dorm pages and saw that some of the dorms allow students to bring cats. I would love to bring my cat with me. Does anyone know if this is defidently possible or if it is just luck and how that works with roommates because my cat would defidently not do well with another animal (another person would be ok). Thanks.

  35. Piper '11 says:

    Julia – You mean bring your cat when you move here for the school year? First, as you said, it depends on the dorm – and when a dorm allows cats, sometimes it’s only PARTS of the dorm that allow cats. For example, cat halls on East Campus are 4W, 5W, 1E, 3E, and 5E (half). Random allows cats in some parts. I don’t know about other dorms specifically, but I don’t think any are entirely cat-friendly. What I would do is wait for your final assignment in your dorm before bringing a cat.

    Also, remember that Family Weekend is in October. If you’re not from near here, that might be a good opportunity for them to bring you your cat if you end up on a cat hall =)

  36. Anonymous says:

    I am using opencourseware for course 6.001 and the version of scheme dose not have a nil, can you ask 6.001 profeser for a way to create a nil?

  37. Piper '11 says:

    Just as a heads up, 6.001 no longer exists. The introductory Course 6 subjects have been changed (starting this year).

  38. Vin says:

    Life at MIT only sounds more and more interesting with every post that you make. I really can’t wait to apply and this post makes me feel relieved about the housing.

  39. Judy '12 says:

    oh cool, I think I’m staying at Burton 1 for CPW!

  40. Sweet rooms! I can’t wait to have the chance to design my own!

  41. Christina says:

    This is GREAT!!!!!!!!!! YAY FRAGGY!

  42. Amirah says:

    OH MY GOD, is that Anisha Jethwani?!

  43. SandraRubart says:

    Hi there!

    I’m about to paint my rooms and now choosing appropriate colors.
    Found program to pick painting colors right on the photos of interior
    or house facade, here’s link :

    Think it will help you too.

    And by the way, if you wish to exchange photos in the format of this program,
    please write me at: greensandra DOG gmx DOT com