Home, sweet home, with modifications

Ben Harrison '18 tricked out his Peabody single with personal touches.

May 23, 2018
Ben Harrison sits in front of his decorated dorm room wall

Ben Harrison lounges next to a cityscape he created from scratch.

Ben Harrison comes from Woodstock, Virginia, population 5,171, but for the past three years he's lived among the tall buildings and bright lights of the big city. 

Exeter? Please. The senior transformed his cozy Peabody Hall single with tape, TLC and a lot of time, creating a cityscape even the most urban could envy. 

Harrison discovered when he arrived as a first-year lower that boarding school meant a lot of boarding, so he was committed to making his home away from home as homey as he could. His cityscape has evolved throughout his three years.

He drew the imaginary city on paper, then he projected it on the wall in order to recreate it with decorative tape — a painstaking exercise of seven hours. Other tape touches — a buck-head trophy, a Super Mario scene — took even more time. 

Completing the customization is a series of LED light strips he controls with an app on his phone and an eclectic collection of vintage LP vinyl album covers running the gamut from ZZ Top to Fleetwood Mac to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The record player he scored for free.

"It's interesting to people who come by, it's interesting to me," he says of his cool crib. "I look at it and say 'That's my room. I did that.'"

Ben Harrison '18 will attend Princeton University in the fall.