Back to School with HPA Design Group

As the world opens back up and the workforce returns to the office, college students are returning to campus and the student housing market across the US is booming. This past fall alone, our talented interiors team delivered a total of six student housing projects just in time for the fall semester. From the University of Tennessee in the Southeast to the luxury student living at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, our designers met stringent deadlines and delivered curated spaces that catered to each client’s vision that set the overall tone for each property.

Our professional team of designers collaborated with our clients to identify the overall scope of the project to gain a clear expectation for each space. During the design process, key elements such as programming and function, color aesthetics, textured details, millwork design, and layout are considered. As with any project, challenges do arise and our designers thoughtfully approach each project with a challenge-to-solution mindset and think outside of the box for a creative solution.

Below are a few of our favorite student housing projects delivered this fall.


Retreat on Milledge in Athens, Georgia | University of Georgia

Housing college students at the University of Georgia is the Retreat on Milledge in Athens, Georgia. Being a flagship development for Landmark Properties, the client wished to make use of the UGA school color red color in the spaces, but gave designers creative license to incorporate into the vibrant design – their one request was to make the space special and unlike any of their other properties. HPAD was inspired by the rich history and architecture in Athens, specifically the classical Greek architecture mixed with modern touches.

The design team incorporated deep reds, soft blues, and textured neutrals throughout the space. Merging sophistication and playfulness, the client appreciated the subtle incorporation of the University of Georgia’s school spirit and the historic city of Athens without going to the excess. A few noteworthy design elements include the custom-made bulldog sconces, framed vinyl record art display, archways resembling “The Arch” on campus, and UGA-inspired photograph wallcovering with actual 3-D frames applied to create a visually dimensional art installation.


Retreat on East in Orlando, Florida | University of Central Florida

Our design team created dynamic, interactive spaces for the community clubhouse at The Retreat on East serving the students at the University of Central Florida. Working alongside Landmark Properties, a returning client, designers were familiar with their desired aesthetic and delivered stylish and comfortable spaces for residents to relax and connect with their community.

Having the creative freedom to construct unique spaces, designers selected a distinct color palette reflecting the UCF school colors of black and gold along with hints of green, inspired by the verdant natural surroundings in Florida. Some enchanting features include bright yellow monochromatic arched booths, metal shelving with wood dividers, and custom UCF newspaper wallcoverings in the computer room.


Jolly Roger in Greenville, North Carolina | East Carolina University

Located one mile from downtown Greenville, North Carolina is the Jolly Roger, an off-campus student housing development serving East Carolina University (ECU). HPAD was given the opportunity to design all the units and large amenity spaces inside the seven-story community. Inspiration for the project was ECU’s mascot, the pirate, along with the school colors of royal purple and old gold.

Leaning towards sleek, modern expression with material, the design team utilized wood finishes to create an experience as if you were aboard a buccaneer vessel. In the multipurpose areas, light fixtures created the shape of the hull of a ship, and bathrooms were outfitted with nautical-inspired materials, such as octopus-tentacle painted tiles. The overall design reflects a modern and robust experience for student residents.


Aspen Heights in Fayetteville, Arkansas – University of Arkansas

The Aspen Heights Fayetteville is a brand-new student housing development serving the students at The University of Arkansas. HPAD was engaged to take over this project from the client’s previous designer and had the opportunity to rework the amenity spaces and study rooms and really knock it out of the park. The design team revised the layout, furniture, and overall design to deliver a fun, lively space for residents to mingle and relax.

Bold colors combined with geometric patterns were the inspiration for the project. Designers pulled hues of orange from the exteriors of the building to give the property a more cohesive feel. The design team intermixed a bold secondary palette and cheeky graphics to create a whimsical student environment.

To partner with HPA Design Group for your next student housing project contact our Regional Business Developer, Amy Becker, at