It’s no secret that student accommodation is very mediocre. It’s dull to say the least, lacking in personality and in certain need of a splash of colour and some oomph. But limited with the changes you can do to your room (and being on a student budget), it can be difficult to make it feel like home. Try these easy tips to transform your space into exactly that: your space. This plain room with blu-tac marked walls and beyond average furniture will soon become a cavern of personality that you’ll grow to love.
1. Photographs Galore
There is no such thing too many photos, be it of your best friends from home, places you’ve been to or anything and everything in between. Not only do photographs work spectacularly at covering up your marked walls, but they inject so much personality into your space. And on days you’re feeling low you’ve only got to glance at your wall to be greeted with a flood of happy memories with the people that mean the most.
As well as these little squares of joy really livening up your room, they are also surprisingly affordable. Many photo printing companies offer the first however many prints free to new customers, meaning you only pay for delivery. TIP: set up a different account using a different email to always benefit from free photos. The site I have used a few times is CEWE Photoworld who give 75 free prints at a delivery charge of £2.95 to new customers. Bar-gain.
Photographs can also be arranged in a multitude of ways; as cliche as it sounds, the possibilities are endless. A wall collage is a must do, be that an entire wall or arranging the images into shapes. Frames can also be picked up cheap from stores like Primark or even Poundland, or a little DIY goes along way with a bit of string and some miniature pegs to create a clothesline photo hanger. Try hard enough and your room might even be Pinterest worthy.
2. Light it up
Mood lighting exists for a reason; the lighting of a room completely effects the feel of the room as a whole. Some uni halls are very particular with the lights you can put in your room. Candles, okay I understand the fire risk, but fairy lights on the ban list seems a bit extreme. If you’re willing to take the risk (and honestly the worst that can happen is you’ll have to take them down) Primark is again the place to go. I got two sets of these little Moroccan-style lantern lights for £6 a set; similar ones in Urban Outfitters are a whopping £20. And to all the guys reading this, fairy lights can be for you too.
If you’re still not feeling it, even investing in a bedside lamp can change the atmosphere. These can be picked up for as little as a fiver from places like Wilko’s, and it’s less about what it looks like itself and more about the light that it emits. Soft lighting certainly makes your room more cozy. And (call me lazy) a bedside lamp means you don’t even have to move to turn off your light to go to sleep. Cute, cozy and convenient.
A rug can make your room look drastically different, adding a splash of colour and treating your toes to something other than the old carpet or dirty floorboards that come along with uni accommodation. Rugs can also be picked up cheaply online. I love the look of rag rugs; the rainbow of colours instantly injecting personality. They are also incredibly cheap; mine was from Amazon with the price ranging from around £7 to £20 depending on size.
If you fancy a DIY project, rag rugs can also be made at home out of old strips of material… apparently.
4. Brighten up your bed
Whether you’re lucky enough to have a double bed in halls or are stuck with a single, your bed is the centre point of your room. You will be spending a lot of time here “studying” so best make it cozy.
My ‘rule’ here is to opt for a plain duvet cover and then pile on the cushions. Try lots of different patterns and colours to really add some depth. Your bed will look so inviting it’s no wonder so much time is spent here! The most important thing to remember here is don’t over do it. Your room can go from hero back to zero, from cozy to cluttered, very quickly with the addition of a few to many cushions. The best way to avoid the cluttered-effect is to opt for cushions of all different shapes, sizes and textures. This breaks up the cushiony mass and adds interest and variety. So is there an ideal cushion number? Probably not, but generally three or four works well.
If you’ve managed to crack the cushion algorithm, the next bed-additions is of course blankets. These make your bed even cozier (I know, hard to believe that’s possible) and keep you warm in the winter months when your student budget goes more on Christmas balls, nights out and glittery dresses than it does central heating. So throw a couple of blankets over the foot of your bed and you’re on to a winner.
5. Bring the outside, inside
This point always seems to be forgotten, but adding plants to your room makes it feel alive. In freshers week me and my flatmates all went out together to buy a plant each to look after for the year. Albeit, some of us may not have been the best gardeners (myself included), but the foliage is nice while it lasts and gives you a little something to look after and water from time to time (aka when you remember). “Water the f*cking plants” was pinned to my flatmates noticeboard and somehow she still forgot every single day. She then had dead flowers around her room, unable to throw them away and admit defeat. This one’s definitely not for all of us, but worth a shot. Plants can also be picked up cheaply and can last the year if you look after them.
As well as making your room look more aesthetic, plants actually do the world of good to your health, shown to help fight colds (secret freshers flu cure?), decrease the amount of headaches you get and make you happy. Love your plants and they love you back.
And there we have it; five easy, affordable and effective decorating tips to transform your room from lackluster to luxurious. Wham bam thank you ma’am.