Whether you’re about to start your first year living in halls or you’ve moved into a student house, let’s face it, the majority of student accommodation don’t feel very homely. Dull carpets, mismatched furniture and white washed walls are what you find walking into most student houses, and even if you live in a brand spanking new house, you’ll still want to give your space the personal touch and make it feel more like home. Below are our best tips to achieve this without breaking the bank, or worse, the terms of your tenancy agreement!
Add Plants…. Everywhere!
Adding plants to a room is an easy way to bring it to life, and one of the most effective ways to make a room feel homely. Plants also come with a surprising array of health benefits, refreshing the oxygen supply in the air and helping you study better (seriously!), and there is something quite comforting about having a living thing in your room. But, unless you’re a green fingered wizard then make sure you invest in plants that are very hard to kill: Cacti, spider plant, jade plants and many other succulents are all plants that don’t mind a bit of neglect. You can also find some really cool plant pots or grab the glitter and chalk paint and customise your own.
Home is my comfort zone
When you move into your new home, I think it’s practically impossible not to have the urge to have a complete IKEA makeover, but remember to keep some familiar objects from home – your favourite pillow, wash-basket, photos, and your keepsakes help to make the space more personal. The first few weeks at in a new home may feel a little strange, so the familiarity of home comforts may make you feel more comfortable.
Light up your Life
Let’s face it, no room looks cosy under the glare of a 40-watt overhead bulb with a plastic lampshade. If you invest in nothing else, buy yourself some better, as it can really affect the general ambience and create a welcoming atmosphere. What form this takes is up to you – a reading light for your bedside table or desk, a standing lamp to light the room when the main light is too much, and get creative with fairy lights, put them in jars, wrap them around your headboard or draped to every wall (just make sure you don’t damage the walls in the process). This doesn’t have to be expensive either, as you can find some real distinctive pieces in charity-shops and car-boot sales.
Scented candles are great for removing any lingering smells, along with adding a cosier feel, and larger candles especially can help to add a feeling of warmth. However, watch out for was melting on any surfaces or carpets, as it’s a bugger to remove. If you can’t live with the fear of melting wax then diffusers are a great way to add your favourite fragrance, or incense sticks can provide a short sharp burst of smell and give you the opportunity to just zen out.
Do the provided sofas and chairs look like something that would be found in an antique shop? Of course, they do. So, get creative and cover them with cosy throws and colourful cushions instead. You don’t have to fill the room with scatter cushions like you’re waiting for a magazine photo shoot, but a few funky cushions here and there can really brighten up a dingy room and make evenings spent chilling in front of the TV a lot cosier.
It is very unlikely that your student accommodation is going to have anything other than a worn carpet in 50 shades of magnolia, so transform your ugly carpet with your own rug. Brighter coloured rugs can sometimes make a room look slightly smaller, but strategic placing of a rug can dramatically improve the appearance of the room and can help create different zones in your room. It also makes you feel warmer, which is always an advantage when trying to avoid heating bills. Finally, on the rug front, invest in a welcome mat for the front door. Not only is it practical helping to protect the flooring from dirty footprints, but these days there are a huge variety to choose from providing your guests with the welcoming message you want to portray for your home.
Make your desk your favourite space
You should (in theory), be spending a considerable amount of time working away at your desk, so why not make it a space you want to be in. Zone the area to try and avoid distractions and spruce it up with practical items that will bring a personal charm to the area – colourful coasters, a customised timetable and your photos to keep you motivated.
The environment you create in your student house can have a profound effect on your mood, and while you are studying, or just trying to get through student life you may feel overwhelmed or stressed. However, by hopefully following our tips and making your house feel like a home, you can live in a relaxing space that you can enjoy even when those pesky deadlines hit.