Walking in to your new blank canvas of a room can be both exciting and slightly daunting. This is going to be your space for the year so it’s important to make it somewhere you can relax and unwind from the chaos of uni life. Whether you need to sit down and write an essay, escape from your annoying housemates or recover from a heavy night, it’s important that your room is somewhere you’re comfortable. These 5 key tips will guide you through making the most of what you have, whilst putting personal touch on your space!
- Use your space
As much as we all wish our rent budgets could stretch to a large double room with more storage than you could ever dream of filling, the reality of student accommodation is a bit bleeker. For those of us settling for a room that doesn’t cost your entire student loan a month, it’s a good idea to make the most of the space you do have.
Try to stick to light colours as these will help to brighten your room, whereas darker colours can make the space seem smaller and oppressive. Sticking to whites, greys and pastel variations of your favourite colours as bases with some pops of bright colours and metallics will help you put your stamp on your room, whilst ensuring it doesn’t become overwhelming.
Adding mirrors to your room will also help to create the illusion of your room being bigger. Now, we’re not suggesting a crazy mirror room straight out of a noughties music video, but adding a mirror or two will help reflect light back into the room, making it seem larger and lighter. Try a large desk mirror or a full length mirror angled in a corner or hung over your door.
As many of us know far too well, most student rooms come ‘fully furnished’ with a desk, an often tiny chest of drawers and a wardrobe. Whilst these can generally store most of your things there always seems to be a couple of boxes that you just can’t find a home for! Here are a couple of ways to give yourself that added storage.
Upcycle! Why not turn your hand to a bit of DIY and give an old piece of furniture a lick of paint? Charity shops, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Freecycle are the perfect places to pick up an old bookshelf or bedside table that you can repaint and make your own.
Space Saving Solutions Whether it’s underbed storage or stackable boxes, there are plenty of space saving storage products available to help you fit all your belongings into your room. Ikea, Argos, Wilkos and TK Maxx are great places to look for affordable solutions in a range of styles and designs to match your aesthetic.
Over door hooks a couple of multi hang door hooks will provide you with the perfect place to hang your coat at the end of the day. Items such as coats and towels can be pretty bulky and hard to store so by tucking them on a hook on the back of the door they can be neatly stored out of the way.
- Make your bed
The bed becomes the focal point of any bedroom so it’s important to make the most of yours! Not only will it draw the eye but it’s probably where you’ll spend most of your time be it relaxing, sleeping or working. A top tip for student rooms is to avoid white bedding; patterned or coloured bedding will stay looking fresh and new for longer (and will be far more forgiving when it comes to dropping some of your drunk food on it at 3.00am). Try adding a couple of cushions to your bed too! Whether you go for a plain, patterned, graphic print or slogan cushion, these can help to add another personal touch to your room as well as making your bed extra comfy during the day. If your room gets a little a chilly in the winter months when you’re trying to save on those heating bills it’s always worth adding a throw to the end of your bed that you can easily pull up. Both Primark and TK Maxx always have a great range of throws and blankets in various styles and colours.
- Decorate your walls
Whilst floor space can quickly become crowded, student walls are often bare. If you’re lucky enough to have hooks already up on your walls then why not hang a collage picture frame, poster or wall hanging? It’s worth noting that many landlords state in their contracts that no hooks or screws can be attached to the walls and quite a few also discourage the use of blu tack. Command hooks are a fairly cheap alternative and are easy to order from Amazon. They’re designed to allow you to hang frames, drawing boards or tapestries from your wall without the need for hooks and without leaving any marks. However, be careful to not overload them as trying to hang something too heavy can rip the hook and may damage the paintwork.
If you’re desperate to display a lot of pictures or posters with blu tack, first try to stick these on furniture as removing it will cause less damage than to walls. Whilst you may be able to remove blu tack from your walls without stripping the paint, it will most likely leave behind greasy marks that your landlord may charge you for, so try to avoid it. Command hooking a cheap drawing or pin board to your wall and pinning your photos may be a safer alternative.
Hack! If you do use blu tack on your walls and find it’s left a greasy mark, try using Sugar Soap to remove the stains. You can pick it up for around £4 in Homebase, B&Q or Robert Dyas. Just dilute with water and rub over the stains. It may take a couple of goes but it should at least reduce the appearance of the marks.
Hopefully these tips will help you to make the most of your room whatever its shape and size! Remember, this is your space so let it reflect you and be a place you want to hang out.
Text by Esther Darmanin
Picture research by Donna Darafshian; featured image from Pinterest.