After the excitement of opening the letter offering you a place to your chosen University, the glee at crossing the threshold into your campus, and the anticipation of choosing your course modules, you are finally ready to step foot into your university accommodation. Every student is faced with the same bland four walls, the unmade bed, the plain furniture and general utilitarian nature of mass student accommodation. But it needn’t be bland for long! With a few clever tricks learnt over the years by seasoned students who perfected the art of a personalised space, you can quickly turn your room into a home away from home.
When you invite people in for a study session, to socialise, or when you block your door open for the world to see, the first thing that people will lay their eyes on are your bed sheets. So be tactful about the colour and pattern for fear that your fellow flatmates might judge you by your covers before getting to know you. Stay conservative, the plainest sheets are also quite often the cheapest in your local bedding shop. Once you are happy that your flatmates know the real you, then you can whip out your Avengers bedding that reminds you of home.
Switching on your bedroom light on your very first night can make some really miss home. It’s usually a standard dim yellow or character-less white which does nothing to the space. Make it your space by installing your own lighting – but no DIY is necessary! Simply plug in a funky looking lamp on your desk and another next to your bed, and look out your window for inspiration. You will likely see someone with fairy lights dangling from their curtain rail or stuck along their shelving. These will all emit a soft colourful glow, giving your room an ambience fit for such a unique character as yourself.
Going down the route of the cheapest bedding on the market will typically leave you with the absolute basics: a duvet and a pillow, with their respective covers. But here’s your chance to really turn your room into a haven of comfort! Cushions come in all shapes, sizes, colours and materials, and as a bonus they don’t cost the Earth. As a double bonus, you can even make them yourself using handy websites like Funky Pigeon. You will end up with not a dull room, but a cavern dedicated to you and your personality.
A bare room will typically offer either a stain resistant carpet or cold floorboards – neither of which offer the warmth and comfort of a place you’d like to call home. So why not invest in a rug? There’s no need to stretch your budget to a full Persian carpet, as rugs can be quite cheap in a market or discount store.
Those white walls can sometimes become prison-like. When you’ve got a ton of studying to do and a dissertation to write, being surrounded by bland blank walls might just tip you over the edge and work against your productivity. So go out and pick up a dozen posters. These are plentiful in Freshers’ Week and most students will be handed a wall planner (hopefully with some decent design thrown in). Nothing says homely like walls covered in your favourite films, bands, pictures, maps, vistas and photographs. If you are worried about losing your deposit when your hall inspector finds Blutac marks on your walls, then be prepared to invest in a little white paint to guarantee your deposit’s safe return.
Did you know that a Japanese Peace Lily oxygenates a room better than any other plant? The good news doesn’t stop there; an oxygenated room boosts morale and productivity. Invest in any plant and reap the rewards of a healthy space shared with your favourite vegetation. This can also be an effective talking point for socialising occasions.
After a few weeks of knowing your new space, take a step back and admire your desk and shelves. Are they covered in dull grey, black and white books and paper that adds nothing but a hint of melancholy to what should be the best years of your life? Well you’re in luck, because stationery comes in all colours, and your desk should be seen as a blank canvas on which you paint your character using your best books, favourite folders, and even your own paper.
Food and Drink
A room full of personality and colour is one thing, but that room shared with your housemates adds a social dimension that you will relish. Prop your door open, put the kettle on, open the biscuits and make your room a meeting place where great friendships are forged.
Enjoy your newfound accommodation’s personality!