Moving into university halls can be a daunting prospect for many students for a number of reasons. I’m a home girl through and through and my priority was to ensure I packed the right things so I felt at home, despite being 251 miles away! There are variety ways us students can make university rooms look homelier that are simple and fairly cheap too – just what we all love to hear!
Here are some of my top tips:
Photos – and lots of them
If your university halls allow you to, cover your walls in photos of your friends and family (like in the picture below) in a Polaroid mismatched fashion to cover the bare, cold walls, whilst simultaneously reminding you of memories you’ve had back at home. This will help make your room more personal to you, which is important for those days where you’re missing home, and a space for you to retreat into, reminiscing the good times you’ve had and pictures of special moments to remember.
However some university halls, frustratingly, do not allow you to hang anything on the walls, so there are other alternatives. You could fill a noticeboard with pictures, making it like a scrapbook type-of-thing. Or, failing that, you could buy some cheap frames and put pictures in them – some places, such as Poundland, do some simple frames which will do the job nicely without breaking the student bank!
In order to make your room more homely, it is vital you add a bit of colour and inject a bit of your own personality. You can easily do this by adding posters of your favourite bands, artists or TV shows (such as GOT), and even the cliché ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ signs which are sure to keep you motivated throughout the year, whilst looking good too. A number of universities hold poster sales at the beginning of every year, so keep an eye out and grab yourself a bargain!
Fairy lights are a winner and you can never have too many! They provide plenty of light to your room, without being too bright, whilst at the same time making it look pretty and homely. You can get them cheap and in all different styles and colours from various places, including the major supermarkets, Wilko, Poundland and so on.
Cushions and throws – add some colour
It’s a good idea to pick a colour scheme and stick to it because a nice room means you’ll instantly feel more at home. My halls already had a set colour scheme of red so I used this to shape my dorm room. I picked a large red cushion and “&” cushion from Wilko for £5 each and a grey cushion from Primark for £6. The throw at the end of my bed is a cheap scarf I bought for uni that I hadn’t been wearing, so thought it would be best used as a throw as it matched my bed linen. Cushions and throws are easily accessible and cheap to buy in many shops in a variety of different textures and colours depending on your taste.
Having storage boxes to put your stationary, folders and paper in can make a considerable difference to the appearance of your room, especially if you can be a little bit messy sometimes like me. It helps things look organised, as opposed to a landfill site as I can imagine most student rooms to look like!
In my opinion, a fresh smelling room can make all the difference because it reminds me of home scents and candles. Most halls don’t allow you to use candles, so an easy and cheap alternative is an air freshener. I bought one for my room from Poundland (of all places) in vanilla scent and it smells just like any other expensive air fresheners you can buy. They don’t last as long, which I assumed would happen, but for £1 you really can’t go wrong! It doesn’t matter where you get them from, they all do the same job at the end of the day. Alternatively, potpourri is another way to keep your room smelling fresh – it’s cheap and looks great in your room too.
Be creative and be bold – it won’t hurt anyone!