When you arrive at university, a key part of settling in is having a good space to spend your time in. Despite students’ limited resources in money and space, you've got to make your room feel a little more you. Here are a few tips and pointers to help make your room or house a bit more inviting, even on a budget.
Desks are arguably the most important element to anybody’s bedroom, let alone a student bedroom, so having one that’s nice to look at as well as usable is essential to a nice living space. Eliminating clutter and get yourself a wireless keyboard and mouse, the less wires the better. Other items such as headphones can be moved out of the way onto a stand or into desk trays.
Show Off Your Collections
I’m a slave to branded items, whatever they may be; however as a student, this isn’t an easy habit to maintain. I’m very proud of my collection, and as such I use my room to showcase my spending, from a Hundreds incense holder or a Huf tray, to Kidrobot vinyl figurines. Clothes and shoes of course go in tandem with this, in a ‘two birds with one stone’ effort, a simple clothing rail is the best option to save space and show off your collection. Rails can be picked up for as cheap as a tenner from IKEA and make the room lighter, less cluttered and nice to look at.
As well as bought or branded stuff, a good and above all cheap way to brighten up your space is with your own work, or your friends. Be creative with what goes on your wall. I for example have framed my wristbands collected at festivals over the years. I’ve also framed some posters I designed for when I’d played DJ sets. As well as your own, don’t be afraid to seek wall fillers from friends or other people from uni. I have a painting by a friend that sits above my mantelpiece and I love it. It compliments the style of my room perfectly and looks amazing up on my wall. I’ve also designed some other works on my own; I take my favourite albums and use the lyrics from the album to illustrate the artwork. I then frame them and put them up on my wall in a series.
Storage space is something that we may not have a lot of as students, making every inch of a room important. As mentioned, you can start by getting rid of that ugly wardrobe or clunky chest of drawers, and replace it with a rail. Footwear can go underneath it. IKEA once again comes to the rescue with its offerings in storage with multipurpose fabric cubes from as little as £2, and available in a multitude of colours. I’ve bought three and use them for boxers/socks, my record collection, and wires/chargers etc.
I love my shoes, and I keep hold of all the original boxes, and that’s for many reasons. For one it gives them extra value should I want to sell them, they look great stacked on top of each other on a shelf, and also give a place to store extra stuff. Hooks are also great little space savers; hanging things means they don’t have a footprint, leaving you with more room. A pack of four hooks can be bought from Tiger for £1; I use these to hang things like belts, umbrellas, bags, jackets and headphones up and out of the way of things.
All of the above aside, ambience can make or break the liveability of a room and the best way to achieve a nice ambience is the cheap way. Primark, Poundland, TKMaxx, all have extensive collections of candles, with Primark’s being pretty decent. Get yourself a decent desk/bedside lamp, alongside a bright floorlamp, and you have a homely and warm atmosphere to your room. Brighten and freshen up a room with a couple of indoor plants, and it already looks better.