Moving into a student home for the first time is incredibly exciting. However, for some, the prospect of having to live away from the comfort of home can be quite intimidating.
Student homes generally aren’t designed with the aim of being cosy or beautiful. In fact, when you haven’t put effort into your student home decor, living in a student home can make you feel like a permanent visitor.
Wondering how you can make your student home look nice? It can be hard to see what you can do to make your student home feel cosy and homely – especially on a student budget. But incorporating just a few simple touches could really help to make the space your own and create a more homely feel.
So, here are my 5 top tips to make your student house into a home on a budget.
It’s a basic fact: no room looks cosy under the glare of a 40-watt overhead bulb. If you invest in nothing else, buy yourself some better lighting for your student house. Lighting can really affect the ambience and general feel of a room. To give off a cosier and more welcoming atmosphere, why not invest in some new lighting?
Standing lamps are a great investment to use when the main light might be too bright. A reading light for your desk or bedside table is also a great idea for those late-night revision sessions. For some extra sparkle, try fairy lights! A favourite amongst students across the country, these twinkly stars add a comforting glow to any bedroom. Experiment with different colours and shapes before winding them around bedposts or draping them over mirrors. They’re cheap, easy to use and add a lot of atmosphere to what could be a gloomy room.
Plants are known to be one of the most effective ways to make a room feel more homely. Not only do they create a lovely warm atmosphere, but they’ll also refresh the oxygen supply in any room, offering incredible health benefits! The outside indoor ambience is definitely a must during the late-night study sessions and hungover mornings.
The only problem is that student accommodation is not usually a great environment for plants to thrive: it’s frequently overheated, the air is too dry, you might not have a window where it can reach sunlight and you should work on the assumption that your plant won’t be regularly watered. My suggestion? Look into houseplants that are very hard to kill, such as cacti, spider plants (and many other succulents). They’re all tough plants that don’t mind neglect or overwatering.
If all else fails, for those tough spots of the rooms, like a bathroom or the top of a shelf, why not invest in a fake plant? They are super cheap, easy to manage and they look fantastic (no one will know the difference)!
There are lots of ways to make your student home smell amazing and create a homely atmosphere. Try using candles and incense, if they’re allowed in your student accommodation.
Candles are perfect for adding a cosier feel, particularly during winter or difficult times stuck at home. Larger candles can even help to add warmth to a room. Scented candles are great for removing any lingering smells to add a fresh and sweet-smelling fragrance to the room. Not to mention the gorgeous and soothing lighting that candles bring to a room. Perfect for a cosy movie night or to add some atmosphere to your last-minute revision.
If candles and incense aren’t allowed on your property another student home decor option is a diffuser. They’re so effective, just add cold water and your choice of essential oils and you’ve got a gorgeous smelling room in minutes. You could also use herbs, whether that’s buying a lavender pillow or, if you’re feeling really green-fingered, growing some on your windowsill. Or for a really quick fix, find a room spray that you love the smell of.
While you may be on a strict budget, it’s worth investing in soft furnishings to make your student accommodation feel more like home. You don’t need to buy and whole living room, but a cushion or two could make your sofa and chairs comfier and your room look more like home.
Transform the appearance of dull-looking carpets, which are all too common in student houses, and add a touch of style by purchasing new rugs. Although brighter coloured rugs can sometimes make the room look slightly smaller, strategic placing of the rug could let you add some personality to the space.
Keep your family and friends close whilst in your home away from home by having plenty of pictures of them in your bedroom. Having things around you to remind you of the people you love is one of the best ways to make a room feel like home. It’s worth ordering proper prints of your favourite photos of friends and family so that you aren’t surrounded by low-quality inkjet printouts.
Even if your accommodation doesn’t let you use Blu Tack, most of them will at least supply you with a noticeboard where you can put up photos.
You could even look at cool and quirky ways of displaying them in your bedroom such as hanging your pictures onto a piece of string or even onto a line of fairy lights.
Cheap student decor can make a home feel cosy, atmospheric and beautiful. By putting some extra thought into it, you’ll feel more comfortable and happy at university, helping you to have the best possible experience during your first time living alone!