The move to university and the following weeks can be all too daunting and hectic. In the midst of cramming all your worldly possessions into a tiny room, making it homely is easily forgotten. First year can be an emotional rollercoaster in quite a few ways, but by making your room a safe space and a sanctuary, the hard times will be slightly easier! You may have had a carefully thought-out Pinterest vision board ever since submitting your UCAS form, or maybe you’ve not put any thought into it at all. Whether you care that much about your room or not, sometimes we all need a little reminder of home, so here’s our advice for how to make your uni room feel more like home.
1. Getting the cosy lighting
If there’s one thing that every student needs in their room, it’s fairy lights! In first year, I bought a pack of battery powered wire fairy lights from Primark for a couple of pounds. These are ideal for if you aren’t allowed to plug in fairy lights in your accommodation (I wasn’t in my room). If it’s not warm ambience of fairy lights you’re trying to achieve, why not add some LED strip lights to your room for a funky part vibe. These are great, because you can change the colour depending on your mood. Whether you’re getting ready for pres or having a cosy hangover day, there’s a colour mode that suits your situation.
2. Achieve sophisticated scents with candles
At the moment, it seems like I can’t leave the house without buying a candle. Whether I go to the supermarket or the city centre shopping, I always come back with a candle. We’ve been burning Christmas scents in my house since the start of September, and I can’t see us getting fed up any time soon. Nothing beats the satisfaction of tidying your room, before lighting a new clean-smelling candle to finish it off. Home Bargains’ candle range Wickford & Co has some stunning scents at really affordable prices, such as their Pumpkin Chai for under £5 but burns for 95 hours! These are perfect for if you can’t really afford Yankee candles but also want the luxury of them. Check if your accommodation allows candles before burning them.
3. Personalise your walls with pictures and posters
One of the first things I did when I moved into halls in first year was put my polaroid pictures on my wardrobe and prints of friends and family on the wall. This brought a sense of familiarity to the room, as they were pictures I used to have up in my bedroom at home, but I could also add to it as I made memories at university. If you fancy posters on your walls rather than (or as well as) pictures, then there are a couple of ways you can go about this. I collected a lot of cool posters from freshers fairs for one of my favourite clubs as well as random club events throughout the semester. You may prefer to order some posters that suit your aesthetic or create a theme, off websites such as Etsy, Desenio or Postery.
4. Light up your room with a lamp
If you weren’t sold on the idea of fairy lights or strip lights, I recommend you at least get a lamp! The lighting in halls can be so harsh that waking up to that first thing in the morning or going straight from that to pitch black, is quite intense. Depending on your goal for the room, you could invest in a salt rock lamp, like these on Amazon, to create a super cosy glow within the room. Alternatively, you might want to opts for the cute Tokabo lamp from Ikea, which is only £8 and comes in white, green and purple. There are so many different lamps out there, so whether you want a statement piece or simply just something functional, you can definitely find it.
5. Wall tapestry
This is a bit of a student stereotype that featured on every single one of my bedroom inspiration Pinterest boards, but never actually made it onto my wall. However, a wall tapestry can be just what your room needs to finish it all off, with the softness of the fabric creating a cosy vibe next to the bed. Have a browse on Etsy for your ideal tapestry to finally make your room feel more homely.
6. Cover the scratchy carpet with a rug
One thing I remember about the floor in student accommodation, is that it was hard, scratchy, covered in makeup and generally just nasty. A statement rug will hide a multitude of sins, as well as providing a soft floor to step out of bed onto in the morning.
7. Bring the outside in, with houseplants
Plants are known to help boost productivity, as well as purifying the air around them, making them the perfect study buddy to have on your desk. Be warned though, as soon as you start buying plants, you won’t be able to stop! Obviously having a houseplant in you room is different to having a pet, but there’s something quite comforting about having something to look after. It’s also really exciting watching a cheap little plant you bought on a whim grow bigger and bigger. If you don’t trust yourself to look after a high maintenance plant, why not invest in a succulent of some sort or some fake plants? Vines trailing from the ceiling and around the room are also a nice touch to any uni room.
8. Bring out an old friend by taking your childhood teddy with you
Having your childhood soft toy with you at university can be such a comforting reminder of home. So many more people bring their ancient teddies with them than you would think, as well as buying more along the way. It’s strange, but having the homeliness of a toy in your room somehow makes moving away feel less lonely than it would otherwise.
9. Make the room cosy with cushions and blankets
I wish I had more cushions on my bed, to make it more comfortable during the day, as well as adding a touch of personality and colour to the room. Even if you throw all the extra cushions on the floor at night, your room will feel super homely during the day. Similarly, a fluffy blanket is a must for getting wrapped up in on a hangover day. Nothing says “I’m feeling fragile” like someone walking round the house with a blanket over their shoulders.
10. Accessorise your shelves with books
We all have our comfort shows and films, but I also find there are certain books which bring me a level of peace that others don’t. In my room I have a mixture of books, some are your classic coffee table books that just look cool and fancy, whereas others have been read to tatters over the years. Having these in your room can not only offer escapism from the stress of university life, but also add a nice finishing touch to the room. Books are also good conversation starters when people come into your room – you never know, your favourite book may also be your housemate’s favourite too!