University life can sometimes feel overwhelming, and so it’s important to have a comfortable space to relax in. For many students, this is university accommodation. The shared kitchen and lounge areas are great for winding down after a hard days studying, but may not feel like home straight away. To help you out, here are some tips to help make your new home ‘feel’ like home…
Ah, the mighty throw. These decorative blankets can add a splash of colour, and increase the comfort of the furniture at the same time! Be sure to discuss colours with your flatmates prior to going out to buy one, as the lounge area is a shared space, after all. It’s surprising what a difference a couple of throws can make to how homely the room feels. Prices range from £4-£20 depending on where you get them from, but the cheapest place I’ve found online is ASDA, but they are widely available in most stores (Wilko, Dunelm etc)
Just look at the difference a throw and a couple of cushions can make!
Many flats purchase holiday decorations for the table during Halloween and Christmas, but why stop there? A small plant, light, even a fruit bowl can liven up the kitchen table. With plants, it could be a smart idea to choose a fake one, as this decreases the risk of it dying and becoming unsightly, but it’s up to you! The best thing about table decorations is that they increase the appeal of eating at the kitchen table. They come in all different forms, so it’s a good idea to have a thorough search and – as with throws – agree as a flat which one, or ones, to buy. If you’re stuck for inspiration, Pinterest is brilliant for finding the perfect style you’re looking for!
The Pin Board
There is a myriad of ways of utilising the pin board in all accommodation lounge areas, other than for displaying useful notices provided by the university. As such; it could be a useful display of phone numbers for accommodation services, wellbeing support and security; or perhaps a place to keep track of rotas for cleaning or shopping. Many flats are more creative and wacky, using the pin board as a place to hold ‘quotes of the day’. My flat adorn the display with ‘out-of-context quotes’ from flatmates, and little inside jokes to make us chuckle if we’re feeling low. There are endless possibilities, so don’t neglect this fabulous opportunity to customise your flat.
A classic for students, fairy lights are cheap, easy to install and can completely change a room’s mood. It’s important to note, accommodation does not allow fixtures on the walls, so please don’t stick lights to the walls with cello tape and any fairly lights you buy need to be battery operated. Instead, perhaps add them at the bottom of window frames, to create mood lighting. Another great way of adding fairy lights is above the kitchen units, as this area can often feel neglected from decoration. Of course, be careful not to create any fire or tripping hazards, but other than that fairy lights are the perfect addition to any shared living space!
With all the decorations above, make sure to discuss as a flat before buying anything. It is a shared living space, after all. Additionally, if something seems too expensive, and a cheaper version of it cannot be found, perhaps everyone in the flat could share the cost? Most importantly, be creative and have fun!