As well as generally being a major life change for your son or daughter, moving out of the family home and starting a new phase of study at university can bring with it a lot of new ways of living – not least the fact that, likely for their first year, they’ll be living, sleeping, hanging out with their mates and studying with just one room to call their own.
Compared to the amount of space there might have been in the family home, a student room in halls can feel bare, clinical and devoid of any home comforts and individuality. On top of this, the sudden lack of space for all their belongings might mean that you need to consider storing some of their valuables until their second year, when they’ll hopefully have moved into a student house which includes more available space!
So, what can your son or daughter do to liven up their student room in halls? Here are some tips you can pass along to them…
Quick tips to make any student room more homely
- Use colourful or patterned boxes for storage
There may be somewhat limited storage space available in your son or daughter’s room. Using attractive-looking, smart stackable (or foldable) plastic or cardboard storage boxes to stow some items away can add colour to a room; instantly jazzing up an otherwise very plain décor style.
- Add some greenery
Making good use of indoor plants is highly underrated and just a couple of pot plants can do wonders for a smallish space. Bringing nature ‘inside’ can bring life to a room in a flash, and help to improve someone’s sense of wellbeing no end. And, with a great many indoor plants being quite easy to care for, your student won’t need to worry about forgetting to water or care for them quite as much.
- Make the most of available wall space
It sounds like an obvious thing to suggest, but sometimes it can be assumed that this area of a room is out of bounds from the off, because the use of picture nails is commonly ‘outlawed’ to prevent wall damage. However, with some careful use of some specially-designed adhesive (such as the non-wall-damaging Velcro-like strip fixings you can buy quite easily in most supermarkets, home and DIY stores), you can confidently mount framed (or unframed) photos, posters and noticeboards without the fear of causing damage). And it instantly adds some extra personality to your son or daughter’s new living space.
- Use soft furnishings to brighten up the space
There are some quick and easy ways to add some home comforts to the student room. Colourful or patterned cushions can be brought from home to use on a chair or bed. Perhaps invest in a new duvet set that your son or daughter chooses to make the room feel a bit more personalised. You could also look at either letting them borrow a rug from home for their floor, (or let them choose a new rug) to help their space feel more cosy.
- Add a homely scent
As well as the way a room looks being very important, don’t forget that we have more senses than just our sight. Whilst candles aren’t usually allowed in halls because they’re deemed a fire hazard, there are a couple of other options that can be looked at. A reed diffuser can be used (safely) on a windowsill, or on a side table to add a pleasant fragrance to the room. Or, why not try a plug-in air freshener? These are fairly inexpensive, long-lasting, and have the added flexibility of being able to be switched on and off as desired.
- Look at lighting
The right lighting can change the mood and feeling of a room very effectively. These days there are bags of different options to choose from, whether it’s colourful desk lamps, strings of fairy lights, patterned ceiling lampshades or stylish floor lamps – there’s bound to be a suitable mix of items which your son or daughter can add to their new pad.
The hints above will hopefully help ensure that your student’s room in halls has some comfort and cosiness they might miss from the family home – but, importantly, allows them to put their own stamp on their space. They should be able to personalise it enough to their taste so it feels like their own, which in turn makes for a more enjoyable place for them to stay during their first year at university.