You studied hard. You got the grades. You celebrated hard. You got the hang-over. Now you’re off to Uni. Fantastic. With freshers week around the corner, Printerinks.com put together this quick guide to decorating your student room on a budget. Even if you are not a fresher, there might be a few cool tips for you too.
For years you’ve been building up to this. All that standing in line, doing what you were told was best for you. Now you have your big chance to do whatever you want to do; to be who you were always meant to be. And best of all, your new student room is all your very own – nobody to tell you when to hoover, tidy and make the bed. Your student room is the greatest manifestation of your new student life and you can make it precisely whatever you want it to be.
Don’t get me wrong, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to express yourself – whether we’re talking about joining the Debating Society or testing out some wild new dance moves in the Student Union – but there is nowhere better to let the new you all hang out than in the small box on a shared corridor that you can call your very own.
Seriously, you’re going to sleep there every night. Well, if you’re lucky, perhaps not every night. You’re going to invite people round to hang out, have a drink, watch TV, maybe even study from time to time. You want your room to be comfortable, attractive and a representation of who you are.
First out the blocks, it’s important to know that you don’t have to blow the bank. It costs enough to be a student as it is and you have other priorities to spend your money on. At the same time it is worth spending a few quid if you don’t want to spend the entire year looking at white-washed walls under the glare of a single strip light.
And there’s the rub: lighting. If there’s one single thing you can do to transform the vibe in your student room from a cold and slightly eerie carbon copy to a place you can think of as a home from home it’s lighting. Get yourself a lamp, maybe two. One for your workspace, one for your bedside table. It’s nice to be able to compartmentalise your space, even if it is only a few square feet, and a second hand-lamp or IKEA indulgence won’t cost you the earth. If you’re going to IKEA, why not get yourself a strip of fairy lights and dangle them artfully around the mirror or pin-board. In fact, fill your trolley and invest in some cheap LED strips and do a bit of cunning underlighting with your bed or desk. Seriously, you’ll find it hard to over-do it getting the right lighting for the right vibe in your student room. For those special cosy evenings in, it’s worth investing in a box of fake candles too. You don’t want to burn down the whole block so why risk striking a match when you can flick a switch.
You’ve got the lighting sorted. Next up is the walls. The cheapest easiest way to transform your walls is by blu-tacking discount drinks vouchers and 2-4-1 club flyers to every surface. Don’t do it. It’s a common enough student trap but you’ll get sick of neon in minutes and stand to lose half your deposit at the end of the year when you rip down the leaflets and the paintwork comes with it.
This is what you do: print off a selection of your favourite photos and tape them carefully within certain zones on your walls. Washi tape will transform your life for this process. It’s readily available online in a huge range of patterns and colours meaning that you can artfully curate your collection of images with frames and borders in strips and grids or just random splashes of colour.
You won’t be able to stop yourself so why not augment your own pictures by printing off quotes and images that take your fancy and slipping them into the mix. And if you still can’t get enough of all that lovely Washi, you can always use up the rest to highlight the edge of your door or furniture or books or mirror or… You get the picture.
Stand back. Take a look around. Try your different mood lights. Admire your bespoke gallery. You’re doing well but there’s a touch of homeliness required. Time for a couple of pot plants. You don’t have to be green-fingered to keep a cactus or a peace lilly happy and they will repay you in droves. The presence of a plant in a brightly coloured pot will transform your accommodation and keep the room feeling fresh. Give your plant a name, a bit of water occasionally and a good spot near the window and you’ll find you have a good friend to talk to every morning when you wake up.
With these staples in place you’ll find your own interior designer starting to take flight. Soon you won’t be able to resist cushions and throws, feature walls, curios from local markets or saved from your travels to scatter on shelves. People will start to comment and congregate in your pad and you’ll start to feel pretty proud. You’ll probably start to hoover, tidy up and make the bed.
If you are looking for cheap student deals on ink and toner please visit our dedicated student discount page.