The first year of university student life can pose something of a culture shock. Shared accommodation, the science of separating laundry colours and an increased emphasis on self-directed study are all obstacles that require an adjustment period.
And, with many students left with no immediate prospect of returning to greener home comforts, setting up a stable second home base becomes all the more important.
However, many dorm rooms and student accommodations come ready-furnished. The problem is, these furnishings might have seen in any number of generations of student inhabitants prior to your move-in. This means that dated decor and bus-seat patterned upholstery are an all too common initiatory experience for first-years.
So how does the fresher with flair transform a bland, boxy room into a home away from home? Jazz up your study space with the following tips.
1. Decorate walls with removable wallpaper
Banish those bare walls with the ingenious innovation of peel-off paper. These products come in a range of patterns and colours, from geometric to vintage.
Removable wallpaper can be repositioned and reused without adhering to walls – meaning a short-term tenancy doesn’t have to mean putting up with an unsatisfactory living space.
You might even be able to save those pennies for those all-important early-lecture coffees by making your own, instead.
2. Brighten up with funky prints and bold colours
If uninspiring carpets and walls are non-negotiable, work around them. Fill in blank space and transform an untrendy template by getting crafty with accents.
Inject drab bedrooms with colour with contemporary Harlequin bed linen and cheery comforters. Disguise a dingy carpet with a plush rug, or cover up a faded armchair with lively throws and cushions.
3. Freshen up with a hardy plant
Not only can plants bring instant vitality to any room, but they purify the air, too. When choosing a plant, consider your lifestyle. If you want to create a room that provides your with a breathing space from a frenetic schedule, try a peace lily.
If you want a more non-committal kind of relationship, however, try hardy plants like aloe vera, cacti and succulents.
Originating from some of the harshest climates in the world, these spiky specimens are tough, but beautiful. A low maintenance plant, the cactus only needs to be watered weekly during the summer, and will thrive in the setting of a sunny, south-facing windowsill.
Some of these tips might not be easy to implement right away, but have to be built up over time. But with a bit of determination, you should soon have a room to inspire and comfort you for the year ahead.