Thursday, 8 December 2011

How To Personalise Your Student Room

Stamping your identity on a student bedroom, whether in university halls or in a shared house, can be a tricky prospect. Landlords manage to weave a surprising number of rules into accommodation contracts that make personalising your home-away-from-home a challenge, particularly if there’s the dreaded ‘no blu-tak’ clause. However, there are plenty of tricks to make a room homely besides posters, and several ways to get round the blu-tak issue without forfeiting your deposit

Think Beyond The Walls
From the edges of the mirror to the back of your bedroom door, there will be surfaces available that you can stick posters and photographs on without fear of damage. Think creatively: why not arrange photos in an interesting pattern on the side of the wardrobe, or use a variety of magnets to fix postcards on the radiator? Whenever I move into a new room, I also see if there are any opportunities for hanging ornaments up, a reliable favourite being around the light switch. Another good tactic is to anchor a mobile from a bookshelf with a dictionary or heavy text book.

Perfect Pin Boards
Some rooms come complete with a pin board, which is an excellent opportunity to get inventive. Stretching a bright scarf or patterned wrapping paper across such a board can instantly provide a focal point for your room, besides making an excellent background for tickets, flyers, pictures and anything else you want to put up. If there is no pin board, small cork boards are relatively cheap to buy and can be stood on a shelf or at the back of a desk.

Bright Bedclothes
Choosing a particular duvet cover and pillow cases before moving into your new room will immediately give you a sense of ownership when you make the bed for the first time. Whether it’s a conscious decision to take a bit of home with you, or a fresh start with brand new bedclothes, this is certain to make the room cosier. Rugs, cushions and throws can also add personality with minimum effort. Lay a throw over your bedside table, or tie a light cloth around the back of your desk chair. Go for a colour scheme or mix and match – you can change it easily as the mood takes you!

Look to the Light
A lot of student bedrooms don’t have a lightshade, but even if they do, there’s nothing to stop you removing it during your tenancy and replacing it with something more interesting. I opt for a pirate-themed shade myself, complimenting a couple of cushions I also have, but there are so many options to either make a statement or just add a touch of individuality by hanging something different over the light bulb. Some contracts outlaw them, but fairy lights are a very effective way of creating ambience and failing that, a bedside lamp angled towards the ceiling produces an instant snug feel. Moving on to natural light, window stickers are a great way to brighten dull days and a window sill is the perfect place for those photo frames.

So there you have it, a few ways to personalise your student room without sticking posters on every wall. Of course, if you are allowed to use blu-tak, white-tak or picture hooks, go for it! Just remember to double check your landlord’s preference first. Happy decorating!

Written by Jemma Saunders (@JemSaunders1)
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