Bored of staring at the plain wall in your halls or student housing? Wish you could make your room… well, more ‘you’, but don’t know where to start? Or are you simply just guilty for spending hours scrolling through aesthetically pleasing home décor on Pinterest saving posts to your ‘room inspo’ folders? Well, listen up students, I have just the thing for you. Creating a personalized living space doesn’t have to be difficult, nor expensive! This whirlwind article will hopefully provide you with some inspiration for your own acquired taste to personalise your uni room or student housing. Spruce up your pad, freshen up your living (and study) space, and inject some colour into that mundane crib of yours.
Quench have taken part the Student Homeware Challenge, courtesy of Wilko Home, proving that decorating your room at uni can be both stylish and affordable. I was challenged to find student-friendly items to jazz up uni accommodation in a total of £50. But before we get onto what I purchased, let’s dive into some top tips to consider when splashing the cash.
Shopping for homeware without being at your home is like shopping blindfolded. It’s difficult to imagine the product in your room, perception of size/ ratio, and your aesthetic “theme”. This is where a colour scheme will come in handy. I would advise picking 3 colours, all of which complement each other and aren’t too loud for one another (white, cream or grey is great for a toned down. For this challenge, I decided to go for white, plant-coloured green and rose gold details.
Make sure when you’re shopping for home accessories that it is practical. This could either mean in terms of storage (which, storage will be your best friend at uni) as well as size and proportion. For example, if you have a limited amount of space, but would like to incorporate some wildlife into your living space, then perhaps buying a huge plant isn’t the brightest of ideas. A small cactus or window-sill plant would be much more efficient.
If you undermine how easy it is to spend your money on homeware décor, you’re a fool. Trust me, it’s easy to spend spend spend. And there is nothing worse than buying lots of decorative items, yet getting home to find out that you bought too many, and you have nowhere to put it all! (I am ever-so guilty, oops). However, if you search in all of the right places, you will realize that decorating does not have to be a DIY SOS makeover extravaganza.
The Challenge: What I bought in Wilko…
Clock – £6
For someone who is late almost 87% of the time, this is probably one of the best things I could have bought for my room. This stylishly modern clock is perfect for both my uni room and my room at home (yes, it’s worth considering!). Clocks are underrated, (and underappreciated) due to having the time on our phones. However, it is important that not everything you do involves your phone. Telling yourself you are going to revise or work for a scheduled amount of time might mean you check your phone for the time, ultimately making the temptation to have a quick scroll through Instagram whilst you’re at it. Oh and Facebook. And maybe Twitter if you’re quick. But by this time, you have probably got yourself too many hashtags deep and you’re thinking about #instagoals instead. Get yourself a clock!
If you’re anything like me, bringing everything but the kitchen sink to uni every September is a standard process. Ironically, however, I HATE clutter. So I knew that I just had to do myself a favour and invest in some handy storage items. Whilst plastic tubs and boxes are great for storage, I decided to go for this white MDF storage holder to match the aesthetic with my room. I decided to fill mine with books, everyday items such as deodorant, makeup brushes and the bottom shelf, a scarf. However, this piece would be IDEAL for bathroom storage, such as shower gels, shampoo and flannels.
Pillows – £7 (each)
I think it should be a well-known fact that a bed makes the bedroom. Ironically, this only tends to have the effect when you actually make your bed. Just like a living room, where your sofas and TV are the main features of the room, a bedroom’s main feature is your bed… funnily enough(!). You may think that a bed isn’t worth looking after when its main purpose is for sleeping in, but trust me, a nicely made bed transforms your room. Whilst you would hope you spend most your day at your desk studying, it could be a realistic fact that some of your revision (and “just one short episode” procrastination) happens in your bed. So, what better company for your bed than cushions! I fell in love with these in the middle of the store due to their softness and fluffiness. As if I needed any more excuses to not want to get out of bed in the morning!
Artificial Plant – £6
Okay, so I have tried real plants and I’m going to be honest… that didn’t work out too well. Deciding to introduce some bright, fresh, natural colours and textures, I decided to result to an artificial plant. Not only does this give an illusion of real-life nature, it doesn’t come with the responsibility of having to look after and water the plant in order to keep it alive. The trick when buying fake plants is to buy something with thin stems or flowers in order to deceive authenticity. Buying fake plants with huge leaves and thick stalks tend to make the plastic-y details much more obvious. I stumbled across this artificial plant and knew it would fit perfectly!
Candle – £4.50
Candles are a Godsend. I honestly cannot emphasise enough how much candles can transform a room into a cosy, homely, and (providing your candle is scented), provides you with the most heavenly fragrance. I couldn’t resist this candle from Wilko, which smells HEAVENLY citrusy and fresh – the perfect scent for when you’re spending long days studying in your room for those dreaded exams (let’s not talk about those). It obviously goes without saying, Candles need to be attended and handled with care.
Diffuser – £4.50
If you’re in halls, you may not be allowed to light candles for safety purposes. If this is the case, I’ve still got you covered. Reed diffusers are a perfect way to keep scents of last night’s tea (or your flatmate’s tea!) out of your room. If you don’t fancy one for your room, it’s always worth considering a diffuser for your bathroom.
Notepad – £1
Is there any need to explain this one? Being a uni student, notebooks are essential to write things down. This little notebook is handy to carry to make notes on lectures or in seminar classes. Following the botanical theme of my room, I decided to go for a cactus-print notebook.
Mug – £2.50
It is always key to stay hydrated when studying, and hot drinks are the way forward for this! I am known as an avid coffee-drinker, not to mention that stags are my favourite animals, so when I saw this mug I couldn’t resist the temptation.
So how well did I do? Although I went slightly over the budget (totalling to £55.50), I feel as though my selection is very ‘me’. Voila! Mission accomplished.
Words and photographs by Rachel Jefferies