By Sarah Harris
Pimping out your room is hard when you’re a university student. 99% of accommodations have stupid rules about not sticking anything on the wall or having unauthorized electrical equipment or even candles. The candle thing kinda sucks because once you reach a certain age, a nice old candle from the Yankee Candle Store becomes sort of a go to gift and yeah, the rest of it is pretty crappy too. I got lucky in first year having got a decently sized room in Senghennydd Hall with 2 huge ass notice boards, which I wisely covered in Polaroid pictures instead of timetables and exam dates. I’ve always had a bit of a knack for decorating rooms. When I was around 12 I went through a mini phase of wanting to become an interior designer (a few weeks later, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer and now I’m doing a degree in Journalism and Sociology so that worked out well) and spent weeks moving around the furniture in my room trying to make it look more aesthetically pleasing. The fondness for interiors stuck with me even though my career plans somewhat massively changed. Within my first few hours at University I had successfully managed to get around the ‘no sticking things on walls’ rule and had taped the 3-meter fairly lights that I bought for seven quid on to my wardrobe, shelves and doorframe carefully avoiding the freshly painted walls.
As hard as it seems trying to get your room away from home to look like something out of an American sit-com, there’s about a dozen ways to get around this. If you don’t already know about this wonderful store that is filled with the most pointless yet fun stuff in the WORLD then you NEED to visit the ‘Tiger’ store in St David’s or if you live in Roath, there’s a store located on Wellfield Road and even one in University Hospital Wales. I think the majority of money I’ve spent whilst I’ve moved out (that hasn’t been spent on food) has been spent buying items I will probably never use in Tiger. I’m not saying the store if full of completely useless items. You can find pretty much anything you need in there from a clothes rack to a laundry bag. It’s also a super great place to buy little trinkets to make your room look a little nicer, like fake candles/flowers, picture frames etc.
The worst thing about most accommodations is the fact that there are never really any lounges unless you’re lucky and ended up in one of the fancier ones like Taly Gate which has slightly more kitchen space and makes it easier to have gatherings. My room back in Senghennydd was the appointed gathering/pre-drinks room, mainly because it was the only one that was always tidy but also because my friend was fascinated with my fairy lights. Accommodating 10+ people in a tiny room with barely enough space for yourself wasn’t an easy job. Many drinks had been spilt on my carpet and trying to walk to the toilet in the dark after a night out was a death wish but it also gave me an excuse to buy more unnecessary furniture. If you’re lucky enough to have a ‘Home Sense’ store in your hometown then take advantage of the cushions aisle! You can never have enough cushions and they make your room look 100x more comfy. I found some snazzy blue pillows that had Frida Kahlo’s face embroidered in to them for about a fiver each (using the face swap filter on snapchat with these is always funny). If you don’t have a Home Sense store, Matalan and TK Maxx also do an excellent range of cushions and comfy bed sheets.
It’s not as hard as it seems to make your room look like something out of MTV cribs. Okay maybe you won’t have the 98” 3D LED Smart TV or a suede sofa bed but fairy lights and pretty cushions are close enough. Scouring through all the vintage and charity shops in the arcades can call for some pretty interesting finds and you’ll most definitely find something that meets your taste and if you’re completely clueless about how to jazz up your room, I’ll most likely have to start my own interior design company when I fail my course due to the fact that I spend most of my time on Netflix rather then dong my seminar work.