Returning to university or college after the creature comforts of home can make the shortfalls of your student digs even more apparent, especially when you return after the Christmas break in the middle of winter potentially to cold – or even damp – accommodation. Here are our tips to make your Uni room feel cosy and welcoming until spring returns to put a smile on all our faces.
Another Christmas season has passed, and students are getting ready for their return to University and college life. But don’t take the warm festivities with family too much for granted, as the first days back in a shared house, rented room or student halls can be quite a change! Over the winter period, it’s common for students to return to damp, cold or unkept properties that have been left unattended over the seasonal break. If you’re a student returning to university or college, or know someone who is, here are some great ways to bring a little bit of ‘home sweet home’ to student accommodation!
Don’t settle for blank walls
Your bedroom is your sanctuary — a place where you can feel relaxed and safe. As most student accommodation is purposely designed to be a blank canvas for each occupant to make their own over the years, they tend to feel a little lifeless and without personality. But there are cheap and easy ways to spruce up a student bedroom quickly and help it reflect a little more of you.
Missing your family, friends or pets? Keep your important memories and loved ones close by decorating your walls with a photo collage. The ARPAN Multi Aperture Picture Wooden Photo Frame holds 12 regular photo images, allowing for a range of your favourite shots and snaps — and add that all-important touch of home. Plus, having a natural wood frame, you have the opportunity to paint it any colour you desire, to fit your style!
If you want to decorate the walls of your student accommodation even further, you could bring a touch of brightness with a string of fairy lights. Try adding these Chalk Cotton Ball Fairy Lights from Lights4Fun for a quick and simple way to add another touch of character on a budget.
Upgrade your furniture with colour
One of the small touches that really makes a home feel like home are all the bits of detail and colour that have been collected over time. Be that through ornaments and heirlooms, holiday purchases or plush cushions. For students of any age, this makes your university or college accommodation the perfect place to start a collection for yourself. But that doesn’t mean you need to start investing in heavy, wooden cabinets and space-taking wardrobes – stick with the furniture you’ve already got and use the space effectively!
Our first recommendation for upgrading your room décor is with a collection of colourful scatter cushions, which can boost your chairs, bed or window sills to give them a touch of added personality. Loaf Scatter Cushions are handmade and feather-filled, which gives them a soft, quality touch. If you’d prefer cheaper, vegan options, our old favourite Ikea has plenty, with the plain Gurli, Kärleksgräs and Majbraken ranges all at just £2.50, with inner pads from £2.25.
Alternatively, you could try a decorative rug that can transform any bland, beige carpet instantly – as well as covering up unsightly stains! This AmzPopUp Fringed Woven Rug comes in a range of five colours and Bohemian styles, letting you find the design that fits your room best. It’s also machine washable, so any of those inevitable tea, coffee or wine spills can be easily cleaned away.
It’s a common anecdote that the one thing most students miss about being at home is their bed! Why? Because the duvet and pillows that many have grown up with have become strongly associated with their comfort and sleep. That’s why our next recommendation on the list is to invest in some better bedding, to give your sleep a touch of luxury.
Unfortunately, most mattresses and beds in student accommodation are cheap to start with and are kept past their ‘best by’ date, so one of the reasons you may struggle to sleep well when you return back to uni or college could be the springs sticking into your back! If you don’t fancy investing in a new mattress, a decent mattress topper could help smooth out the worst lumps and bumps, so you feel more refreshed in the morning. They range from simple quilted toppers, such as this one by Silentnight, through to thick duck feather toppers, such as this one by Argos, right through to memory foam toppers. What you pay will depend upon the thickness and quality that you choose, but if it helps you feel on top form for your lectures, it may be a worthwhile investment.
Your duvet set is also a great way to bring in another touch of style. For instance, if you liked the look of the Fringed Woven Rug, why not check out the Refrze Boho Duvet Cover Set to tie into a popular, Bohemian theme? Available in both orange and grey, this duvet set can quickly give a student bedroom a touch of good design, without breaking the bank!
If you have trouble sleeping without the light of the television, white noise or a podcast playing in the background, you could also try transforming your sleep pattern with a star projector. The HANGRUI Star Projector Night Light can instantly turn any room into your own private universe, with a selection of multicoloured lights and gentle sounds that can give you a peaceful night’s rest. It also has Bluetooth connectivity and speakers, so you can play whatever podcasts, music or white noise you need to accompany the light display to lull you off to the land of nod.
Keep it clean
We know — this is the point you’ve been dreading! Without your family on hand to do the regular cleaning, any student accommodation can quickly start to feel a little bit messy. But with the right cleaning product essentials, you can turn the task into a breeze that can make your university or college rooms feel like home again.
This Student Accommodation Cleaning Set from Mitre Linen comes with all the basics you need to keep your house, flat or room clean. With a collection of core cleaning products to tackle any mess on furniture, floors, kitchen and bathroom, you’re sure to become a popular housemate with this cleaning kit at the ready!
Prefer to keep things simple? Having an antibacterial spray nearby can help wipe down any surface to keep it hygienic. The Lifebuoy Multi-Surface Antibacterial Surface Spray offers 24 hours of anti-bacterial protection, which can keep your home sparkling and clean.
Have peace of mind at home
A key aspect that living at home with your family can bring is the sense of safety and security of being around your loved ones – especially as going home normally means a property with more secure windows and doors than in many student flats and houses. In shared accommodation, or in an unfamiliar town, it’s easy to start feeling less secure or safe, especially in student digs if your landlord is more concerned about profit than security. Maybe you have housemates or other students living in proximity who are constantly looking for the next party — or are turning your house into a hub of activity? Keeping yourself and your valuables secure overnight, or while unknown guests are around, can provide some extra comfort. That’s why the final recommendation on our list is a portable door lock that can make your room feel more secure.
The DoorJammer Portable has an award-winning, police-accredited design that can withstand large levels of force against in-swinging doors, making it a perfect companion for any standard student accommodation door. Quick to set up and remove, it’s an ideal item for students to have in their bag or drawers, for instant peace of mind. It even works on doors without locks – which you may have if you have moved out of halls and into a shared student house.