Whether you’re moving into halls for the first time or renting a house with your uni friends, getting the keys to your new home is an exciting time! And unless you’re lucky enough to live in a boutique-style student residence that resembles a five-star hotel, then you will probably be making do with something a little less glamourous for the coming year. But do not despair – there is a lot you can do on a student budget to give your new pad a touch of luxe.
Even if you have a living room that you will share with your housemates, you may be surprised how much time you spend in your own room whilst at uni. There will be times when you’ll want to hang out with your friends in private or chill and listen to music away from the rest of the house, so bedrooms often end up with the dual purpose of sleeping and social quarters. If you only have a single bed, small desk and an office chair in your room (with magnolia-coloured walls and dark beige carpet – obvs), then there are a few things you can do that will help to make your room feel like somewhere you actually want to spend time.
Be clever with colour
Start by thinking of the plain decor in your room as a blank canvas and use your own furnishings and accessories to add colour and personality to your space. If the room is functional it can be tempting to just live with what you’ve got but by introducing a few colourful items you really can change the feel of a room and make it a lot more inviting. Try adding a splash of colour with blankets, cushions and pot plants.
There’s nothing cosy about a stark, utilitarian overhead light in your bedroom, but a decent floor lamp will provide a much less harsh light, a mellow bedside table lamp will help you unwind and relax before you nod off, and a cool Anglepoise-style desk lamp will prove invaluable when you’re hammering out the references for that pressing essay at 3am. And having multiple light sources in your room will allow you to change the mood for the evening or early winter mornings by using them in combination.
Add some seating
It’s likely that your new place will have limited furniture, so unless you want your guests to end up sitting on the floor when they come to visit, then invest in some space-saving seating. It doesn’t have to be fancy – floor cushions, pouffes and small chairs won’t take up much room and can sometimes even be stored under the bed. It’s also handy to have some spare seating to take into the garden on those sunny BBQ weekends!
Your average student room doesn’t have an awful lot of space for ‘objet’ but adding a few items such as photo frames and ornaments really can improve the ambience of a room and make it feel less like somewhere that’s seen an endless stream of students for the last decade. Less is often more, so even just a couple of picture frames on your desk or some colourful ‘coffee table’ books on display can help to make your room feel a lot more stylish, and they don’t have to cost a lot.
Last but definitely not least – throws are a great investment for a student house. Not only do they brighten up an otherwise plain and boring room but they are great for hiding a shabby old sofa or for covering up that mis-matched bedding set that you brought from home. You can generally pick them up fairly cheaply, meaning you can smarten up your student pad without breaking the bank.
Of course, the choice of home accessories and furnishings on the market is endless, so if you’re unsure of what key pieces might be good for your room or student house then a great place to start is by checking out Aldi’s new Essential Designer Home Living range which goes on sale on 28 May 2017. It offers a range of homeware and accessories such as seating, cushions, towels, throws and home decorations – and in true Aldi-style, many of the products are student-budget friendly, and even the more expensive items in the range may appeal to those who want a designer feel for a high-street price.
The Student Blogger writer Heather got her hands on a few pieces of the new Aldi range to see if it lives up to the hype. Here’s what she thought…
Looking at the pictures of the new Aldi Essential Designer Homeware Living Range, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the items were from a trendy London boutique. There’s a whole host of products in the range and although they are all in different colours and patterns, it looks like they’ve been designed to complement one another so when they’re put together they just work – this certainly takes the headache out of trying to create a fashionable and sophisticated space if interior design is not your forte! Here’s what I checked out from the range…
Geo Throw – assorted designs (£14.99)
This black and white checked throw has a nice design and is 150 x 200cm, so perfect for putting over a double bed, sofa or armchair. Unlike lots of throws which can be a bit scratchy, the Geo Throw feels really soft, so would be equally good for snuggling under whilst watching a film. To put it through its paces, I washed the throw (we really DO go the extra mile here at The Student Blogger) and when washed on a delicate cycle it came out as new, without any shrinkage. The best thing was that as it’s 100% acrylic it feels nice and soft but you can just throw (pun intended) it in the wash easily and it’s practically dry when it comes out so it won’t be sitting on the clothes dryer for days.
Geo Cushion – assorted designs (£8.99)
This very plush cushion has a black and white geometric print cover which looks very on-trend, and although it’s a different pattern to the throw, they go well together. It’s a good size at 45 x 45cm and the fabric is nice and thick and looks to be of a good quality so will hopefully last a long time. A couple of these on your bed or sofa would definitely add a bit of luxe to your decor and make your room more inviting. What’s more, as the cover is 100% cotton they’re machine washable.
Drum Bean Cube – assorted designs (£29.99)
I can imagine this drum bean cube being a big hit. It’s really stylish and comes in four options – again in the geo-print design. Ours was black and white and a different design to the throw and cushion, but, you guessed it… it goes really well with them.
The drum bean cube would make an excellent spare seat for when your friends pop over or a foot rest for when you’re on the sofa or working at your desk. It’s also rather handy to have next to the bed for putting books, mobile phone and glasses on for easy reach. It’s surprisingly comfortable and as the designs are all on-trend then it will bring your room right up to date.
Psst! I hear they also have pineapple storage jar ornaments for just £3.99.
See details of the full Aldi Essential Designer Homeware Living range here.