After packing up my belongings into boxes and moving out of my first-year accommodation, I felt somewhat sad. It wasn’t so much the room that I felt sad to leave, it was the great space that I had made out of it. The space that I felt comfortable enough to laugh, cry, eat, study and dance in (yes, even a few midnight boogies). After taking down my wall hanging and polaroids and sleeping one last time in this accommodation, my room didn’t feel as homely as it used to. The atmosphere had changed as I took away what made it my home; it felt bare compared to the larger-than-life space that I had made it. It was then that I realised how I had actually made a home out of it. I was sad to dismantle my home but I’m glad that I now know what it takes to turn a small student room into a second home.
Now, when I talk about making a home, I don’t mean setting up a mortgage or searching for a place without ridiculous rent prices because that’s incredibly hard. Whilst all of that is necessary, it’s not what makes an empty place a home. Even though my first-year student accommodation at university was only a tiny room with an en-suite, it still felt like a proper home. Living by yourself for the first time can be somewhat daunting, especially if you’re living in a house, rather than a student room. My student accommodation was small but it was just enough space to make a home.
To plant a seed is to believe in a tomorrow. I may just be an avid plant lady but I strongly believe that indoor plants can really transform a space. They brighten the room with their refreshing colours and subtle scents. They also promote a sense of responsibility as they demand a small amount of your time to be cared and nurtured for. Surely all this helps create a positive environment.
2. WALL WORK
Sometimes a blank white or cream wall can leave a room feeling empty and bare. Adding a mirror, a few frames, posters or a wall hanging/tapestry can really add warmth and character to a room. This wall hanging from Society 6 really opened up my small student room by adding warmer colours and creating space with the backdrop of the woods.
Lighting makes such a huge difference in any space. If a room is dimly lit this can often make you feel gloomy and down, whilst a well-lit room can change the atmosphere to a happy, light and airy space. If you don’t have much light funnelling into your room you can use reflective colours such as white on your worktops or walls to brighten up your space. It makes all the difference in opening up small rooms and altering the atmosphere of your home.
4. MUSIC AND BOOKS
Bringing your favourite books or music along with you can make your new house feel more ‘you’. If you don’t quite feel at home with a new place you can read that one book that understands you or listen to that record that reminds you of someone you love. Creating room to store your music and books can also add to the aesthetic of your space.
5. HOME TREASURES
Whilst it’s important to focus on creating your own new space with your university room or new house there’s no harm in bringing a few treasures from home to settle in. Family photos or a scrapbook can really comfort you in the early days of moving in.
6. AESTHETIC PROPS
A few desk props such as notebooks or vases can really add that extra touch to an empty space. Avoid random ornaments that will only get dusty by choosing aesthetic props that serve a purpose, such as polaroid photos that remind you of home.
7. A TIDY SPACE
A clearer space helps to clear the mind. Ensure you have the most effective storage units to organise all of your belongings. Whilst it may be tedious to clean and tidy your desk or declutter your wardrobe regularly it all aids in creating a clearer, more presentable space.
After leaving home for a while you start to notice the little things that used to make up the essence of your home. Whether it be the smell of good home-cooked food or the scent of freshly washed clothing, every home has a scent. Remember the scent of your new space by using diffusers, candles or oil burners.
What better way to make a house a home than to practise homely rituals such as staying indoors on a rainy day to have a hot chocolate and settle into your space by watching a movie. Enjoy the space you’ve created.
10. FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Whether you’re staying in student accommodation or living alone, inviting some of your loved ones to your place can really make any space feel like home. Sharing and making great memories in a new place transforms somewhere new into somewhere familiar.
I hope this helps you settle into your new place or even make your home feel more comfortable.
What makes you feel more at home?