So, full disclosure: I watch a lot of HGTV. At this point, it’s really not just a hobby, but more of a lifestyle or a mindset. I mean, predicting which House Hunters property will win is my version of high adrenaline gambling. Oh, and don’t even get me started on a Property Brothers marathon, because I will be there all day as those crazy bros trick people into buying run-down houses with terrible infrastructure.
After years of watching HGTV with my family and friends, I’ve developed a love for all things home design. I’m enthralled by renovations, and thrilled by the prospect of furniture shopping. I live for a good DIY project, and almost even considered listing throw pillow arrangement on my resume. And while that’s all well and good, there’s traditionally not much room for such a decorating hobby in the college sphere. Living spaces are close and usually shared, the residences are impermanent, and the budget is tight.
But in my eyes, college is all about branching out on your own and making a life for yourself. And what better way to do that than by decorating your living space? So when I came to Drake, I knew I wanted to make my space my own and try to take residence hall and apartment living to the max. But I realize everyone is not the same. Some Drake students couldn’t care less about what their living space look like, while others like me may spend hours dreaming of a Home Goods shopping spree. The point is, that no matter who you are, you want to have a nice, comfortable place to live during your college years. Here’s my tips to help you do just that.
1. Make it Personal
Nobody wants to live in a boring, generic space. So make your room, apartment, or house about you. Hang up art, tape photos on the wall, display important objects, and work to create a style that’s all about you. It should be easy. After all, we’re millennials, so selfishness comes naturally, right?
2. Comfort Above All
There’s no doubt that college can be stressful. It’s important to have a comfortable place to come back to and relax after a long week of school, work, and activities. Make sure you have plenty of comfortable seating for yourself and friends and cozy up your space with blankets and pillows. If I’ve learned one thing during my time at Drake, it’s that come the Iowa winter, you can never have enough chic (and warm) throws.
3. Build for the Future
While we’re only at college for a short while, soon we’ll all be out in the world looking to furnish our own apartments or houses (if all goes according to plan). So don’t only buy cheap furniture pieces designed for residence hall life. Invest in a couple of good, classic pieces of furniture like tables or a bookcase so you’ll have something to build your new, adult life around.
4. Design on a Dime
That being said, as college students, we’re not made of money. Most of us can’t afford to pop over to the Ethan Allen for a new armoire. Instead, be smart about your purchases. Shop around to find the lowest price, and never commit to anything for your space without thinking it over for a while. And may I recommend RetailMeNot Coupons, Target, and the clearance aisle?
5. Get the Essentials
Decorating for college rooms isn’t like decorating in the real world. There’s a smaller space and you can’t make any permanent changes, which does complicate the decorating process. But stock up on some important tools like command strips, painter’s tape, and magnets to spruce up your space without leaving a mark.