Moving out of home for the first time and into your new student residence, digs or flat is an exciting experience. You will have new-found freedom and independence, but you will also have to decorate your new flat to suit your tastes and needs. This can be a confusing process, but if you follow some simple tips, you will soon have a funky new flat to call home.
Start with the bedroom
Your bedroom is likely going to be the place where you spend a lot of time sleeping, relaxing and studying, so it should be the first room that you think about furnishing. The first pieces of furniture you should buy are a mattress and base. You will also need a duvet, two or three sets of bed sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases.
Another essential item for your bedroom is a set of curtains. You will be able to find curtains for sale in almost any home or furniture store, but before you go out and choose some you will have to measure the length of your windows both horizontally and vertically to choose the correct length of curtains.
Move onto the bathroom
Your bathroom is equally as important as your bedroom but is sometimes overlooked when it comes to student furnishing. The first thing you will need to buy is a shower curtain to ensure your privacy if you are not living alone. You will also need a matching bath mat and towels.
Be sure that you have a decent stock of toilet paper to keep in your bathroom. To keep this out of the way and in an easy-to-reach place, you should look into bathroom storage such as a wicker basket or a set of drawers. Do not forget to invest in some hand soap and a soap dish for your shower. A toilet brush and cleaner are also essential items you will need.
Invest in a comfortable couch
While you may enjoy spending the majority of your time in bed relaxing, the chances are that you will want to move into a sitting position at some point. This is why you should invest in a comfortable couch for your living room, making it feel cosier and inviting.
If an expensive couch is out of your reach, look for an affordable alternative. A futon is a good choice for a studio flat, as it can double as a bed or look for a sleeper couch for those times when friends come over and decide to spend the night. Be sure that you choose a couch that is made from durable, stain-resistant material that suits your colour scheme.
If you are living off-campus and your meals are not catered, then equipping your kitchen is vitally important. You will need to be able to cook healthy meals at least twice a day, so should have the basics set up for less hassle.
You will need to invest in at least four microwavable dinner plates, bowls and side plates, made from durable porcelain if possible. Your cutlery should include four forks, knives and spoons and you should invest in at least two decent steak knives. A wooden spoon, plastic spatula, a colander, sharp scissors and a chopping board will also come in handy. If you have access to an oven in your flat, then a casserole dish will allow you to make delicious pasta or vegetable bakes.
Light it up
Desk or table lamps can provide much needed illumination, especially if your apartment does not have ceiling lights. Even if you do have ceiling lights, having a few lamps dotted around can help to create a relaxed mood for the evenings.
In your bedroom, you should have a table lamp on your side table for night-time reading and for ambient lighting. Remember to buy extra lightbulbs in case one of your lamps stops working. Look for side lamps that are not too bright, as you will be using them for reading or studying, and overly bright light can hurt your eyes and become unpleasant after long periods of time.
The fun stuff
Once you have all of the essentials, you can move on to decorating your flat to make it feel more like home. This can include hanging wall art in your bedroom and living room, however, be sure to ask your landlord or student advisor if you have permission to do so.
If you cannot place screws into the walls to hang art, look into vinyl wall art instead, or use mirror tape as an alternative to a screw or nail. If you enjoy a more bohemian aesthetic, you could run fairy lights across a wall in your bedroom or living room for mood lighting, or hang a tapestry on a wall. Framed photographs look great when arranged on a table, so look for fun prints to frame or use family photographs to make the room feel more comforting.
It is important to remember that you do still need to study while in your flat, so be sure to create a designated study area to do so. This could mean looking for an affordable desk or transforming a nook into the perfect research station by putting up a cork pin board for important reminders or study notes.