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Kitting out your student digs

18th August 2014

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For many young people, going to university or college and moving into student digs will be the first time they have left home and had a place of their own to decorate and furnish. This new accommodation will almost certainly be rented, so just how do you go about making it feel like a home away from home?

Types of accommodation

While you may have the option of staying in university halls, you may prefer to opt for off-campus accommodation in private student housing. These are purpose built buildings, offering between two and four bedroom apartments, with some even having access to common rooms and communal gyms. This type of housing is usually fully furnished, but the furniture will have been chosen for its durability rather than its look, so do not expect designer interiors.

Unfurnished digs

If your student digs are unfurnished, you will obviously need to buy some necessities. There is no point in renting furniture for your digs; it will cost far more over the course of three to four years than if you bought it outright at the outset. Decent, if unoriginal, furniture can be purchased quite cheaply that will serve your purposes quite adequately.

As space is probably going to be an issue, it is a good idea to invest in items that serve dual purposes. For example, a dining table can act as a computer desk and a sofa bed gives you somewhere to sleep while also providing a comfortable seating area during the day. Add some quirkily covered cushions to the sofa and use a distinctive duvet cover to make it feel a little more personal.

Adding a personal touch

The decoration in already furnished student digs will have been chosen to appeal to as wide a range of people as possible, so to make it more personal, you will have to add your own touch.

The walls may be blank, so add a little warmth by hanging some pictures or wall-art, but remember to first check with your landlord about what you can and cannot put on the walls. Some will not allow you to hammer nails into the wall, for example. However, it is unlikely a landlord will have any objections to using Blu-Tack to put up posters or similar.

Invest in a few table lamps so you can create atmosphere with different levels of lighting rather than having just one stark overhead bulb. Position a mirror against the wall so that it picks up on the light and creates the illusion of space, helping to make a small room seem larger.

Finally, bring a little of your family into your student digs by dotting around the place framed photographs of your parents and siblings, or even ones of the family pets if you have them.

Becoming a student and moving into digs can be a very liberating experience as it gives you the opportunity to make design choices that had previously been the preserve of your parents. Make the most of your freedom by allowing full expression to your tastes in interior décor in your new home!

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