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How To: Make Your Rented Room Your Own!


Let’s be honest here – student accommodation is not what it’s cracked up to be. Those dreams of Instagram worthy palaces are just that, dreams. The reality is outdated miss-matched furniture, stained curtains and in some cases, if you are really unlucky, even damp on the walls. However, all is not lost! You can become that home interior goddess that Pinterest inspires with just a few little bits and bobs that you can pick up from your local TK Maxx, Primark, charity shop or pound store!

The key to feeling at home in your rented accommodation is not just settling for what you have. It’s all about putting that little bit of effort in to make your room that little more homely and personal. So here are some top tips for jazzing up your rented flat without splashing the dolla.


A little bit of nice lighting can turn your room from a stark unfriendly habitat into a cosy little cocoon.  Please welcome, the humble fairy lights (and I assure you, they aren’t just for Christmas). Drape your fairy lights over your headboard or around your desk and they will make your room seem much more inviting. Another lighting tip is to get rid of that horrid tatty lampshade that’s dangling above your bed. You can get much more tasteful light coverings for a few quid in either Ikea or Asda. Finally lighting wise, if you’re a bit of a foodie and like to throw dinner parties or just want a romantic night in with the other half pop a couple of candles in old wine bottles and let the wax drip down them. A cheap way of adding that little something and perhaps even setting the right mood. Cheeky.


Another way to make your rented flat more your own is to grab yourself some fancy fabrics. For your bedroom, you could invest in some pretty bedding – you can get great sets for just over £10 in Primark and if you get the brushed cotton ones you’re in for a proper snuggly night. Another great way of personalising your living space is to chuck on a lovely bedspread over the end of your bed and pretend you have a proper four-poster. No one will know all the bed slats are broken and your mattress is lumpy – it’s all about the aesthetics.

Pillows and throws can also hide a multitude of sins in other rooms in the house. Most of the time, understandably, landlords don’t want to buy beautiful expensive furniture for a student flat. Often you are left with their old cast offs which will probably be about 30 years old and not match anything. But simply chuck a pretty throw over it and some squishy patterned cushions and you’re good to go! Rugs will also hide any god awful carpets!


Obviously a great way to personalise your room is to surround yourself with familiar faces. You can get old school photos printed very cheaply online and they can really add a little homely touch to you room. You could display them in frames, on pinboards, stuck on the wall (make sure you use white tack) or even on a little string held on with pegs! How crafty.

You could also pin up on a board some little momentos such as cards, tickets etc to remind you of all the good memories you’ve had from uni!


A great way to add a little life to a drab room is either to buy some flowers or a plant! You can pick up bunches of flowers from local supermarkets for a few pounds and you can pretend when people came round that you definitely did not buy those for yourself. Ahem. You could also buy a couple of herb plants to keep on your window sill! They’ll add a bit of greenery but also are pretty tasty if you’re into your cooking. For those of us who aren’t green fingered there are a few little leafy beings which need less attention. Cacti and succulents are great options as they need watered very little and usually come in little miniature sizes which makes them oh so very cute. And for those of you who kill everything in sight, well you could always grab yourself some faux flowers from the pound store and stick them in an old voddy bottle which reeks of a bad likkers night. It’s the idea that counts right?



If you’re lucky enough to have some pretty snazzy garms, a brilliant way of dressing your room up is to put some of your favourite fashionable pieces on display. One option is to get yourself a cheap clothes rail from Argos if you’re running out of wardrobe space and display your favourite items in the open. This also makes it easier when you’re struggling to think of outfits! Another option would be to dedicate a shelf from your bookshelf to your favourite most fierce shoes. Who needs room for books anyway? Finally a great way to personalise with fashion would be to buy a pretty jewellery tree or stick pins in your corkboard and hang jewellery off of them. All options speed up the OOTD process in the morning and are perfect for the fashionable guy or gal.



If your flatmates trust your decorating skills, they may let you loose with the flat budget on kitchen accessories. A great way of making your kitchen homely is to buy a cool table cloth – it also prevents any unfortunate mishaps occurring to the nice wooden table your landlord kindly just bought you. If you’re particularly foodie, a colourful fruit bowl can brighten up the room. Displaying those hand-me-down Delia Smith and Jamie Oliver cookbooks can also add a little thought to the kitchen and hey, they might encourage you to deviate from beans on toast every once in a while. Finally, you can always customise your fridge up with a set of cool magnets, some photos and some witty Paperchase saying cards.


There are so many options for doing up your rented flat which don’t involve a lick of paint, a magic money pot or severely infuriating your landlord. Just get your thinking caps on and use what you’ve got to make your house a home!



Image credit: www.weheartit.com


Laura Rennie is currently a fifth year Diploma in Legal Practice student at the University of Aberdeen. After four years studying in the Granite City she couldn't quite drag herself away from it so decided to stick around for one more year. Previously a features writer and secretary of Her Campus Aberdeen when it was founded, she is now very excited to be captaining the little pink ship this year. She loves cups of tea, fairy lights, musicals, trashy TV and is a blogger and member of Her Campus Blogger Network in her spare time.
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