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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

As the nights grow colder, darker and holiday vibes fill the air, the longing for a cozy room to return to becomes ever-present. The key to designing a space that feels like home is to find pieces that feel warm to you and invite joy in. 

Inspiration Station

This is a crucial first step that can involve as little or as much work as you feel is needed. In taking a look at everything you own, including clothes, furniture, trinkets, wall decor and more, you can have a solid foundation for redesigning your space. I recommend using whatever notes app you prefer (I like Notability) to draw out your space to visually represent what you already have. 

Once you have a framework of the times you own, you can start the design process of finding inspiration for your space. Platforms, such as Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram or even a quick Google search, can give you plenty of inspiration. I recommend Pinterest or any other phone app in case you have ideas on-the-go to add to your space. 

Tips & Tricks: While taking an inventory of what you own, it’s the perfect time to see if there are things you would like to donate, repurpose, or have in a clothing swap.

Work Zones

The best way to approach room design is to find what you need out of the space in terms of zones. Make a list of what you need, whether that be a space for studying, sleeping, relaxing, getting ready or a small dining room/kitchen area. In a smaller space, your bed may be the key piece in your room, so using the space below it for storage or a living room area is optimal. For a living room, a chair or bean bag under your bed works well with a basket for hobby supplies or extra blankets. A kitchenette could be a small three-tier cart with snacks, cute dishware and mini appliances. Having cups for your pens and pencils in your study space, as well as a file organizer for notebooks and folders can make your desk more organized and can motivate you to do your work.

Tips & Tricks: Tackle rearranging tight spaces in small sections. Piling up a desk or using bed space to throw bigger items on will help in keeping clutter down during the process.

Comfy Cozy Time

The last step in designing your space is to add your personality to it. Using posters, tapestries, photos and string lights can add a touch of your style. With the colder months rolling in, adding fluffy rugs, cozy blankets, candles and baskets to soften your space will help it feel like home. In terms of organization, opt for baskets or bins with earthy tones or muted colors to bring some warmth to your space.

Tips & Tricks: Use your community to find items to aid in your room design; check out thrift stores, clothing swaps, flea markets, marketplace or even the side of the road. 

Spring Olivares

Illinois '24

Hi there! I’m Spring. I’m an MSLIS Graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I write on topics from life advice to studying to decoration tips to road trips and everything in between. As a student who went to three undergraduate universities, I hope my experiences can provide some helpful insight and perspective on how to navigate university life and beyond. In my personal life, I cuddle with my cat Lucy, travel, read, write poetry, watch shows and movies, collect antiques, play video games, and do all sorts of crafting. I’m a fun loving, adventurous, and caring human who just wants to help others on this journey of life. Welcome to it all :)