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Transforming your student house into a student home

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 Queen's U chapter.

While the thought of moving out sounds exciting, it can be a lot more complicated once the process starts. In my first year of university, I lived off campus with two other girls. I would say that having full autonomy over my own living space was…an adjustment. In the summer before my first year, I created so many Pinterest boards with what I wanted my room to look like and how I wanted to decorate the living area. I realized soon after I moved in how difficult it would be to attain my Pinterest board dreams, considering my lack of money at the time. I did the best I could with the budget I was given, trying to make my room and living space as homey and cozy as possible. Now that I’m in my second year of living in student housing, I’d like to say that I’ve learned some things about utilizing your space on a budget. 

Whether you’re looking for student housing for next year, or you’re just trying to add some coziness to your current room, this article may benefit you.

Disclaimer: for selfish reasons, I will be considering your room rather than your house, because you have ultimate control over your room if you are sharing a house. 


I think the biggest thing that’s changed about my room this year is the number of plants I’ve bought. What I’ve learned recently from my plant-loving friends are what plants you should buy as a university student. Some student-schedule friendly plants I’d recommend are the following: snake plants, pothos, spider plants, or a dieffenbachia.

These plants are good for first-time plant owners who might be afraid their student houses don’t get enough sunlight, or they’ll forget to water them. From my experience, they don’t usually require direct sunlight and can go a week or two (sometimes) without being watered. Usually places like Home Depot and Rona have sales on small plants and are student-budget friendly. Even if you’re still too scared to get real plants, I think buying a few fake ones would be a great way to add some calming colour to your space. 


I love my diffuser so much. It ties together my entire room by purifying the air and making my room smell so good. I also really enjoy the background noise it makes when I work. Diffusers create a more welcoming atmosphere to guests and are nice to turn on when winding down for the day.

My favourite essential oil sellers are doTerra and Saje. I’d recommend starting out with three main oils: one that promotes focus (peppermint), one that is refreshing (a citrus), and one that will promote relaxation (lavender). 

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Each & Every

Warm toned lighting

Ditch the cool toned lighting that makes your room feel cold and sharp. Instead, switch to warm toned lighting for your room. Adding extra lights to your room, whether it’s a desk lamp, fairy lights, or a salt lamp, will help you stay productive, boost your mood, and is more relaxing. I find that having lots of lights in your room makes it feel more inviting too.

Command hooks

Okay, this one is a bit random, but one thing that I think made a huge difference in my room are command hooks and wall hooks. Fortunately, my landlord allows us to put holes in the wall, so I was able to screw hooks in my closet for my miscellaneous accessories, and two for my drawback curtains. However, durable command hooks work just fine too. I put one right beside my door, so I can hang my keys and wallet as soon as I walk in the door. The excessive hooks in my room allow me to maintain organization and keep my space a bit tidier. 

Fluffy Rug

Now if you’ve got a bit more money to play around with, I would suggest adding a fluffy rug to your room. Bear in mind, rugs don’t have to be big or expensive. Now, this doesn’t sound ideal for the student-budget, but I can give you a few reasons as to how it makes a huge difference. A rug adds warmth to your feet in the winter, extra sound protection for your downstairs neighbours, and is also comfy to lay down on. I didn’t realize what I was missing until I bought a rug from Canadian Tire (mind you, this was the best deal on a rug I think I could have gotten). 

I am fully aware that these are not the most practical things to spend your money on, but I think it’s always fun to give it some consideration if you’re looking to redecorate. These are just my hot takes on what could help make your space cozier. At the end of the day, your room is a way to express yourself and your personality—don’t let anyone take that away from you. We’re all discovering what we like and don’t like, so I hope this article has helped you think of ideas on what you might want to add to your living space.

Sabrina Bernard

Queen's U '25

Sabrina Bernard is a writer Her Campus' National Program. She writes lifestyle content on the site, including entertainment, news, and experiences. Beyond Her Campus, Sabrina is heavily involved at her university, where she is an Orientation Coordinator for the largest not-for-profit orientation in Canada, she is the Co-President of the English Department Student Council, and models for her university's Sustainable Fashion club. She also volunteers at the local Animal Shelter when she goes home. Sabrina is currently a junior at Queen's University, majoring in English Literature with a certificate in French. She has also been a panelist at several literary conferences for her works. In her free time, Sabrina enjoys reading, playing with her cat Poppy, and petting every cat she can find on the streets. She's also a huge Modern Family fan and has rewatched the series multiple times.