The school year is about to begin. Your parents helped you lug your many, heavy suitcases up the hill to your apartment. You climbed up flights of stairs until you reached the front door. You opened the door and you saw the inside of your apartment for the first time. You dropped your bags at the threshold, running into each room with ideas flooding into your mind. You organized the furniture to your liking and, with everything in its place, your parents leave and you are alone in your first apartment. You look around through all the rooms, admiring your fine work. But you begin to notice the bare walls; they seem so empty. There is only one solution, an inspiration wall! Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips for starting an inspiration wall that will add to the excitement of living on your own for the first time.
(1) Find the perfect wall space.
Creating your inspirational wall should be simple, and it begins with selecting the most suitable wall. The wall should complement the rest of the space and provide enough room for everything you wish to use. Wall size is also an important factor because it will dictate how many decor items you can fit within the space. I personally like using a larger wall space because I can add more, and rearrange, as I accumulate decorative pieces over the year.
(2) Let your wall exhibit your personality.
Your inspiration wall should define all aspects of you as a person. Knowing what you enjoy and putting those things up on your wall will not only make your room pretty and well-balanced, it will help you enjoy the time you spend in your room that much more. A go-to item has always been art prints. They are easy to mix and match and you can find many online for minimal cost. Urban Outfitters, Etsy, Society6 and Redbubble are all places that have distinct designs at reasonable prices.
Your wall should remind you of good experiences in your life, friends you cherish, and hobbies you enjoy. The Girl with the Sprouted Head — shown in the above picture — is an example. It was given as a gift to me from a fellow high school student. We were both in AP Studio Art and the piece was part of her portfolio. She gave it to me as a surprise at graduation. Having memorable pieces such as this one, help give your room a cozy, comfortable feeling. Incorporating them on your wall will make you feel as though you are still living all those wonderful memories. Also, don’t be afraid to put up new items that you come across during your time at college; they can help you build new memories for future reminiscing.
(3) Keep it simple and clean.
When you are decorating your room it is always important to keep in mind how many items you wish to put on the wall. When there is too much on the wall, the room can feel cluttered and your space is no longer a good work environment. It is true that different people work well in different environments, but it always helps to keep your room looking neat and organized. One way to achieve this is through the use of straight lines. Putting everything up in right angles can help everything seem organized and clean, even if it is not.
(4) Keep colors consistent.
One way to help bring your room together is to keep colors consistent. Having even subtle connections in color around the room can pull everything together. First try to pick three colors that speak to you. When you find colors that you like that go well together, try to find prints and pieces to put up that match that color scheme. However, this is just a guideline, and can be interpreted loosely.
(5) Add some sparkle.
Adding lights to your wall helps highlight your prints and make everything come together. Bulbs, christmas lights, or fairy lights are all good choices. Again, these lights should define your style and unify the wall. Target has good bulb lights which are often on sale or in the clearance section. Michaels has cheap, battery packed fairy lights. If your budget allows, Urban Outfitters has plug-in fairy lights in regular and extra long.
(6) Be open to changing up your wall as YOU change.
Face it, everyone changes as they travel through their years at college. If you are changing and growing as an individual, it stands to reason that your inspiration wall should grow and change with you. If a print no longer speaks to you, take it down, give it away, and start fresh. You will begin to see your wall evolve and change as you do. The wall should be a place for experimentation, creativity, and exploration. You should experiment with your different interests and continue to watch your wall evolve through your four years. Take pictures as it evolves. When you look back on those photos, you will be able to see your progression and growth as a UCI student.