Your Guide to Charming and Affordable College Decorating

If it’s the start of a new year and- like me- you have just moved into a new place, chances are you aren’t all that excited about staring at blank walls and empty spaces. Moving somewhere new is a chance for a clean slate and a time to pick a new aesthetic. People so often underestimate the importance of making a space feel homey and comfortable because after a long day at school you want to come home to a place that makes you feel good. 

So, it’s time to channel your inner Bobby Berk and get to decorating. Here’s some advice when it comes to decorating in a college setting. 

First and foremost, if you have roommates/housemates (which most of us undeniably do) you will want to talk to them about what their ideas are in terms of house decor. What are they okay with you putting on the walls or in the common area? Are there any areas that you have just to yourself? A great place to make some room that is all your own, even if you do have roommates, is above your bed or on your desk. These areas are great for small and easy pieces of decor that will give your room a bit of your own identity. 

Photo by Maricel Mandiola

Everyone will have a different idea of what kind of decor reflects their identity. For some of us, it is simply flooding our bed with different pillows and animal plushies. For others, it will be putting up posters of your favorite band or sports team. Other people will scattering DIY art projects on the wall and counter tops. It can be anything or a variety of different aesthetics that show how truly amazing and complex you are. If you are stuck and you don’t know where to start, there are a lot of classic decor pieces that can help you find your way. 

Photos by Author

Of course, everyone knows and loves “the tapestry.” A tapestry is a simple an easy way to add a pop of color to your blank walls. It is easy to hang and take down and can change the vibe of you entire space just by putting up one piece. In addition, tapestries are great to pair with string lights or streamers. 

Photo by Author

But if the tapestry is too basic for you, you could try other times of wall decor like clocks, prints, posters, or photos of you and your loved ones. 

Clocks and prints are a great way to show the more artsy and intellectual side of you. You can pick different styles and vibes based on what interests you. If you are into astrology, there are lots of good prints of constellations for each horoscope sign. If you are into BTS, you can find some really beautiful prints of band members from independent sellers. If you are into cooking and food, try a clock that references lunch time or some prints that show your favorite recipe. These are all super easy and can be made to look super elegant at a low-budget. 

I wanted my apartment to represent some things that were important to me, so my pieces center around feminine body positivity and female power and also my fierce love of books. 

Photos by Author

Photos of your loved ones helps remind you of your other home or the people you may not be close to at any moment. Great ways to put these around your place are picture frames on your desk or using lights with close pins. You can also try setting up a cork-board to pin sentimental memories like concert tickets, photos, and birthday cards. 

Photo by Author

If nothing I have mentioned so far sounds like it would work for you and your personal space, the most universal way to spruce up a home is plants. There is a large variety of plants you choose from: fake plants (if you can’t handle more responsibility than you already have being a full time and fabulous student,) orchids or succulents (if you want something cool and real but the least amount of care possible,) or flowers and other greenery (if you are really looking for a challenge in care-giving but are not ready to start your family of 5.) All these options only require putting your plant somewhere in your apartment and it will immediately brighten the room. 

Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

Now you know all there is to know about amateur home decor for the young and struggling student. Go forth and wow all your friends with your choice of pillows!