student life

4 cheap and cheerful ways to spruce up your student house 

Student house, kettle mag
Written by Nigel Simpkins

Student accommodation is often far from glamourous. Rife with draughts, bad décor and dated carpets, it’s safe to say that many house shares deserve their reputation for being a bit grim. But there are ways to make your house feel like more like a home.

These cheap and cheerful solutions will make your house a much cosier place to study, and will help to create a welcoming atmosphere for socialising, too. So, if you’re looking to give your student house a quick style update, but you don’t want to overspend, then we’ve got you covered. Just read on to learn four easy ways to spruce up your student digs on a budget.

Get your garden BBQ-ready

Gardens in student house shares are notorious for being overgrown jungles of weeds and rubbish. But with the summer months on the horizon, you might want to start thinking about getting your garden or outside space ready for warmer weather. After all, there’s no better feeling than kicking back in the sun with your flatmates and a cold beer.

You don’t need to be a pro-gardener to get your garden ready for barbeque season: all you’ll need to create your very own beer garden is a bottle of weed killer to take care of any overgrowth, and a place to sit when the sun comes out. There’s no need to spend a fortune on garden furniture: you can pick up plastic garden chairs for just a few pounds each, so invest in a set with your flatmates and then dress them up with a few accessories. Wyevale’s range of outdoor cushions includes lively tropical print styles, so they’ll add a pop of summery colour, as well as being comfortable.

Decorate without losing your deposit

Plain walls can feel bleak and bare, and many landlords won’t tolerate pictures or artwork if causes damage to the plasterwork. But there are other ways to liven up your space without endangering your damage deposit: all it takes is a little creativity.

Washi tape is a Japanese paper tape that comes in a whole range of lively colours, patterns and designs, and because it’s made using a gentle adhesive, it won’t leave marks on your walls. Plus, you can pick it up for just a couple of pounds per roll. You could try using washi tape to create some wall art in cool geometric designs, or to mount posters and photos. For more inspiration, check out these washi tape ideas from Flux Decor.

Cover tired carpets and flooring with cosy rugs

If you’re stuck with a stained carpet, then you’ll want to cover up any unsightly areas using a rug. This is an easy way to add colour to bare rooms, and can really make a bleak, impersonal room feel more like home. If you’re stuck with a draughty linoleum or wooden floor, then a rug will also provide an extra layer of insulation, and it will keep your feet warm on chilly mornings, too.

For a pulled together look, you’ll want to pick a colour or style that you love, and then choose bedding, curtains and cushions to match. Rugs4Decor has a huge selection of affordable shaggy rugs in an assortment of colours, including thick, plush styles that will bring a cosy feel to even the barest student house.

Add atmosphere with simple lighting

Overhead lighting in student houses can often be harsh and unwelcoming, so you’ll want to add some of your own light accessories to soften things up. A string of fairy lights is one of the easiest ways to create a relaxing atmosphere, and they’ll produce a lovely soft glow — perfect for late night gatherings and parties. Plus, they’re affordable, too: this collection of battery operated lights from Lights4Fun includes a few sets for less than a tenner.

To make your set of lights into a feature, try stringing them above a bed or sofa, and attaching photographs of friends and family to them using small pegs.

If you’re tired of living in bland, shabby student digs, but thought you were too skint to do anything about it, then think again. To turn your student house into a home, just take our simple tips on board, and you’ll have a cosier, more welcoming pad before you know it.