Making the best out of your student room

14 March 2023

The first thing I do when entering someone’s student room for the first time, is paying attention to the way the room is furnished. Because everyone has their own taste, I have to admit that often I would have done it differently if it was my own room. As a result, every time I’m in that room again, I’m imagining what I think would be a more logical way to arrange the furniture. So, if I would ever be at your place and it seems like I’m not really listening, you now know what might be going on in my head.

Another fun fact is that even though I have a place of my own that I’m perfectly happy with, I’m still in those Facebook groups where people post that they’re looking for a new housemate. You probably can guess why: because I like looking at the pictures of the rooms and imagining how I could furnish it myself. I think doing this is my (now not so) secret hobby, and that I might have an eye for it. Some years ago two friends moved in together and had no idea where to put their dinner table. They have this classic old fireplace which you see often in Groninger houses, and I suggested putting the table against it. Might not sound logical at all now, but in my head this would look best in the room. Apparently they agreed, because the table is still in that place.

Of course it also has to do with personal preferences, but I would want my room to look as spatial as possible. Most student rooms are unfortunately not that big, but you don’t want to develop claustrofobia I assume. Therefore I would recommend putting your big furniture mostly against the walls. Also keep the size of your furniture in mind, because placing a large corner sofa in the middle of the room will definitely not make your room look bigger. I understand you want to have a large couch, but maybe waiting until you have your own apartment with a separate living room might do your student room more justice. In case I just described your room with this example: my apologies.

Another thing that always draws my attention is when people only have basic IKEA furniture standing in their room. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to say you have to buy designer furniture. Of course we poor students don’t have the money. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with IKEA furniture, it’s a really nice option and I actually bought a lot of products there myself. The point is that decorating your room is not a crime. Key tip is to choose 2-3 colors that appear here and there in your room. I wouldn’t go for more, because I think you don’t want to feel like you’ve entered a candy shop every time you’re in your room (unless you really love color, then what are you waiting for?). You could choose to paint one of the walls in the color you like best, but if this already gives you ‘candy shop vibes’, I would simply leave them white.

The rest of the color can be in the decoration, such as candles, pillows, dried flowers or posters. And although I can imagine that male students do not care about the first three options, posters can also really contribute to a male student room. If you have a look at websites such as DesenioPoster Store and JUNIQE, you will definitely be able to create your own, personal set of posters. The nice thing about this is that you can always buy new posters, so that you can switch and won’t get bored! Another nice way to decorate is by creating a photo wall of course, which will also give a personal touch to your room. Because what is more personal than all your memories with friends and family?

I mentioned the word personal multiple times, as in my experience it is fun to make the most out of your room and feel at home there. Some students do not do this because “they’ll not live there forever”, but even though that’s probably true, you will still spend a lot of time there. So why not put some effort in making it your ‘own’ room? I remember that when I just moved into my first student room, one of my former housemates used to refer to it as ‘the hospital’, because of the white walls that were still empty in the beginning. So the question is: do you really want to spend your whole student life in a ‘hospital’?

Now you’re arriving at the end of this article, maybe you feel inspired to refurnish or redecorate your room. If not, I'm at least thankful you took the time to read about one of the things that’s going on in my head: my view of (boring) student rooms. Besides, writing this made me realize that if a career in the field of communication doesn’t work out, I could always consider a job as interior designer. Or it could be a side job. So, if you need help in this area, you know where to find me ;p