I have always received the sweetest compliments on the spaces I’ve lived in throughout college and people continuously ask me how I made things feel like a home. Creating comfortable spaces is a skill I have developed over the past three years partly from my studies but mostly due to the stressful living situations I was presented with. I developed the need to make things feel better when I came home so I would add blankets to all of my chairs, curtains to the windows and I never used the main lights in the apartments. Now that things are much better for me, when I change things it is just for fun and because I enjoy changing up the space I live in every now and again.
Here are the top 10 tips I have come up with to make your college living space feel cozy:
- Curtains. You know, those vertical plastic white blinds that don’t actually block out the sun? Those come right out of the track, when done carefully and with a tension rod and a $10 curtain you have a transformed window. I chose white, semi opaque curtains to filter the light in my room and to cover the less than attractive screens.
- Blankets make things look lived in. Draping a blanket over the back of a couch or a comfy chair give it the feeling of being snuggled in. My living room has a grand total of three blankets in it all the time; one on the couch, one on the leather chair, and one on the ottoman, Now you don’t need three (mugs and blankets are my weakness) but even one will help cultivate that cozy feeling.
- Incandescent light is flattering and feels warm, like a fire place. A lamp with a yellow/orange colored light will make any room feel like a home. Blue light makes skin look unhealthy and a room feel more like a hospital than a home.
- Hang things on the walls. My favorite wall decoration is the clock, it is made of brown and black textured wood and feels very homey. I have a large flower picture in the dining room and a collage of small mirrors and photos in the living room.
- Plants! Indoor plans are always a good choice for any home or residential type setting because it has been proven time and time again the humans need nature and even a few flowers will make things feel put together.
- Walmart sells these great wall vinyls that do not hurt the wall at all and will completely transform a space in one day. (They also say on the package that they don’t stick to textured walls but they totally do, but if you do have trouble a small thumbtack in the corners will keep it in place!)
- A few placemats and a simple napkin holder will make your table feel put together and ready for dinner conversation. Throw in a cute salt and pepper set and you’ve got a complete table setting!
- RUGS. I will be the first to admit that the carpet in my current apartment is terrible and looks like the stuff in my old elementary school. I added a large rug passed down to me from my parents during their last move and voila, my floor looks more put together. The one in my kitchen also helps on those cold winter mornings when the floor is freezing!
- Throw pillows are magical and cheap! Walmart always has tons of throw pillows, target also has a good clearance section that usually contains a few decent throw pillows. They add color and make things feel purposeful!
- Thumbtacks will hold most wall decorations. Pretty much everything in my apartment is put up with a thumbtack or small nail, but some things aren’t and that is where toothpaste comes in. You cal easily fill holes with toothpaste or by rubbing a bar of soap over the spot. Youtube is full of great tutorials for renters!