How To Make A Space...

By Lucy Harbron - 14:45

I'm now back in my beloved university city, and moved in to my new house awaiting the start of my second year. As someone that's massively affected by the space around me, this is always the most anxious time of my uni year; trying to make a new place a home. If you're a freshers about to move to uni I know this will definitely be on your mind, so I thought I could share my process to make yours a little easier.

Uni rooms are weird, especially first year accommodation rooms. You have to pack your life into one room, it becomes like your own little planet with all your belongings. You have to work, relax, sleep, hang out with friends, maybe eat, probably shower etc etc all in one room. It's intense, there's a lot of pressure for that one room to feel good and feel like yours. It's definitely been a lot easier this year in a house, and in a bedroom that doesn't have a neon green wall... But here's some of the things I consider when making my space, and a little look at my room this year. But I definitely thinks it's a case of finding what you find comfortable and comforting.

Lamp - Wilko
Bunting- Homemade
Shelves - B&Q
Hanging vase - Tiger
Work stuff by the work space

First and foremost uni is about work, so I always want to make the best work space possible. I'm a desk-worker, and a morning worker so this year I've been blessed with a glorious desk by a big window. 

I like to keep my work space really clean but inspiring. So on my desk there's very little, just a make-up mirror, pen pot and a lamp. This means that my desk is never super cluttered, and always looks work ready. I also have a copy of KILORAN on my desk, a whiteboard with important reminders, and some bunting that says 'grow' so my desk feels really positive and inspiring and motivating. If you don't feel motivated to sit at your desk, try and change the space until you do.

But most importantly, I think it's really important to have your work stuff by your work space, so all my uni books, my printer, and my pens etc are by my desk and ready, so when I sit down to work I don't have to wander around grabbing things. It also keeps the space very work focused so the space doesn't become associated with anything else that will distract you. 

For a similar reason I've kept my other books separate. If I can I like to try and keep work stuff as separate as possible, so I've kept my personal books on a different shelf with my own book displayed. Hoping this will motivate me to keep reading for pleasure as well as work this year.

Curate what you can see

Obviously the things you see in your room are going to have the biggest affect, and will be the things you focus on. So in my room I'm trying to make it so I can only see things that make me happy, or make me better. For example, I know affirmations really work for me and make me feel a lot calmer and happier, so I've put lil positive affirmations around my room like this bunting, my vintage 'I Love Lucy' bag, notes from my friends and Mum, or even just plants etc. This means my eyes are constantly seeing happy things. 

But I've also left out things like skincare, my water-bottle, my running trainers in the hope that it will help me improve my habits and make better decisions. It's subtle but it's supposed to be really effective.  

Bedding - Asda
Bedding - Dunelm
Keep a calm sleeping place

This one definitely isn't for everything, but I'm trying to keep my bed for sleeping as much as possible. I'm determined to not work there and try to keep the space as a place for sleeping, or reading, or winding down at the end of the day. To help this I've tried to keep this part of my room as plain as possible. And oh boy it was hard fighting the temptation to put up photos or a tapestry, but instead I settled on just these two postcards I got from the National Portrait Gallery when I was in London. I think they really compliment each other and the space with their neutral tones. Lovely. I've also gone for two pretty plain, calm, cool-toned duvet sets. Pro-tip; having two bedding sets is going to help you out so much with laundry.

Consider nighttime

A cosy night room is just as important as a cosy day room, especially for me as I tend to feel most unsettled or anxious at night. So I've gone for the typical approach of fairy-lights for some nighttime hygge while I'm relaxing or watching films. It's such a simple thing, but little things like fairy lights or plants or blankets can really make a difference. Fairy lights are also good for keeping bills down as you can put battery ones on during the day rather than an electric lamp or light. 

Bunting - Homemade
Firefly lights - Primark
Put up reminders of love

I know some people avoid putting up photos at uni in case they make them feel homesick, but I'm definitely a photo person. Seeing the faces of people I love and days I enjoyed instantly makes me feel better, so I always make a pinboard with photos, tickets and printed affirmations and images I like. I change this up quite a lot with new photos and things, but I always look at it as a reminder that I'm loved and lucky to have people in my life that I love so much. This is definitely the part of my room that turns it into a home, putting up personal photos instantly makes the room mine and makes me feel settled. There's always deals online for photo printing so definitely have a look into that.

For me, I know my perfect space is calm, positive, clean and love-filled. I do tend to match my uni room to my bedroom at home, just because I feel best in a neutral coloured room with little pops of colour and photos. But it's so personal, find out what works best for you and what you can do with your space to make you feel the most relaxed and happy you can be. 

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