Whether you’re getting ready for a night out with friends, or throwing yourself into some late-night studying, your halls room will be the hub of your whole first year experiences. So, creating a personal, customised space is important to making you feel right at home.

To help you settle comfortably into your brand new home, Technical Director and Lighting Expert Matthew Currington of The Lighting Superstore gives his top five tips on how to get creative a student budget and create a room you ‘ll be proud to show to your new friends.

#1 Homely lighting

Although they may be the obvious choice, fairy lighting can add some personal character into your décor. Not only are they inexpensive, but they’re a student room staple for adding warmth and cosiness. Wrap them around your bedframe or take some inspo from TikTok and invest in some LED strips to place around your shelving and desk.

Layer lighting is a much-loved trick in interior design, as you can instantly shift the mood of a room. This is an essential in student accommodation, helping you switch from focused study to relaxation mode, with the just the flick of a switch.

#2 House plants

As people were confined their rooms more than ever, indoor plant sales boomed over lockdown. Many found becoming a plant parent filled a void in their social lives, and the trend has stuck.

Plants are a great way to add a natural touch to your new room to give it that ‘Pinterest board’ aesthetic. Place them in cute macrame hanging baskets on your curtain pole to add dimension to the space, or in patterned, coloured pots for a rustic feel. Some universities even usually hold weekly plant markets that are inexpensive.

Plants are not only aesthetically pleasing, but research has shown it helps to improve your wellbeing by lowering stress levels, easing anxiety and boosting productivity. Plants give your room a breath of new life, just remember to look after them!

#3 Disposable camera shots

Combine your freshers’ memories with your interior design.

Disposable cameras are sold out almost everywhere, with the old trend making a comeback. Turn your personal memories into art, by printing off your favourite photos from the most exciting week of your life.

If its home you’re longing for, try print from your camera roll with many of the free apps on offer. Personal photos will help you to feel that little bit less homesick. Add a more luxurious touch by hanging your favourite photos in some cute frames and could even use small, rustic pegs to attach them to your fairy lights.

#4 Get Organised

Being organised at university will be the key to success, so apply this organisation to your room. A bulletin board is a decorative way to track your deadlines, to dos and sentimental memories like your first concert ticket in your new city or the ticket from your train journey there. Bulletin boards can make you feel like you have your life together (even if you don’t).

University rooms are typically on the small side, so maximising your storage potential is essential. Adding colourful storage boxes, hooks or even assign a decorative role to your clothes with a cheap clothes rail. To really embrace the decorative element of the rail, try colour coding your clothes to make the exposed items as pleasing on the eye as possible.

Not only will it help with storage, but it helps to make picking a night-out outfit a whole lot easier when you’re feeling uninspired.

#5 Accessorise your Bedding

A great solution to dull up your tired student room is through your bedding. Bedding helps to add colour, texture and provides an extra layer of warmth for chilly winter nights and, most importantly, doesn’t have to break the bank.

It’s the small details that make the biggest difference, so go to town with accessorising with pillows and blankets to add some personality to your room. Pillows can be cheap and easy to find in most homeware stores.