Student Flat, But Make it Home (& Chic)

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One thing becoming a university student has made me realise is that I’m very affected by my surroundings. Living in student halls with absolutely zero personality and a student house that was covered in mould and that we barely even tried to decorate made me miserable. I don’t think I realised, at the time, how much the places I was living in contributed to my feelings about university and student life, but after writing many pros and cons lists and really thinking about what I didn’t like about university, I realised much of it was down to where I was living.

So as I’ve touched on previously in my blog post on not fitting into the student stereotype, for my final year of university, I’m moving out of the student area of Manchester I’ve lived in for the past 2 years which I found to be depressing and anxiety-inducing and I’m moving into the centre of Liverpool. I’m sure commuting will come up with its own problems and I don’t doubt that there will be some moans and groans on my part when it comes to getting up an hour earlier and getting home an hour later, but I am sure that living in an area that I love in a flat that feels like home will make it all worth it.

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But how am I living in a flat that I like and decorating it as such on a student budget, you might ask? Well, with about as much struggle as there is success but, again, the end result makes the struggle worth it. In terms of looking for a flat, my flatmate and I were determined not to settle. We looked at at around 15 flats, none of which we were besotted with, but most of which I probably would have been happy to take if I was looking at them during my house search for second year. Just as we thought we’d never find somewhere we liked within our budget, whilst standing outside in the pouring rain waiting for the estate agent to turn up, we found our flat! And it is pretty much perfect. Super close to the station for me, and really close to my flatmates uni. 2 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms and an open-plan kitchen and living room, with lots of added details you don’t usually get in a student house, like a dining table, tv stand and bookshelf. Plus, it has beautiful woodwork throughout and gets so much natural light.

All this, and it is well within our budget, much cheaper than many of the flats we had looked at previously that weren’t even half as nice, and also cheaper than my first and second year accommodation. So, if you’re in the same position as me and wanting to find genuinely nice student accommodation, or any accommodation I guess, within your budget, the most important thing to do is just keep looking for as long as you can and don’t settle on the first or second one you see.

Even if you’re not happy with the place you’re living in though, I think decorating it is the most important way to make it feel like home. This can be a struggle on a student budget but I’m already finding ways to find pieces I love for my flat on a budget and I am changing the way I spend money so I spend less money on clothes and eating out, for example, and more on interiors.

These photos were taken a couple of weeks after moving into the flat and so far, the living room is my favourite part of it. However I’m looking forward to adding a personal touch to every room and nook and cranny of it and making it more of a home for me to live in over the next year. But for now, I hope you enjoy these photos of the initial progress we’ve made with our flat.

I think it’s so easy to look at student houses from the perspective of ‘there’s no point decorating it- I’m only going to be living there for a year’. But a year is a long time, and these years you spend living in student accommodation add up to at least three years of your life, so it’s definitely worth making your student home a place you love, especially if you’re affected by your surroundings as much as I am.

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I’m hoping that I can provide some tips and inspiration on student/budget interiors and interiors more generally on my blog and social media, starting with this blog post and also a brand new interiors page I’ve added to the ‘SHOP’ section of my blog, where you can shop everything that’s currently in my home and on my never-ending wish list.

There will definitely be a post coming soon on tips for decorating your home on a budget so if anyone has any particularly good ideas that I can add to that post, please leave them in the comments!

Products in this post (affiliate links marked with a *)

Kate Moss Coffee Table Book

Candle Tray

Mary Mary Florals Dried Flowers

‘Cream’ Candle*

Diptype Baies Candle*