When you think of Interior design, what comes to mind is often spacious rooms, quirky decorations, and fancy flats displaying their owners’ personality. However, this is not the case for students: for those who live on a budget, interior design narrows down to decorating their rooms and flats with accessories and essential pieces of furniture, with little space (both physically and metaphorically)
The average rent for a room, according to figures from Gumtree, was about £660 two years ago, twice as much as any other city in the UK. And the prices are going up, as the Green Party – vocal about the housing crisis – reports that private rental rooms and student halls cost an average of£226 a week, with peaks of more than £400 weekly for rooms provided by some universities.
Giada Bocca, a 20-year-old Fashion Marketing student at London Met from Italy, lives in student accommodation on Holloway Road. She agrees that, since the rent is so expensive, students are left with very little to spend on interior design. Decorating is mostly about making her room “feel like home”, she says. “Since I live in a student hall, I can’t really change much about my room,” she adds.
“I’ve only bought candles, a number of small other things and hung pictures to the walls, mainly.
Overall, I don’t think I’ve spent more than £10 on that.”
“I used to buy luxury stuff, because they lasted longer than buying anything cheaper,” says an older student, Carlene Henry, 32, who lives in a council house. In the past she has spent around £300 to decorate her home per year; however, things have changed. “Since it’s not my own property, in the past few years I have found myself in the risk of an eviction because of the housing crisis, so I stopped.”
According to students, popular shop choices to find home accessories are IKEA, Wilko, the Danish brand Tiger, and Primark, which all offer a wide range of houseware items to spruce up a home for under £10. Other have turned to online shopping, opting for Amazon and eBay, which offer thousands of items that cost as little as £5 each.
Here are some of our pickings — both the quirky and the useful.
IKEA is most people’s go-to place when we talk about interiors and home decor. Good quality comes with fairly cheap prices and the choices are virtually endless.
1. Decoration stickers, IKEA £4 2. Mirror, IKEA £5 3. Mirror, IKEA £1.50 4. Plant pot, IKEA £2 5. Lighting chain, IKEA £4 6. Artificial potted plant, IKEA £3 7. Lantern for teelight, IKEA £2 8. Scented block candle, IKEA £5 9. Vase, IKEA £3 10. Frame, IKEA £1
For those who like to shop in the comfort of home, shopping online is the solution for cheap home decor. With over 22 million offers, you can find what you’re looking for and save some money for the next night out.
1. Removable wall sticker, E-Bay £1.59 2. Picture frame, E-Bay £0.99 3. Bamboo Nat Wax Votive Candles , E-Bay £0.99 4. Skull mirror, Amazon £4.98 5. Bamboo tray, Amazon, £3.47 6. Wooden box, Amazon £4.66 7. Glass vase, Amazon £4.98 8. “Leaning tower of Pisa” Bookend, Amazon £2.13
Famous for its great deals on clothes, Primark offers a number of goods for our homes as well, to add that touch of personal style to your room.
1. Jewellery Box, Primark £5 2. Cushion, Primark £5 3. Candle, Primark £2 4. Hangers, Primark £3 5. Hanging decoration, Primark £1 6. Throw, Primark £5 7. Floral Stag Ornament, Primark £5 8. Takeaway cup, Primark £3
By Carmelita Zappala and Barbara Sike
Picture Credits : Giada Bocca / Ikea Website / Primark / Ebay /Amazong