It’s not always easy feeling completely at home in a new place, especially when that place is a dorm room, or a bedroom in a house with 8 other people. To this end, we have compiled a list of some easy DIY touches to help you settle straight into your new Dublin digs.
Make the most of the space
Is your room likely to be a bit of a sanctuary? Will you spend a lot of time there? It’s important to use the space you have well, in order to get the most out of your room. Is there space under your bed for some plastic containers – for shoes, books, CDs, belts, warmer winter clothes? Likewise is there space on top of your wardrobe for storage? Do you currently have books on shelves that could be put on a windowsill or stacked creatively elsewhere to free the shelves up for clothing? Is there space behind the door for a triangular waste-paper basket or laundry basket rather than taking up floor space elsewhere?
Take stock of what’s already in your room, and what you need – and maybe even take some photos with you when you go to buy some storage supplies. This should enable you to choose items that will work for your room, and help you to use the space effectively.
Use of colour
Most apartments or halls are styled in neutral, inoffensive colours. This makes it easy for you to accent your room with a strong colour choice. This can be done easily and cheaply (without aggravating your landlord or -lady!) by saving empty glass jars from curry or pasta sauce. Simply clean out the jar thoroughly, and allow it to soak in warm water to remove the labels. You want the jars to be smooth and clean. Then buy some paint in the colour of your choice. Pour the paint into the jars, and swirl around until the glass is completely covered. Leave to dry upside down (on newspaper or similar – you need your deposit back!). And voilà – you have yourself some decorative, and colourful items for display on your shelves, windowsill or kitchen table.
If you can’t change a lot about your room, consider making small changes that will count. If you have a very harsh overhead light currently, with no other alternatives, consider purchasing (or upcycling) some coloured cloth to drape over the existing lampshade in order to dial down the brightness. Be sure not to put cloth directly onto the lightbulb, as this can become very hot and may cause your entire building to be evacuated after a fire alarm at 3am…
Experiment with wall hangings
Every room usually comes with one or two hooks in the wall for pictures and other bits and bobs. If you are allowed to and you need them, you can always add more hooks as well. Go for a rummage in one of Dublin’s many second-hand or ‘charity’ shops (Georges Street in Dublin 2 has loads, as does Rathmines, but you’ll see them all over the city) and get yourself some bargain photo frames. Paint the frames if you wish. Alternatively you can get your hands on some second-hand fabric (or upcycle a top you no longer wear) and get creative with what’s inside the frame: The first letter of your name in burlap; find some lace and hang up your earrings; use a stencil and paint a block statement or logo – something funny, an in-joke with your friends from home even. Whatever you go for, it should be something that makes you smile when you see it.
Use Pinterest for Inspiration
Lacking ideas? Try Pinterest and see what other people have done on the cheap to make their halls feel like home!
What are your Halls Hacks?