If you’re living away from home to attend university, chances are you are staying in a dorm or some sort of rental property. It can be difficult to make these types of spaces feel comfortable, and while there’s no place like home, there are ways to make your space feel much more cozy and to add a touch of your personality at the same time.
The Sheaf put together a list of suggestions to help you get creative when decorating your place, while still allowing you to have some cash in your pocket at the end of the day.
1. The best way to make your living space feel closer to home is to add some photos of friends and family. It’s not difficult to hang photos, but if your landlord doesn’t allow you to nail holes in the wall, you can buy adhesive wall tape at places like Walmart, Rona or Canadian Tire. The tape is simple to apply, and then comes off easily once you are ready to move out.
If you want to pick up some cheap picture frames, head to Dollarama and you will find a variety of shapes and sizes for a low price. You can also just keep photos on your desk or dresser, if hanging them isn’t your thing. Another option is to purchase a metal photo clip string set — this is basically a wire that you attach to the wall in which you can hang unframed photos with little clips. Urban Outfitters sells these online for $14, or you could head to a home store and pick up some supplies to make your own!
2. To take up some extra wall space and add a pop of colour, hang a flag or tapestry in your home. Amazon sells a wide variety of tapestries and flags — or if you have one already then these can be hung up using thumb tacks, which will leave almost no visible hole in the wall. This is a very affordable way to fill a blank wall and add some colour to your place.
3. If you want to make your home feel a little more green, look no further than small, potted plants. One of the easiest plants to take care of are succulents, and while growing, most succulents only need to be watered weekly. You can easily put these in small clay pots — also available at the Dollarama — or old glass jars. Try heading to Bill’s House of Flowers on Broadway Avenue or Dutch Growers in Sutherland for all your planting needs.
4. Adding a chalkboard or whiteboard to your living space can be both functional and decorative. You can get creative with coloured chalk or whiteboard markers, and both can be used for notes about homework, reminders or inspirational quotes to keep you going throughout the term. A whiteboard at Walmart is $11.97 and you can buy a chalkboard from Staples for $23.76, but neither of those include the cost of markers or chalk.
If you want somewhere to tack little notes or papers, then a bulletin board may be a better option for you. Walmart sells these for $13.77 and up, depending on the size you want.
5. For quick do-it-yourself candles, head to the Dollarama to pick up both candles and glass jars — and then you have an easy candle holder. After burning them a few times, the wax will melt down and fill the space of the jar. The average cost of these is $2 per candle, which is significantly cheaper than buying candles that already come in holders. If you have old jam jars or mason jars — depending on the size of the candles you buy — you can also make use of those.
6. For other home décor items, head to Value Village. Pick up a vintage-looking jar or vase and put that on your counter as a utensil holder, or look through their large selection of coasters or kitchen ware if you need unique items that will also be practical. Value Village also has a selection of candles.
With these tips in mind, you can certainly spice up any living space to make it your own. Happy decorating!
Naomi Zurevinski / Editor-in-Chief
Graphic: Paige Sutherland