How to decorate a student room

It’s that time of year when parents prepare to wave a teary goodbye to offspring who are off to university.It’s a period of mixed emotions. There is euphoria that they’ve got a place, the pain of letting them go and their own fears of the unknown.While it may seem a long way down the list of priorities, their room is a vitally important aspect of their new life. It’s where they will study, eat, drink and where they will retreat to when they feel homesick, poorly, nervous and sad.

Brush Strokes duvet set, £12 for a double, from Wilko

Making it a comforting and attractive space is very important and you don’t have to spend a fortune on this. It would be mad to splash out, mainly due to the aforementioned food and, of course, the drink.Firstly, think of practicalities. Storage is often a big issue and if you provide it, there will be a lower chance of the place being very messy.Wilko has stylish fold-down fabric storage boxes, as does Ikea. They cost from £3 each and come in a range of colours. They are great for holding everything from books to shoes and jumpers.

Faux plants and leaf lights from Primark

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If, as I did, you plan to supply your offspring with many bags of tinned food, pasta and toiletries, those large, clear plastic boxes that can be hidden under the bed are the perfect “larder”.A pop-up laundry basket is also a good idea as is lots of coat hangers.Two sets of bedding is a must and, again, don’t spend too much as there will be spills. Ikea’s bedding is good value and good quality. The stylish and subtle grey and white Tradaster duvet set is now £4.50 for a single and £8 for a double. Also low in price are Wilko and Primark.Blankets will be welcome and add cosiness and should be dark to cope with the inevitable spillages. They can always be livened up with colourful cushions, which are useful for turning a bed into a temporary sofa.

Peg fairy lights, £6.99, from

Walls can be tricky as some student landlords forbid pins and tac, though they often supply a pinboard for photos, postcards and pictures.For decoration, you can’t beat fairy lights. They give a lovely glow, as does a bedside lamp.Faux flowers and plants look attractive and homely on window sills and desks. You could buy real plants, which would be healthier but also messier if they are knocked to the floor.You may also want to invest in a full-length mirror, as these are not always provided and much-missed. If the flooring is drab, an inexpensive rug will add softness and colour.

Peanuts mug, £11, from Magpie,

Some halls of residence have kitchen equipment and crockery but it’s good to supplement this with your child’s favourite mug, as it gives them “a little bit of home”.

Where to shop

Ikea is full of students and their parents at this time of year and for good reason. It is a great place to find everything you need and young people generally enjoy a trip there, if only for the cafe.If you can’t get there, then Wilko also has a good selection of homeware and storage solutions. Matalan is worth looking at, as is Home Bargains, HomeSense, TK Maxx and Primark.

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