*This post was written by Ashley Marks

Students are in a tricky position and there’s no denying it. On one hand their natural instinct is to spend as much time in bed as possible – of course, whether that’s spent sleeping or doing something else is entirely dependent on the individual. But on the other hand they can often find their creative hands tied by a combination of overbearing landlords, the likelihood that they will have to move houses every twelve months as friendship groups and personal circumstances change, or simply having limited funds as working takes a back-seat to studying. So what to do with an area of space that you spend most of your time in, but either can’t afford or aren’t allowed to decorate?

Image: We Heart It

Well, help is at hand. Even with limited skills, creativity and (most importantly) money, you can still turn your barren, cold student flat into a warm, personal and welcoming home with just a few of these easy and non-permanent creations.

The first place to go is a classic: candles. Nothing says that you’re a deep, sensitive, misunderstood creative like a gently-flickering naked flame, but everyone knows how much candle companies like to charge for the privilege of showing this side of yourself to others. However, simply empty some coffee beans into a ramekin and nestle a cheap tea-light on top. Voila! You’re a creative again – at a fraction of the cost – and the aroma of coffee beans will circulate for weeks.

A similar lighting trick can be played by emptying the contents of a glow-stick into a clear jar (glow-sticks and pasta sauces are both mainstays of student housing from my recollection!) along with some glitter. When the mixture is shaken up, you will be rewarded with a “firefly in a jar” effect.

Okay, you’re getting there: you’ve proved that you’re sensitive and mysterious. But what about practical?

The majority of student houses aren’t necessarily up-to-date in terms of their boiler’s energy efficiency – a feature exacerbated by drafty windows, open doors and poorly insulated ceilings – and money can be saved on heating bills by purchasing a modern electrical radiator. Verismart offer a wide range of student-suitable fixtures including models on wheels meaning you can bring the warmth with you from room to room, as well as taking it to your next home at the end of your tenancy. Not only are these radiators energy-efficient (they feature technology that can sense when a nearby window is open whilst its aluminium casing in built around a ceramic core designed for efficient heat distribution) they look great and fit into any room.

And what of those cardboard boxes you used to get your possessions to the house in the first place? I’ll bet they’re folded up and crammed in a cupboard as we speak… But these can also be used as low tables and are ideal for your late-night sessions sat on the floor with pages of printed-out text all around you. Just throw a tablecloth over it (or really get creative like this guy) and you’ve just killed two birds with one stone.

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