FRESHERS’ WEEK: How to decorate your new student room

It’s the first day of Freshers’ Week. Among the many things you’re presented with, baffled and bewildered, is your home for the next academic year.  As you stand alone, surrounded by your luggage, your otherwise empty room is a blank canvas awaiting your inspiration.  Whether your room will act as a safe haven from the hectic life outside those four walls or whether it will be transformed into the social hub of your college, your bedroom will be a guaranteed constant for the rest of your time as a Fresher.  Make of it what you will. But, accompanied with this guide you certainly won’t fail to make the best of it. Here is The Oxford Student’s run-down of the fashion essentials – classics that everyone will bring, but with an extra twist – that are guaranteed to make your new student room worthy of an appearance on MTV Cribs. Well, almost.

(1)   Posters and photos


Yes, photos and posters are the bare essentials that everyone will use for their interior design, but don’t underestimate their importance in allowing you to express something special about yourself or where you come from. Remember Summer from The OC who neglected to display any evidence of her pre-Brown university life? Or worse, her promiscuous roommate who displayed a little too much? My point is, choose your visual memorabilia with care. A picture really is worth a thousand words. If you’re feeling creative, why not go one step further?  A wall hanging is colourful and guaranteed to take up a lot of dreary wall space (or notice-board space, depending on your college’s policy on Blu-Tack and pins) which is otherwise in danger of looking vacant and blank (unlike your charming personality)! Even if you’ve not just returned from your Gap Yah, darling.

(2)   Bedspread


Often neglected, your bedspread acts as the main focus of your room. Steer clear of college–provided bedding at all costs; a duvet set that is cozy and reminds you of your home will be a great source of comfort as your first term goes on.  Vibrant colours, which seem garish when on shop shelves, are best for Oxford winters as they make your room feel warmer and brighter to fight the frosty spells.  Moreover, the more interesting and vivid your bedspread the better – this can make for great ice-breaker conversations at pre-drinks (‘pres’) or when new friends come round to visit your student room.  When it comes to your bedspread, don’t worry about being unusual or embarrassing – throw convention to the wind in favour of whatever will help you to feel that your room is truly yours.

(3)   DIY


If you want your new student room to have a unique edge, why not make something yourself? Any opportunity to be creative and individualistic shouldn’t be wasted when it comes to beautifying your room.  Maybe think about making a patch-work quilt for your bed, or designing a poster, collage or painting for the walls. Why not agree to make something and swap it with a friend to ensure that something of your room is unique and personalised? The same goes for little objects such as dream-catchers or calendars (extra points if they’re of the naked, charitable variety) which you may find useful to put up in your room.

(4)   A rug


Don’t forget a rug! This will work to make your room feel brighter and more comfortable, and I guarantee it will be a godsend when the cold winter nights start to draw in.  Whilst the majority of student rooms in Oxford are carpeted, some are not, so it’s always best to be prepared.

(5) Projector


I promised you something extra special, and here it is! If you thought student life meant resorting to the dull, boring and budget, think again. Invest in a projector to transform your new student room into a fully functioning home cinema. Just don’t complain when your room becomes the new JCR. Or your scout has a heart attack. You have been warned.

If you’re coming to Oxford University this October, make sure you ‘like’ our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with our Freshers’ Week countdown. If you’re interested in joining The Oxford Student’s fashion team either as a writer, a model, a stylist or a photographer, we would love to hear from you! Just drop us a quick email at