Decor 101

Soyoon Koo

Flat-hunting is a nightmarish ordeal for anybody with even a shred of sanity. We search, we scour, we scramble for our dream flat: a place habitable by human beings, with only a moderate amount of dignity sacrificed. You know how it is…for a place as close as possible to campus or [living priorities], you sacrifice comforts like cleanliness or reliable heating or security- trivial stuff, really, if you think about it.

But there’s good news!

Since the flat that you, after [increments of time that indicate peak levels of stress], have managed to secure for this new academic year is most likely a bit of a fixer-upper (oh, you know, not everyone needs working windows), you now get the fun, fun task of decorating your place however you like (will you stay within budget though? Who can say) in an attempt to fill the void in your new flat as well as your soul.

Who cares that your kitchen hasn’t been remodelled in a decade, when your walls can be covered in posters that reflect your dazzling personality and your oh-so eclectic taste in music and movies? (Pulp Fiction? Never heard of it)

Who cares about your walls having no shelving space whatsoever, leaving you to cram your belongings into cupboards or have them strewn gracefully on your floor, when you can now have glowing fairy lights anywhere you please (if you lived in student accom before, you definitely followed the rules and didn’t hang any of those up, did you?)?

Who cares about your bathroom tiles being a suspicious colour when YOU HAVE PLANTS? With a little ingenuity and research, you too can make a home out of a house or, well, give me a second… *looks up synonym for shithole on Word Hippo* … an Augean stable. 

Though I could go on and on about the specifics, here are some fundamental solutions to common


No space? Just start stacking things on top of each other. Make a game of it: it’s Tetris and Jenga with extra risk. Live on the edge.

No decor experience because you’re not a Queer Eye guy? Easy, my go-to is to start by stocking up on books (no need to break the bank with Waterstones, cheaper options exist) because then, even if you’re broke, you seem smart. After all, aren’t you here to, like, learn things?

Electricity out? Don’t even bother getting it fixed, one more night of sitting in the dark is one more tree saved somewhere else. That’s how saving the environment works. Obviously. Look at you, you Good Samaritan.

Almost projectile vomited from the thriving mould in your shower? Think of it as aesthetic. People pay good money for shabby chic. I mean, it even comes in assorted colours! Bold blue, slime green, festering black — there’s something for everyone.

Spotted a rat? Good news, you made a friend. Had a run-in with a family of cockroaches? Congratulations, they’re your family now. How could you ever feel lonely amongst such company? 

Spending too much money on useless shit and don’t know how to stop? Same, dude. *Doorbell rings* Ooo, that must be the new egg separator that I ordered. Can’t wait to separate them eggs.

If all else fails, remember you have all year to get a better place for next year. Also, it’s crucial to befriend someone with a nicer place than yours so that you can just be their resident parasite.

That’s all for now. I’m heading to bed, I’m tired.  Night night. Don’t let the bedbugs bite. 

Spoiler alert: They will, and you can’t stop them.