This past month, I did something I didn’t think I would be doing for a LONG time: I picked up the keys to the first house I’ve ever signed a lease for [I mean, I’m not really THAT much of an adult yet, am I?]. Living in a college town, the choices for off-campus housing are slim to none [and incredibly expensive]. Our house is nice, but it still feels like any generic college housing; it lacks the “home” feel. Though this is just a temporary living situation, I’ve still found some ~simple~ ways to make my house feel like a home.


Personal photos are the easiest way to instantly spruce up your bedroom. If you’re like me and attend college outside of your hometown, having a visual reminder of all of your loved ones can be the most comforting feeling when homesickness hits [and trust me, it will]. How you choose to display these photos is up to you. I do have a couple of picture frames displayed on my bedside table, but I prefer to hang individual photos directly on the wall [if you’re leasing, be sure to use removable adhesive for this!]. White walls can feel cold and barren, but by filling the space with vibrant photos [I’m a sucker for a good gallery wall], the room already feels more personal.

Another easy way to add color to a boring wall is with a tapestry. I bought mine off Society6 and absolutely adore it [notice the Disney’s Tangled vibes?]. A tapestry is a simple way to cover a large amount of space with little effort. When choosing yours, think of scenes that bring you comfort. If you’re an outdoorsy person, look for a tapestry that holds the same vibe. If you prefer magical settings [like me], opt for something a little more ethereal. While I love Society6’s tapestries, they can get to be pretty expensive. Check out Amazon for some more affordable yet equally adorable tapestries!

String lights
Okay, I will advocate for this until my last breath: the lighting sets the mood of a room. If your room’s lighting is dull, you’re going to feel lethargic. If the lighting is harsh and looks like hospital lighting [like most dorm rooms], you’re going to have a hard time relaxing in your space. Personally, I prefer a combination of lamps and string lights. I want my room to be well-lit enough that I can still see, but not so much that I still feel like I’m sitting in a classroom. [This has also helped motivate me to get out of bed to study or do homework. If I can’t see my work, I can’t do it from my bed. If I don’t do it from my bed, I won’t be tempted to sleep. Life is all a mind game, people.]


Hand towels are already an essential for your bathroom, so you might as well choose ones that are #cute. Whether you prefer witty phrases or delicate designs, decorating your bathroom with a fun hand towel adds your own personal flare to the space. 

Soap dispenser
Again, soap is a bathroom necessity, so why not choose a fun soap dispenser? Sure, you could stick with the generic store-bought hand soap bottles OR you could buy that hand soap in bulk [saves money, too!] and splurge a little bit on a decorative dispenser. Any way you can add your own style [and use less plastic to be a ~sustainable~ queen] into your living space is a win.


Mugs will forever be my ride or die kitchenware of choice. Need coffee? Mug. Want some soup? Mug. Need to buy someone a gift? Mug. There’s just no down side to a good mug. It also helps that there is an endless design of mugs out there so you can find ones that fit your personality exactly. [A lot of my mugs were gifted to me and also serve as a reminder of the person who gave it to me.]

Food storage
My college students on a budget can relate to the struggle of trying to save money by not eating out so often. One way to do this is to meal prep. In order to do so, you’ll need a good amount of containers of different sizes. It is definitely worth it to opt for a set of food storage containers that you like [or, as Marie Kondo says, ones that spark joy]. I prefer glass containers with rubber lids, but many people prefer plastic [reusable, of course]. 


Throw pillows
If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE a good decorative pillow. Though your couch will already bring a lot of comfort to your living room space, adding a couple of throw pillows can bring an even more significant pop of color and personality.

There’s nothing quite like cozying up on the couch on a rainy day with a fluffy blanket and a good movie marathon. Draping a few blankets over the back of the couch [or folding them in a decorative basket] provides easy access and allows you to, quite literally, wrap yourself in comfort at any given moment.

Share with us on Instagram your favorite ways to spruce up your house!

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