One of the fundamental aspects of “Swedish-ness” is interior design and home decor – Sweden is the land of furniture and home-related stores. Obviously, the country is the land of IKEA, what did you expect? The Swedes love to have beautiful homes they can nest in- and so should you.
I know, some might argue against spending time and money in home decor. But, I would strongly advise you to try and make your room cozy. If you come to Sweden for a Master’s, you will stay for 2 years and 2 years is too long to feel like you are living in a hotel. The feeling of coming back to a place you can call your own after a long day is indescribable, it immediately makes you feel rested. Plus, your room will become the get-together place with your friends and that will make the effort even more worth it.
I live in KIhousing, Vårberg, with a contract for a year. The room is spacious and nice, with lots of light coming in from the huge window. Nonetheless, I believe anyone would agree that it looks pretty boring, if it is vacant.
So, here is what I did to make it more fun (for the least amount of money possible) and here is what you can do, too:
- Buy storage items – boxes and baskets. That helps so that each item has a “spot”. Living in a 20 square meter room is difficult, because any mess is really visible. Or, you can display your favorite items. I like to be able to see my jewelry, so that I can choose what to add to my outfit. I bought the organizer in the image from IKEA, it is originally for scarves and cost merely nothing, less than 50 SEK.
- Buy a small carpet. This makes the room much warmer and adds a pop of color!
- Make your bed your kingdom. I don’t know about you guys, but sleeping is a big thing for me, so my bed has to be soft and cozy, with lots of pillows. Obviously all IKEA, no need to mention it I believe. (What is nice is that the room comes with a pillow and a duvet, so you only have to buy the cases and anything extra you would like)
4. Decorate your walls. Yes, the walls. You are not allowed to nail anything in the wall. But that should not stop you form sticking things on them! Make sure you buy stickers specifically made for walls and test that they can easily be taken off, without scraping any of the color away, to avoid being fined. I bought my stickers from Amazon, again for less than 50 SEK. What I love about them is that you can write messages with chalk on them. Also, I put postcards and items that are special to me with blue-tac for walls.
5. Make yourself a “boudoir”, or a corner with things you like. I like to see this part of my room every morning, when I do my makeup before school. I bought the mirror from IKEA, it was 130 SEK, but it is so beautiful. The basket and the frame with the flowers are from a second-hand shop, Myrorna. That is why they were both cheap and you do good when buying them. All profits from the store go to Frälsningsarméns sociala arbete (Salvation Army social work). There is also the Red Cross and many more second hand stores in Stockholm, just this one is close to the dorm, in the Skärholmen mall.
6. Make DIY projects happen! I know, we do not live in the picture perfect Pinterest world and most of the projects you will start will either not be finished or will look nothing like the picture. That doesn’t mean you should not try, because the process is fun anyway. That way, you can give a personal touch to your room. Don’t worry if it is not perfect – it is handmade, imperfection is half of the charm.
Well, these were my ideas. I know they might not be that creative, but they surely are not obvious, when you first move in and do not know what options you have. I hope this post serves as inspiration to many of you interested to create a little nest out of your room. You surely do not have to make everything happen overnight. Take your time and enjoy the process!
‘Till the next time!
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