Monday, 25 October 2010

Interior Design in a Small Space: My University Challenge!


Before moving to University, I was thinking a lot about what my new surroundings would be like - especially my new room! I was half dreading the idea of leaving my comfortable space at home for a small boxy room in university halls, and half ready to embrace the challenge of decorating this new blank canvas.

Trying to jazz up such a small space when you're a) not allowed to paint the walls, and b) not allowed to hammer anything into the walls, was a difficult proposition, but I was lucky enough to be given a book about retro caravan interior design by my boyfriend for my birthday, and it has proven to be quite an inspiration! The book, My Cool Caravan, is filled with eyewateringly beautiful caravans decorated to reflect the owners' unique tastes - with the end result of a book containing both immaculate examples of the ever popular shabby chic trend, and slightly more unusual design concepts- one Frieda Kahlo inspired caravan was particularly attention grabbing!

I'd completely recommend the book for any lover of retro-inspired design - or indeed any university student who is in a bit of a quandary about how best to leave their own stamp on what can be a very small and oppressive space. The book has little design tips throughout, as well as hundreds of photos by the talented Hilary Walker (I would show you them but I don't want to break copyright laws!) and a nice little paragraph about the history of each caravan. Just a warning though: you will end up wanting to buy a caravan after reading it!


So... here are a few snippets of my university room so far! The photo at the top of the page is of a cushion cover I made from offcuts from previous sewing projects. Working to the colour scheme of blue and green, I selected materials with similar sized patterns in order to make a subtley matching cushion that adds a little homeliness to my space. The cushion filler was about 79p from Ikea!

My sewing box, material for my next project!, books, tea, and Eustace the owl...

Cheating slightly with these fake roses, but I think they're charming all the same, and add a nice pop of vibrancy to my bed side table. The vase was 10p at a carboot, and the roses were 3 for £1 on the local market.
Some friendly faces and... a cactus in a teacup. As you do.

This poster is possibly my favourite part of the room. It's an old school educational poster from the 40s (to the best of my knowledge) and its just oh so cute! I found it on ebay for under £10 - best purchase ever!

I've chosen quite a bold patterned duvet cover, seeing as its the only major thing I can change about the colour of the room. I absolutely love it - and for only £3 in a charity shop, you can't go wrong :).

I hope you've enjoyed my little tour-de-la-chambre! What do you think of it? Are any of you facing similar small-space design dilemmas?

Sadie xxx

28 comments:

Victoria India said...

So homely! <3

Svenja said...

Very cute! :)

Katie said...

You have railway travel posters on your wall! Those things are absolutely awesome - I just love the design of them. And that 1940s poster is a perfect complement for them.

I am also incredibly fond of your flowers in teacups.

You've done an amazing job of filling such a small space with a bit of personality.

evie said...

I love it. It's very cute and very you. Rooms in the halls lack so much personality but you've made yours cosy and personal (and I love your duvet cover!)
x

sophiemakesthings said...

Oh, best uni room ever! I'm quite jealous, it must fill you with excitement and happiness each time you walk back into your room :) beautiful and homely, you have done a grand job :) xxx

VicissitudiniLombarde said...

Lovely photos! Nice post ;)

http://vicissitudinilombarde.blogspot.com/

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

Well done, the place is really homey already and I expect you'll be adding to it a bit throughout the year. I just moved into a new room too and have been busy, though decorating has never been my forte. I agree about the bold-print duvet cover however!

sarah. said...

the room looks so cute.
somehow-someday.blogspot.com
x

Y said...

ooh I've seen that cool caravan book before somewhere.. it IS a cool book!

katieafox said...

Ahh your room looks great! I'm in my third year now and have been faced with this problem everytime I move into my new accomm. Love your duvet cover, such a find, and I'm inspired by the cactus in a teacup idea- I have quite a few odd vintage teacups and was unsure how to use them, but I might just have to try that one!

Foxy
x

Georgie said...

Wow your room looks amazing! I've spent so long collaging posters/pictures all over my bedroom walls I think I'll rip them all down and take them with me when I go to uni :)
xx

the girl in the bowler hat said...

I love how your room is looking, I'm not moving away for university next year, and so I'm planning to totally redecorate my room. You've given me some great ideas!
:)

xxxx

Kate said...

Aw your room looks lovely - I hated that about uni, I just blu-taced a billion photos on my wall, but yours is so much more stylish than that! x

Annelie said...

Very cute :-)

Harriet said...

Your room looks lovely, I love the idea of going for a caravan-style bedroom when that's all the space you've got. Especially loving the colour added by the duvet.

Helen Victoria said...

This is a brill post and your room looks fab. Espec like the duvet colours and pattern x

MAUD said...

your room is so lovely!

i faced exactly the same challenges. how funny, i did exactly the same post - a tour-de-chambre, as you so charmingly put it - just a few days ago! isn't it so nice to turn a room into a home?

http://lettersfrommaud.blogspot.com/2010/10/wednesday-20-october-2010.html

FASHION ICE said...

lovely!!
come follow xo

sara said...

you have a charming blog!
i remember worrying that i wouldn't be able to make my rooms at university homey, but with all of my things from home there it was pretty easy to settle in. although, nothing ever compares to home of course

Joѕємα said...

Hello Sandie!
I'm Jose Manuel Ocaña Santiago (please look for for me in Facebook. In my photo I wear a hood). I write to you from Spain and this one is my problem:
- I bought Florence + The Machine's cd in ebay. And today (November 2) has come to me. It wasn't what I was waiting. And that because, it has a mini-book inside with lyrics, photos, etc.. Well, searching in Internet, I found some escaners of the mini book that it has, and the photos are not the same. This is a stupid thing, but that's the way I am. I've been searching persons who could help me to understand this. I've seen that you have also bought the cd . I would like to compare it with yours, please.

I wait for your answer.

Josema

Joѕємα said...

Hello Sandie!
I'm Jose Manuel Ocaña Santiago (please look for for me in Facebook. In my photo I wear a hood). I write to you from Spain and this one is my problem:
- I bought Florence + The Machine's cd in ebay. And today (November 2) has come to me. It wasn't what I was waiting. And that because, it has a mini-book inside with lyrics, photos, etc.. Well, searching in Internet, I found some escaners of the mini book that it has, and the photos are not the same. This is a stupid thing, but that's the way I am. I've been searching persons who could help me to understand this. I've seen that you have also bought the cd . I would like to compare it with yours, please.

I wait for your answer.

Josema

Leigh said...

what a cute room!!!

thelibertybelleblog.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

nice room!!! =)

xxx

http://kissmycheeks.tumblr.com/

annabelle said...

i really adore the way you've decorated your room, it has such a genuine vintage feel to it. i'm moving to london on sunday to start a new job and will get a whole new blank canvas in white-washed walls too, so this post has been really helpful in giving me some great inspiration, thanks lovely! x

Raquel said...

these are all such nice pictures!
love your shoes and duvet, can't believe it was only 3£!

Moe said...

I love your blog! I am popping by from an etsy giveaway thread. I am now following your blog, its so cute & inspiring. I'll have to check out that book :)

Victoria said...

decorating and making my university room into something i'd love was by far the best part of moving! yours is so cute, i can get a sense of you as a person from it!

http://victorialoraine.blogspot.com/

Bibi said...

the caravan book seems so cute, its been on my amazon reccomends before but i wasn't too sure what it'd be like , now i kinda want to buy it hehe. So many thrifty finds in your room and its absolutely gorgeous! the blue, green and yellow work so well! im also a university student and found it hard at first, its looking a bit more my own now with lime bedcovers accents of red, huge stacks of books, and for a recent thrifty find i got a house style terarium for my venus fly trap. all the little pieces you've used just work together seemlessly ...
a lovely blog too btw a recent follower
bibi