Home: your happy place

The thought of decorating your living space sounds exciting or dreadful depending on the type of person you are. Either way, your home should be a place you look forward to ending each hard day of being a college student.

If your room is custom-made, designed for you and by you, it can become a personal sanctuary based on your unique style and personality.

The power is in your hands and creativity is not a required skill. If you are an innovative, “think outside the box” type of person, well, lucky for you. Not all of us are blessed with those abilities, but we do all have the potential to create our dream home.

Your room should be a reflection of who you are. Every piece of décor should express your individuality. That’s how you turn your room into a happy place.

Simplicity is an easy way to start. If you begin by covering up those plain white walls, you can find other details of your room based off what’s on the walls.

A few ideas include varying sizes of artwork, posters, tapestries or anything framed to cover significant portions of bland wall space. A great place to start looking is Amazon, because what don’t they have?

An alternative to shopping online and in basic stores is thrifting. Purchasing room decor from thrift shops gives back to your community, reduces waste and saves money. What you find will be incredibly distinctive because chances are no one else will have those same treasures.

When shopping for clothes, a good strategy is not to buy anything unless you can’t fathom the idea of leaving the store without it. The same rule applies when it comes to your home.

You’re going to be staring at it for quite a while and spending hard-earned money, so if what you buy doesn’t resonate with your soul, then it’s not worth it.

Buy items that give you joyful, fuzzy feelings when you look at them. It should make you smile or become completely mesmerized, so your eyes — and your heart — never get bored.

I haven’t met one person who doesn’t love Christmas lights, whether the colorful or plain white ones, so my advice here is to get some stringed lights and be creative. Hang them over your curtains, across the ceiling or maybe around the edges of the ceiling, surrounding yourself with relaxed, low lighting.

We’re in school and work all day, so we’re constantly in bright light settings, but when you come home to the blaring harsh light found in many residences, it isn’t exactly soothing.

Candles are a great addition to any part of the house. They offer a comforting feeling and aroma, plus everyone looks better in candlelight.

Pillows. Thick blankets. Fuzzy socks. There is no limit to the amount of snuggly things you can have in your possession, and that is especially true this time of year. What sounds better than being wrapped up in a giant plush blanket (or two), with hands wrapped tightly around a steaming mug full of hot chocolate in the middle of winter?

If you really want your room to be your oasis, I would suggest investing in a rock salt lamp or an oil diffuser, because both offer more than just their looks. They are therapeutic.

Rock salt lamps clear the air of pollution and dust. Oil diffusers have more flexibility depending on what kind of oil you get, but they can relax you, cure your headaches or make you sleepy. The possibilities of essential oils are truly endless, but that would be a whole column on its own.

If you’re feeling uninspired, try browsing through Pinterest until your brain is stimulated to be innovative.

What I’ve learned from decorating my own room and starting with a blank canvas is that it takes time. You probably won’t have your idea of an ideal living space completed for a while, so don’t expect it to be done right away.

Not rushing to have the perfect room means that you’ve thought carefully about each detail, and if you end up buying multiple decor items, you don’t have to spend all that money at once.

These are just a few tips from a shopping fanatic, based on my experience of trial and error. I wish you all the best of luck in designing your personalized homes.