For most teens going off to university, this will be their first time living away from home and, whilst the thought is a quite an exciting one, the reality of living in a drab room in halls will soon have them crying out for some personal touches to make the room a little more homely.
Because of renting restrictions though, there are limited options when it comes to making over the room. Handy’s (handy.com) DIY expert, Joseph Beeby, shares his top five damage-free DIY tips to help you transform your teen’s room without risking the wrath of the building manager when the year is up.
Change the handles on your doors – One of the most simple and reversible ways to add a bit of personality to a room is to change the handles on your wardrobe doors and drawers. Simple yet effective. It’s a case of simply unscrewing the handles and screwing back in the ones of your choice. Just make sure to put the original ones in a safe place ready to swap back at the end of the year.
Upcycle your furniture – With all that reading they’re going to have to do, a bold wooden chair in the corner of the room will not only make for a great place to study, it will add a great pop of colour to the bland room. This needn’t break the bank either. Take an old wooden chair, or find one for a couple of pounds at your local car boot sale, sand it down and simply paint it with the colour of your choice. Add a nice comfy cushion and their study chair is good to go!
Hang pictures without a trace – If you can’t paint or wallpaper it, the best thing you can do to break up a bland wall is to hang some artwork or photographs. That said, the last thing you want to do is hang a series of picture hooks, as this is guaranteed to breach the rental contract. Similarly, most landlords will charge for repainting if the walls are even slightly damaged, so that means anything that leaves a residue, such as Blu-Tack is out of the question too. The simplest way to hang pictures is by using Command strips. These are heavy duty adhesive strips that are specifically designed to attach things to the walls and can be bought in most DIY shops, costing around £11 for a pack of three. They’re strong enough to hold your frames and peel off without a trace so no one will be any the wiser.
Make a bookcase out of boxes – Get ready to make the simplest bookcase ever. Take some empty storage boxes, and either paint them or cover with printed paper, then just clip them together with office binder clips. You can add as many boxes as you like and arrange them however you want. You can even use boxes of differing sizes for a more abstract bookcase.
Make a stand-alone chalkboard – With a new study schedule to keep on top of, a to-do list will make your teen’s life much easier. For an easy-to-make re-usable list, take a blank canvas, paint it with chalk paint and either use a Command strip to attach it to the wall or simply prop it against the wall atop their desk. This also doubles as a useful way to leave messages for their new flat mates and friends.
Joseph Beeby, DIY Guru and Handyman Operations Manager at Handy, the UK’s fastest-growing provider of on-demand cleaning and DIY experts.
If you’re at university and involved in research and development you could be entitled to research and development tax credits. These can be worth thousands. Go to DSM R and D Tax Credits to find out if you’re entitled to this tax windfall.