As Winter semester draws to a close and spring blossoms into full force, it’s time to say ‘out with the old’ to all of the junk that has piled up this year, and ‘in with the new.’ Spring cleaning isn’t just an excuse to declutter, it’s also a chance to do some creative redecorating.
A great way to conceptualize any visual aesthetic when redesigning a living space is using themes; they help to achieve a particular vision, while maintaining consistency and harmony among the different visual elements of a room. Although designing a space according to a theme can sound a bit daunting, in reality it can be quite a straightforward, inexpensive, and even fun endeavour. Not to mention it helps to make a living space stand out among the banal apartments that are all too common among students. All it takes is selecting the correct theme.
The nautical theme is great for summer, especially in rooms with a lot of natural light, since a seafaring aesthetic can feel relaxing and dream-like. White, gold, navy blue, and woods work for this theme because they are reminiscent of the colours and materials of a sailboat. For rugs, bedspreads, and curtains, go with blues and whites. Furniture and trimming can be golden or wooden. Appropriate props and furnishings include porthole mirrors, ship-in-bottles, and anything anchor-related. The more boating materials, the better, so rope is key for this theme—use it to to tie back curtains or to make DIY spiral coasters.
This homey theme makes staying in with a glass of wine feel cozy and comfortable. For the first half of this theme, books are important—the more, the better. In fact, an overabundance of books completes this look (think stacks or piles). If you can come to terms with cutting up books, almost any arrangement of printed book pages on a wall makes for a cozy aesthetic. Just remember, novels have nicer pages than coursepacks. For the cottage element, wood is key. This can be incorporated using furniture, but also with wooden props; oars, frames, and animal figures are all good options. Those lucky enough to have a fireplace should always keep a log on hand since a roaring fire ties this theme together for visitors.
This classic theme is a fitting choice if you don’t want to do a lot of work, but still want friends to think you’re design connoisseur. Be warned though, a constantly clean room is necessary for this look to maintain its wow factor—a room can’t be minimalist if its floor is covered in clothes and dirty dishes. Black-and-white is a sophisticated and refined colour scheme that is very suitable for minimalism, however, the occasional pop of colour can contrast the shades and emphasize their sleekness. As the name suggests, there shouldn't be too much clutter in a minimalist room. To complete the look, lamps should be slender, beds should be low, and furnishings generally clean in look and functionality. Wall hangings are encouraged, but in moderation, and smaller pieces work to emphasize the expansiveness of the walls. Don’t be afraid of blankness or empty space—just imagine how good the room’s Qi flow will be