One thing many people do not know about me, is that I have a great love for interior designs, and the amount one can do when they are given a blank canvas within a home. So I decided I would do a series on my take on interior designs, where and when certain things are appropriate, and how best to do certain types of home. First in the series, which I feel I am well equipped to talk about at the moment, is the needs and requirements of a full functioning student house.
I currently live in a house with 9 people, and although this is larger than the average student house, it is my only experience with the subject, so this is the point of view from which I shall be writing. First thing to note about any student house, is not to make it complex. As soon as you add to many contrasting, or ‘cool’ features in the landlords opinion, students will be put off it. Keep interiors simple, effective, and practical – and any student will lap it up straight away. Students do not look for stylish interior decor, on the whole, they look for cupboard space, working facilities, toilets that do not break etc.
There are two things within a kitchen which will make a student house like gold-dust to any future renters. Cupboard and fridge-freezer space. If you have ever lived in a large student house, you will understand this daily struggle. The kitchen I currently have to use at university, is small, and that is a generous term to use in this instance. It does have a very good range hob oven, which we are very fortunate to have, however cupboard and fridge space is lacking – and often this is where most of our complaints lie. Always make sure, if designing or renting a student home, you look for spatial issues within a kitchen, as although it may not seem to be an issue from the off-set, it certainly will become one, further down the line.
2. Living Room
A living room in a student house, is the hub of all socialising for most groups, definitely in the case of my 8 housemates and I. There is no need for there to plush sofas and HD wide screen TVs (although no one would complain, if these were to be an additional feature), namely enough space for everyone to have a seat, if there were to be a movie night, night in, or takeaway together, as a house. We have an open plan kitchen-living-dining area, which sounds ideal, but actually gets cramped quite quickly if we are all cooking, eating or watching a movie. There is only enough sofa space for four people at a time to be seated, which can be a pain, but being students, we make do, and often end up sitting on people, or squashing 5-6 people on a 2 seater sofa…so sofa space is key!
Student’s are not looking for gigantic plush bedrooms, with four poster beds and a walk in wardrobe (although, again, definitely would not be refused!). Double beds will always go down better than single beds, namely because most students would like the option for more than one human to be sleeping there at once…if you catch my drift. Make sure all chest of drawers, wardrobe and bedside table are working. It really helps if there is a bedside lamp available. One thing that I believe is the most useful tool for a student bedroom is a sizeable desk. Students are at university, primarily, to work. So a desk is imperative to making their lives easier, and manageable, there should be limited 3am trips to the library if this is supplied for our use.
We understand it is our job to keep these clean and hygienic. However…make this easy for us in the first place, and this job is more likely to be achieved on a regular basis. Do not have single glazed windows, so all the mould and condensation comes through the windows. Make sure you have at least one walk in shower per house, in case of accessibility issues for some tenants. Cupboard space in bathrooms is an added bonus, for toothbrushes etc. but not 100% necessary.
All in all, students are looking for convenient, hygienic, and easy houses to upkeep.