Top marks for student style

It’s probably seems as though the years have flown — only a short while ago your little one was starting school and now that same youngster is leaving for college and looking forward to living independently.

Although your pocket and your heart may already have taken a battering as they excitedly prepare to leave the nest, you still have to perform one important last parental duty before you say goodbye — settling them into their new room.

Making it welcoming on that first day will lift their spirits and is a great distraction for you and them, especially if you’re both apprehensive (and a bit emotional) about them leaving home. Don’t underestimate the significance of the room. My eldest daughter nearly abandoned university on the first day after discovering her allocated room was a tiny, shabby cell and not the gleaming, modern space pictured in the college prospectus, which turned out to be in short supply and all taken. Luckily, a roll of lining paper and some sticky tape helped rehabilitate the dingy walls, and this, together with a liberal sprinkling of colourful throws and cushions, was enough to stop her dropping out in decor despair!

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“While moving into student accommodation is one of the most exciting life experiences, leaving home comforts behind as they step into a stark, empty room can be a bit of a reality check,” agrees Claire Hornby, creative stylist at Barker & Stonehouse.

“Aside from them meeting their new neighbours, the first thing on the ‘to do’ list should be transforming that blank space into a stylish abode, that feels as cosy and welcoming as possible.

“Of course, primarily it’s about turning it into an attractive place to relax and study, but quickly ensuring it’s a real haven can really help settle a youngster’s first day nerves, as well as making parents feel better about the parting.”

Swotting up on style is easy — high street and online stores are bursting with bargains perfect for bringing essential colour and character to a room, no matter how drab. You’ll pass the parental test with flying colours if you leave them happily ensconced in a room that’s so well kitted out, other students will flock to it...