5 ways to make your (student) room in the Netherlands look good on a budget

5 ways to make your (student) room in the Netherlands look good on a budget

You’ve moved to a new city in the Netherlands, perhaps to study or work and you’ve managed to find a room and avoid getting scammed, congrats! Now it is time to decorate your room and make it yours. Don’t worry if your budget isn’t endless, we’ve come up with some tips to help you make it look good without it costing you a fortune!

1. Give it a lick of paint and don’t forget to decide on a colour scheme

Giving your room a new lease of life doesn’t have to be difficult or costly, choosing a colour scheme and getting some paint and brushes is all it takes. Of course, you will have to check in your rental agreement whether or not this is allowed. In many cases, you will need to restore your room to the way it was when you got there, more often than not- white walls.

Choosing a colour scheme that will resonate through your room’s interior will help it look good with minimal effort on your part. Choose maybe three colours, for example, black, white and yellow, and use these in your furnishings as well as your walls. You could go for white walls with one contrasting yellow or black one and then have white and black bed sheets with yellow contrasting cushions dotted about.

This is just an idea for a colour scheme, of course, you could pick any other colours you like, but working with contrasting colours tends to work well. As for paint, check online first to see where you can buy the cheapest paint and if there are any deals on at that moment in time.

2. Adorn your walls with maps or a photo masterpiece

Perhaps you’ve already laid down a coat of paint, or you are pretty happy with the colour of your walls, but they are a bit, for lack of a better word, plain. Well, no worries, jazz them up with a photo collage to give one or more of them a homey and personal feel.

You can order your photos online or in-store by Hema. Choosing the “multi-day development service” option will have you saving money, whilst still getting great quality photos. At the Hema, you can even have your photos printed Polaroid style or as mini squares if you like.

It’s become pretty trendy to hang maps of your city on your walls, so why not go with the flow and do the same. It’s a great way to make your room look good and at the same time, help you to learn how to navigate and get used to your new Dutch city. WIJCK. has some pretty nice prints, which, if you don’t get a frame, won’t cost you a lot, but will still look great on your walls.

3. Get yourself to the nearest kringloopwinkel

A kringloopwinkel or thrift shop is the place to be if you are looking to make your place look beaut on a budget. The kringloop is usually full of great second-hand items, which you can use to stylise your room, from furniture to tea light holders.

Items are way cheaper than what you would pay for them new and an added bonus- you are helping the environment by reusing items that are perfectly ok but may have otherwise been kicked to the curb. You can also stock up on cheap glasses, cutlery, and countless other things there.

Be sure to search online to find your nearest thrift shop. Groningen, for instance, has a few under the name of Mamamini. Each of their locations has different second-hand items, with one store especially for clothes and another for furniture.

4. Visit these stores for affordable knick-knacks

Little knick-knacks or handy storage options can make really turn a room from dull to dazzling, so visit the Ikea, Xenos, Action and Søstrene Grene for items which will add that little bit of extra wow to your room. You’ll also find useful items like laundry hampers, which you will need.

The shops named often have a great range of products that will be handy for your room, and any other room in your house for that matter, and they won’t charge you the big bucks for them, luckily. Find out where your nearest store is and pop on down. Don’t forget to bring a sturdy bag to carry your haul back home!

5. It’s in the little details

It’s the little details which really finish off a room, so make sure that you have these covered. This doesn’t have to be expensive, for example, you could buy some ribbon et voila, you have curtain ties. Little saucers can be used to keep your keys on; you could replace the knobs on your chest of drawers to make it funkier, the list goes on.

In short, there are plenty of ways in which you can get crafty and creative and give your room some finishing touches. Even if you are not particularly creative, you can also search the web for some inspiration and then just pick a project that you would like to do and get going.

Do you have any tips on decorating your room? Let us know in the comments below!

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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