Attended: University of the Arts London, Wimbledon College of Arts
Degree: Fine Art, Print and Digital Media, BA
“I spent my college days living in a super tiny apartment in Islington, North London together with my boyfriend (now husband). Once upon a time it used to be a café, complete with a shop window and everything. It was definitely charming, but smooshed between a pair of old Victorian buildings and only 2 metres wide! We had next to no storage space, and the kitchen and bathroom were in the basement. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time running up and down the narrow staircases.”
Your mom is right: getting your 8 hours in is super important. But let’s be honest, college is about so much more than being well-rested for class. “When I went away to school, socialising and making new friends became such a huge part of my life,” says Emma. “I really wanted to make sure that this room could be a great hangout spot, despite its small size.” Use an extra mattress as a backrest. If friends come to stay the weekend, just lay it on the floor to create a second bed.
“You’re going to need all the extra storage space you can get. So I chose to use desk organisers as a nightstand. They can hold a ton of stuff and keep things tidy.”
“Think beyond the (tiny) closet and go for an additional clothes rack and a few matching boxes for shoes. And the volleyball net? Perfect to use as a room divider, but also to clip your hats onto,” says Emma.
“When I was in school, I learned really quickly that the key to living comfortably was using those hidden, wasted spaces. For example, a couple underbed storage boxes on wheels are a perfect place to stash shoes.”
When it’s time to buckle down and get to work, you’re going to need a space that’s super organised and spacious enough to spread out. That means lots of shelves, trays for paper, and a DIY peg board for desk accessories. Emma even used a metal trellis to post notes, artwork and photos. Paired with the volleyball net on the other side of the desk, you create a nice screened-off area to help keep you focused.
“Despite the fact that this is a work area, I still wanted it to feel inviting and cool. The LIXHULT cabinets have that sporty feel to them, and the bright colours and scattered placement on the wall bring a lot of personality,” Emma explains. “I’m also totally into adding some pieces you can create on your own, like the pegboard. It’s really simple to make, saves a ton of desk space, and shows off your handy skills!”
“There are so many fun sides to halls living! The communal shower just isn’t one of them. When I was in school, I found that being prepared for all the back-and-forths to the bathroom in the basement would help ease the annoyance.” Use a trolley to create a station by the door with all of your stuff at the ready. Hang a mesh bag with the essentials (think towel, toothbrush, toothpaste), and use the other side of the trellis to hang your laundry bag and damp towels.
Interior designer: Emma Parkinson
Digital designer: Cecilia Englund
Copywriter: Vanessa Algotsson
Photographer: Martin Cederblad
Editor: Linda Harkell