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How to make your uni accommodation a home

By UALHalls 16 Oct 2023

*This article was written by Cordwainers Court's Marketing Lead, Molly*

Before moving to Cordwainer’s Court, I moved away from my home in Glasgow to a remote Scottish island for a live-in hospitality job.

Over those few months, I was living a heavenly existence – a perfect hippy summer exploring an island whilst making life-long friendships. However, half-way through my contract, I felt really sad and overwhelmed. I was homesick.

To cope, I swam in the sea every day, watched ratatouille weekly, got my mum to send all my posters from home and taught her how to video call me.

Naively, I didn’t expect to miss home when I moved to London. I’d been desperate to get into my course – and I was moving to the centre of the universe: London!

However, a month in, there are many things I miss about home. I miss people who smile at you in the street, crappy tv on a weeknight, Scottish accents, my dad’s homemade tattie scones, cuddles from my dog, and talking to people who know you inside and out...

Luckly, moving around has taught me a couple of tricks. Here’s how I’ve started to make Cordwainer’s my home:

Personalise your space 🧸

On move-in day, my flatmate (or rather her parents) lifted all her furniture up to fit in a gigantic rug. She also has a giant vintage leopard print lamp, both of which remove the sterile, uniform feeling of a uni accommodation room.

You don’t have to go to this extreme – start with your pinboard, get it covered! Check out the Dalston Carboot for funky prints and décor.

posters and pictures hung up on a pinboard

Never too many plants 🪴

My plant has become a substitute for my dog. I have weekly reminder on my phone to water it. I think I’d have to mourn for at least a day if it died.

Don’t abandon decorating your kitchen – stick a plant in there.

a vase of flowers sitting on top of a green plant

Wander 🚶‍♀️

I’ve now realised exploring London is a never-ending task – and that’s the magic of living here.

However, there is comfort in knowing your local area. Simply going on walks has helped me find some hidden gems.

For example, in Broadway market The Dove sells lifechanging cherry beer and Lot Projects is a tiny gallery space that has always has fun exhibitions on (the last one was all about pigeons).

Don’t eat in your room 🥐

It’s so tempting to eat in bed… but use mealtimes as a way of socialising with your flatmates.

I made a huge batch of choc chip cookies in my first week (using Jane’s Patisserie NY style choc chip recipe) and they immediately created a friendly atmosphere.

Whilst cookies are great, offering someone a cup of tea is equally as effective. ☕️

Stay in contact 📱

Personally, I love a video call. If no one’s in the kitchen I video call someone as I cook.

However, I get overwhelmed with text messages. So, I’ve started sending my friends homemade cards. I like taking time on the design of the card and I fill them with random thoughts and ideas.

Meet someone from home 🫂

I’ve been so lucky that one of my flat mates is from Glasgow, my hometown. We’ve discussed what it’s like to move to London and I’m trying to convince him to come to a ceilidh with me. It’s really comforting hearing a familiar accent.

If you’re not quite as lucky as me, there are so many cultural societies at UAL and community spaces around London that it should be easy to mirror this situation.

Come to the common room 🛋️

The common room in Cordwainers is our living room. It’s our space to relax, to pre, to study, to stare at the goldfish, to master pool, to watch big brother and to simply sit on a sofa.

It allows us to meet everyone in our accommodation. Cordwainers only has around 100 occupants – so everyone can become friendly faces to one another, if not friends.

If you’re ever needing company or something to do, check the common room. Halls Life runs events throughout the week in this space. There is always an events calendar on one of the blackboards and the events are posted on Discord.

If you’ve not been using the common room, definitely give it a go and start!

Be patient 😇

The settling process can be rough. I wish there was a way of fast-forwarding my life to the point where I’ve found my tribe and London doesn’t feel vast in a daunting way, instead it feels vast in a thrilling, exciting way.

All of this will happen, but it’s only been a month! Take time to reflect on all the positives that this move has brought and all the things you’ve accomplished in such a short period of time.

I’ve not quite mastered the public transport, but I make it to uni on time most days… I’m proud of that.

Ultimately, I think what makes a house a home is the feeling of comfort in your surroundings which is generated by the people around you. A month in, I know that Cordwainer’s is filled with friendly, creative, caring people and I predict that in a year’s time, when I’ve left halls, I’ll be feeling homesick for Cords. ❤️

If you are thinking about applying to Cordwainers Court, or any of our halls and would like more information about them, please contact our team.

You can call us on +44 (0)20 7514 6240 or email us at