10 items you will only find in a student house

Okay, every house out there probably has its own unique décor. But if you look at student houses you’ll soon see that most of them have a few key items in common. You may feel you’ve stocked up on items for your house since moving in the sometimes you will stumble across random things that you have no recollection of how they got into your house. Check out 10 items you will only find in a student house and that you literally will never see anywhere else but in a student house.

1. Traffic cones

traffic cone in house

Image: Metro

What is it with students and traffic cones? We seem incapable of walking past one while drunk and just leaving it alone. Whether it’s pristine and new, or old, mouldy, and falling to bits, every student house has one (or at least has had one). Some take pride of place in the living room as a centrepiece, some lurk in the hallway as people constantly debate throwing it out or not. Whether it’s the focal point of the room or an unwelcome piece of clutter, every house has one.

2. Rag rugs

Whether you lowkey got it from Tiger for a tenner or genuinely got it on your ‘gap yah’ in India, rag rugs are actually a pretty great way of getting colour into your house, so fair dos if you have one. The ultimate student item – a bit garish, a bit shabby chic, a bit ‘effortlessly’ cool – it’s no wonder most people have at least one in their home.

3. Mandala wall hangings

wall hangings

Image: royalfurnish.com

Another ‘I-got-it-on-my-gap-yah-except-I-actually-got-it-on-Amazon’ type of item, every house has at least one. Whether it’s a slightly edgier celestial pattern, or your bog-standard blue and purple mandala, I think everyone knows what I’m talking about here. Be it tucked behind a bed to hide the mould and damp festering on the walls, or plastered up in the living room to provide an edgy photo backdrop, I have genuinely never seen a mandala hanging anywhere but in a student house. Do you have to prove you’re a student to buy one or something?

4. Event posters

Maybe you picked one up from a promoter at the Freshers’ fair, maybe there was already one in the house when you moved in. Maybe you got it at an actual event, maybe you found it on the floor. No matter how you acquired it, all houses have at least one event poster. You’re lucky if it’s an event you actually go to, and it’s one you can stick up with pride – but otherwise, the cool colours are something, right?

5. Fairy lights

fairy lights

Because regular lights just don’t cut it, apparently. To be fair, they do make a room look homelier, and when you’re in a student house with beech furniture, brown carpets, mould, and damp… you’re going to need everything you can find to make it feel a bit more appealing. And in the dark ambience of the fairy lights’ glow, your house almost looks habitable.

6. Foil streamers

Again, these are often used as a photo backdrop, often found in the houses of girls who wear sequins and glitter on a night out. I hadn’t seen foil streamers since someone’s 6th birthday party – who knew they were a great way to make a plain wall a bit more exciting?

7. Polaroid/film photographs


Framing and developing photos is a faff. Student photographs are almost always Polaroids or film photos stuck directly onto the wall – but it’s a look, right? Whether they’re artfully arranged or dotted around, raw photos are the hallmark of a student house.

8. Empty booze bottles

Naturally, lined up against a window, usually an outward-facing window. We get it, you drink.

9. Cactae

cactus plants

You either got them for cheap when you were at Tesco and thought you’d try your hand at rearing a plant, or at the plant sale at The Union, or when you went to IKEA with your rents for your big uni shop. For some reason, cactae are just like catnip for students – we can’t resist. They’ll probably die every time you get one and you’ll get embarrassed – seriously, how do you KILL a CACTUS? – but you’ll never stop trying.

10. A mattress that no one wants/owns

Someone got a new one when you moved in and now it lives in the hallway. Will the maintenance men ever come to pick it up? Doubtful. If you put it outside even the bin men won’t take it, it’s that bad. And so it remains part of the furniture – slumped sadly by the front door or propped against a wall somewhere – and so it will probably remain for the tenants after you. And the next.

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