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.
“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...
Overhead lights alone strip a room of atmosphere, so lamps are an essential. A plug socket and extension lead can be handy in case there’s a shortage of wall sockets, but ensure it’s not overloaded and check it’s permitted. What could be more appropriate than a red wooden Pencil Lamp, £45, by designer Ben de Lisi for Debenhams (www.debenhams.com)?
Few students have the luxury of a sofa in their rooms, so a bed has to double as somewhere to sleep and lounge. Make it look the business with bold American Freshman Atlanta Bedlinen, from £28, and add a Freshman Cushion in red and navy, £12, Fishpools (www.fishpools.co.uk or call 01992 636 465). Offering fellow students a hot drink is an easy way to break the ice during those first weeks, and they’ll probably need endless cups of coffee and tea to sustain them through those long nights studying (or after partying!). Provide the right kit with a Dualit English Heritage Jug Kettle, £69.95, John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com or call 03456 049 049). Spoil them with something fun, like a Swan AC230 Popcorn Maker, £39, Very (www.very.co.uk or call 08448 222 321).A cartoon style Hiya Honey Cushion, £22.95, Joss & Main (available until mid September) is another quirky touch (www.jossandmain.co.uk).
A desk or table is vital and many rooms provide one. But, if not, or they’re moving into their second year house,Ikea’s PS 2014 Bureau, £145, in white or orange, is smart and practical with some clever touches(www.ikea.com).