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Home School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts Blog 2020 January 22 Eight easy ways students can brighten up their living space this winter

Eight easy ways students can brighten up their living space this winter


Canadian winters can be hard. They’re dark, cold, and if you’re already going through college, stressful. In fact, Centennial College has even done a podcast episode about how students can deal with the emotional toll of the season. Whether you’re still at home, living on a residence like Centennial Place, or living somewhere else, you might wonder how you can make your place warmer and inviting for yourself, especially when you probably don’t have a lot of time, and you have a budget to stick to. Luckily, making the place you live inviting doesn’t have to be difficult. Hospitality starts with yourself, and here’s how to make your space more hospitable to both you and visitors, sourced from Bustle, Décor by the Seashore, and So Home Market. It isn’t complicated and is something you can do on a student’s time and budget.

1. Pay attention to the entrance

Hospitality means making people (including yourself) feel welcome, and a good first impression makes that happen, so making your entryway look inviting will set the whole mood. As for how to easily improve it, you can add something on the wall, like a painting or mirror, add a welcome mat, or just make sure it’s really well-lit. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be your entryway. Rugs and mats are an easy way to change the look and feel of a space, aside from just keeping your floors clean.

2. Change the lighting to fit the time and occasion

Speaking of lighting, how your space is lit does a lot for the mood. If you can adjust the lighting in your space, it’ll go a long way to making it feel inviting. For example, if you’re having friends over for drinks or dinner in the evening, turn off the bright lights, put on some lamps, and make the lights a bit lower. If it’s the middle of the day and you’re studying, open up all the windows and let the sun in.

3. Make lots of room

Obviously, cleaning up, in general, is important. But if you’re having people over, decluttering is really important, in order to make space for guests. It’s also important for yourself, and having a clean space will make you feel mentally organized, and less stressed. Bringing it back to your entrance, again, pay special attention to keeping it swept and clean.

4. Make space for other people’s stuff

It’s not enough to just make room for yourself. Ideally, you want people over, which means you have to make room for the belongings of your guests by clearing out an obvious place to put their bags, jackets, and shoes. Again, it makes them feel invited and welcome. By the way, you can silently indicate your indoor shoes-off policy by setting up a place to put them by the door.

5. Push the seating close together

Here’s a pretty cool psychological hack: Take a look at the seating arrangements in your space, and see if you can push them closer together, and get rid of objects between them. Keeping furniture too far apart, with too many barriers makes guests feel distant from each other, and less comfortable while pushing them closer together makes people feel engaged.

6. Make it a space full of soft, comfortable things

Basically, you can make your space feel more comfortable by literally surrounding yourself with stuff you’d like to touch, like blankets and pillows. Making sure there’s some within reach goes a long way to making your space “feel” comfortable and good.

7. Fill it with a good smell

Never underestimate the power of smell, and how it makes an environment feel more welcoming. Anything you can do to make a space smell nicer is a plus. This can include: Flowers, scented candles, plug-in fragrances, even cooking or baking some good food right before company shows up, so it’s wafting through the place.

Hospitality can be a skill, so if these habits are your forte, you can actually make a career out of it with Centennial College’s Hospitality Foundations and Hospitality Skills programs, where it’s all about making guests feel welcome in the spaces they’re in. Hospitality Foundations will use practical experience to teach you everything you need to know to transition into a Hospitality diploma program, whereas Hospitality skills will help you get straight into the working world. No matter which hospitality career path is right for you, you’ll use hands-on training to learn the advanced version of these tips and turn them into more than a way to make your friends feel welcome. Come see where hospitality can take you!