Are you packing for university and leaving the comfort of your own home and kitchen for the first time...
Decorating Your Room on a Student Budget
By Student Cribs | June 9, 2023 | Reading Time: 11 minutes
You’ve just moved into your room at university, everything is perfect… Well, not quite. Now that unpacking is out of the way (almost), you take a look around the room you’ll be spending the majority of your year in and realise something just isn’t right. But don’t be like everyone else and start panicking as you look over at the stains on the walls (ew ew ew!) and the terrifyingly tiny size of the wardrobe, certainly not enough to fit in the entirety of River Island you’ve acquired over the summer. Whether you’re a boy or a girl, we all like to live in a nice space, one we can call our own, so let’s get started!
Let’s start off with the basics, shall we? Whether you’re a boy or a girl, fairy lights can instantly change the atmosphere of any room. No more harsh lighting to kill your vibes or blind you as you lie down for a few minutes after a 2 hour lecture. Mood lighting is everything. So, grab some cheap ones from Amazon or Primark and hang them up wherever you wish, around a headboard seems to be the popular choice. If you want to jazz them up, then grab some small wooden pegs from eBay and attach some pictures to the wiring, why bother with a separate picture wall when you can combine the two?!
You can be boring and use picture frames for their main purpose, to display pictures OR you can print off some of your favourite cool prints and inspirational quotes or even postcards to put on your desk or shelves. You can get some nice and cheap ones from your local Wilkos or if you’re too lazy to move, just head on over to Amazon and have it delivered to your door. Can’t find a frame that fits in with your colour theme? Grab yourself some washy tape in the colour of your choice and hop on that DIY bandwagon. Guess what else you can use picture frames for? A white board! Grab yourself a frame of your choice and some marker pens and hey presto!
Let’s be honest, you have a lot of stuff. But finding space for it all can be tough in a uni room as chances are, it’s pretty small. Grab yourself a plain storage box from Wilko for cheap along with some paint and start decorating as you wish. However, if DIY isn’t your style, check out H&M or TK Maxx for some well-priced, cool looking items. You can finally put away some of your shoes because you brought way more than you needed with you, as you never know when you’ll need it all, right?
Bedding is one of the most important purchases when it comes to your room. Seeing as it will be placed on the biggest pieces of furniture, it’s vital you pick something that will fit in with the rest of your room’s style. This isn’t just where you sleep, it’s where you hang out with your new friends, it’s where you watch movies and cry over your assignments, we’ve all been there. You can also choose to add something a little extra with throws or blankets over your bed, it looks good and can be very useful during the colder months.
No, we aren’t suggesting you should buy fresh flowers for your room every week, but plants can instantly change the atmosphere of a room, even if they are fake. In fact, we recommend they be fake as chances are, you’ll be too busy trying to keep yourself alive, let alone another living thing. Primark do great faux cacti, these little things can look great anywhere and can provide a pop of colour. If you want to give fake flowers a go, why not DIY a vase using an old vodka bottle (we know you have plenty lying around) and some paint.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose what kind of carpet we get in our rooms, so we have to make the best of what we have. Why not cover it up with a nice rug? We like a bit of Urban Outfitters for home décor, but that could be pushing it while on a student budget (unless it’s in the sales) so, if you don’t want to break the bank, a cheaper option could be bath mats and H&M do great ones as well as Dunelm. They’re useful for putting beside your bed, that way the first thing your feet touch in the morning isn’t the cold floor.
Your bed is probably the only place in your room that you and your mates can sit on and have a good ol’ natter. So make it comfy by adding loads of pillows to it, this could also be a great alternative if you don’t have a headboard or don’t particularly like how it looks. Just line loads of different pillows along your bed for a cosy feel. You can grab cheap ones from Primark and TK Maxx, you just have to hunt for the good ones, but it’ll be worth it.
Another great way to make your uni room feel homier is with bunting, they’re great for adding a little something extra; they’re also fab for covering up any marks or stains on the wall that you may not want to see. There are many cheap ones out there, but you could also make your own, all you need is some string or ribbon and wrapping paper of your choice. Even better, if you already own some bunting but it no longer goes with your room, grab some wrapping paper of your choice, cut them out to the shape and size of your bunting and stick them right on top.
Another cool idea is tapestry to hang from your wall. This is where Command hooks come in handy, just find tapestry that fits your style and hang it wherever you wish; they make such a great addition to any room, you can find some inexpensive ones on Amazon. If you can’t find any cheap ones, scarves can also double up as great tapestry. And if you can’t be bothered to hang them up, they make great bed throws.
Wardrobe space isn’t great in uni rooms, it’s like they expect you to wear the same things year round, there’s just about enough space for all my coats! If, like everyone else, you’re struggling with the lack of space, grab yourself the famous Ikea Skubb. They come in various colours and sizes with loads of compartments. Great for t-shirts or shoes, these allow you to maximise your limited space while helping you remain organised, because we all know how hard that is at university. If you aren’t near an Ikea or can’t bear the maze of a shop floor, Wilkos do a great one too!
In case you didn’t understand the importance of Command hooks to make life simple (seriously, check them out), here’s a great tip to help you make the most of your space. Stick a few Command hooks to the outside of your wardrobe, like the door or the side, and use it to hang coats or whatever you want.
Reed diffuser/Room spray
You may not think of this at first, but trust me when I say it will soon feel like a necessity. Think about it, how many people have stayed in the very same room you’re staying in? Exactly. Bet it doesn’t smell that great, huh? Reed diffusers are great for helping any room smell wonderful and are a safer alternative to candles as most student accommodations do not allow candles. Better to be safe…
Mirrors are magical, not just because they show you exactly what you look like before you leave, but because they can instantly make your room look bigger. Living at a uni room means you can’t drill holes in your wall to hang a mirror up, but you can use (yes, you guessed it) Command strips! Those things are the best invention since sliced bread. If you don’t want to do that, head over to Argos or Wilkos and hunt down an over the door mirror. They’re perfect for selfies, do it for the ‘Gram.
These tips are sure to bring some life to your uni room, so why not give them a go? You might be thinking why should I bother decorating a room I’ll be moving out of in less than a year? Well, your room is your home for the next year; you’ll be spending more time in there than you think so don’t just leave it the way it is, make it your own! Just imagine how impressed your parents will be when they visit you. Just make sure to keep it clean and tidy, too!
Looking for a crib? Check out our Student Cribs, we are sure you’ll find the perfect crib to decorate!