16 cheap ways to decorate a bedroom
Want a haven to come back to without it costing the world? Decorating your uni room doesn't need to be an expensive affair. Here's how to make your room look Insta-perfect on a budget!
Now that you've chosen where to live at university, it's time to think about decoration. Whether you're moving into university as a fresher, or a new house as a returning student, decorating your own space is important!
As expensive as this sounds, we've found the best ways to decorate on a budget. Yes, you can have a pretty room and money in the bank! From bedding to lamps and decorations, we've put together a guide so you can get the most out of your university-living experience.
How to decorate your uni room ideas
Here are the best ways to decorate a rented room at uni, cheaply:
Get pretty bedding
Cost: £15 – £25 (depending on the shop/deals)
You'll want to bring some homely essentials with you to brighten up the room and add your own personal touch – and stylish bedding is a great start.
Invest in a pillow and blanket
Cost: £3 – £10
Dress your bed with a pillow and matching blanket if you're feeling fancy. These not only make you look like you have your life (and room) together but serve well in the winter when it gets a little chilly. Brrrr!
Primark is a great place to get cheap homeware and is definitely worth the trip. They often have sales on this kind of thing too, so keep your eyes peeled.
Get storage boxes and separators
Cost: £1 – £12
If you have a small room in university halls (or in your student house), you'll want to make the most of your space and use storage solutions. These boxes from Wilko (similar styles available from IKEA) are brilliant for the top or inside of your wardrobe, or wherever else you have space!
You may find that you have also some space under your bed to store stuff. These storage boxes will fit perfectly under your bed and make it easy to access all your faves.
We'd also recommend these IKEA drawer separators to make the most of your drawer space, no matter how big or small!
Lamps for extra light
Cost: £2.75 – £10
A lamp is a great essential to show off your taste. From experience, we'd say it's best to stick to one to start with, but some rooms may have space for two (lucky!).
Lamps are great for giving off a softer, more relaxing glow than ceiling lights, which can sometimes emit a harsh white light. Perfect for your relaxing haven.
Stick-on blinds for rooms that are too light
Cost: £3.50 – £5.50
Stick-on blinds can be removed at the end of your tenancy without leaving any marks, making them perfect for renters. And they're particularly good if your landlord has installed curtains that look and feel as though they've been crafted from tissue paper!
Cost: £5 – £15
Fairy lights are a great way to liven up a bare-walled, unfriendly house without overdoing it.
It can feel impossible to decorate your student room walls due to the rules in your tenancy agreement. We used the Command Decorating Clips to attach lights to our walls and had no issues in removing them (after following the instructions, of course!). They kept both our contract AND walls intact. Score!
Decorative vines/string for photos
Cost: £3 – £9
Got a couple of clips left from tip six? Use the rest to attach decorative vines or string (for photos) to your walls.
Vines are a great way to add a pop of colour and personality to a room without turning it into an actual jungle!
Photo hanging and prints
Cost: £3 – £10
Pictures of your family and friends will comfort you when you're having a down day and missing 'em a bunch.
Try pegging your photos to some string to display them with a homely touch – we've found this snazzy photo hanging kit to get you started!
If you're a fan of frames but are worried about leaving holes in the walls, these Command Picture Hanging Strips have got your back!
A memo board
Cost: £3 – £10
A memo board is another great way to display pictures, notes, plans and even fairy lights. And, like most other things, it can also be hung with Command Decorating Clips or Command Medium Hooks for a damage-free look!
You can make your own whiteboard calendar by using paint chips from your local hardware store, glue and a big photo frame. Adulting and organisation, here you come!
If you struggle to keep up with plans, check out how to be more organised!
Cost: £1 – £5
If you want to be super extra, get some patterned Washi Tapes to decorate your walls. It's basically glorified masking tape (remember that from school?) and, again, allows you to personalise your room without losing your deposit!
We found ours in Typo, but they can be found pretty much anywhere with a home decor section. Nice!
Cost: £6 – £15
If washi tape isn't to your taste, a wall tapestry might be. These serve fierce looks, are relatively inexpensive and, again, can be utilised alongside the decorating clips we've been banging on about!
Cost: £7 – £12
Yaaaaas to wall decals!
If you're not up for making your own design with washi tapes, wall decals are a super easy and damage-free way to snazz up walls, furniture and dull doors. You can make a pattern with them or just dot them around in places you think could do with an extra bit of love.
Cost: £8 – £20
So you've arrived at uni and there's no mirror to be found? Urgh. We feel your pain.
These IKEA four-panel square mirrors are all the rage, and when you're done with them you can just leave them on the walls for next person if your landlord/halls don't mind.
We'd recommend checking with your individual halls or landlord if you definitely are allowed to hang a mirror. Alternatively, you could grab something similar to these mirrors, so you can take it with you wherever you move to!
Cost: £2 – £8
A touch of green never killed anyone (we think?!), so why not adopt a houseplant? If you're not too good at remembering to water your babies, consider cacti, aloe vera and spider plants as they're relatively easy to look after.
You can also spring a little life into your room with fake plants. If you're not ready to become a plant-parent, they'll look vibrant all year round, require zero care and can often look pretty realistic!
Cost: £1 – £8
We tested the candles from Primark. Our verdict? We rate them! We'd also suggest having a look in Home Sense or TK Maxx for budget-friendly candles.
There are many other decorations you can add into your room, such as vases and scratch maps.
Cost: £2 – £12
Your desk will also need some form of organisation, even if it's not too fancy! We recommend coming prepared with a good magazine rack (to store papers), a pen pot and an in-tray.
Depending on your room and what you've been provided with, you may need plastic desk storage boxes to hold your books, notes and other stationery too. It'll save you time searching for those pesky revision notes when the time comes for a last-minute cramming sesh!
Now that you're a pro on interior design, take a look at these 34 things to do when you start university.