Uni Room Decorating Ideas

20th April 2022
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When you first open the door to your new room at uni, it will likely be a blank canvas. A bland magnolia or white room with little character or charm.

We’re here to help you change that.

We remember our own student bedrooms, both in halls and in private accommodation. We also remember trying everything we could to brighten them up and add some life.

All without blowing all our money or losing our damage deposit.

Fortunately, you have way more options than we did and we’re going to share some of them here.

Decorating uni rooms

We’re going to share some practical ideas for decorating your uni room without spending too much money or risking your damage deposit.

We hope they help!

Buy colourful bedding

Bedding can be expensive, so shop carefully. It can also make a huge difference to a uni room. It can add colour, pattern, texture and breathe life into a bland space.

Shop carefully and you could buy a colourful quilt cover, pillow set and perhaps blankets or throws for not a lot of money.

Not only will they help keep you warm and comfortable, they will be nice to look at too!

Accessorise with cushions

Cushions aren’t everyone’s idea of home décor but they are a cheap and easy way to add pops of colour and texture to a room.

Whether you use cushions to add to the bed or floor cushions to sit on when friends visit, you can go wild with cushions without spending a fortune.

You can also take them with you when you move, which is an added bonus.

Add some plant life

Plants are another of those student bedroom ideas that is easy to pull off and won’t cost that much.

Avoid brand name nurseries and buy your plants from smaller nurseries or local sellers and you’ll pay a lot less for them too.

Make sure the plants you buy are indoor plants, preferably low maintenance and offer visual appeal.

The easier the plant is to look after, the more likely it is to survive your first year as a student.

Lamps and lights

Lamps and lights can transform a space for not a lot of money. You’ll need a lamp for study but you can also use them for mood lighting, atmosphere and to brighten up a space.

You can also mix and match lamps and lampshades. Buy a cheap lamp and either make or buy a cheap, colourful lampshade to use with it.

Lighting can influence your mood, how productive you feel, how you view the day and so much more, so play with it and see how it works for you.

Photo grids or pinboards

Photo grids or pinboards are a student room decoration classic. Visit any of your friends and you’ll probably see one or more of these.

They are cheap, can rest against the wall or stick to it and can hold pictures of friends and family, random pictures, posters, flyers and anything you like.

Pinboards are also useful for reminders, shopping lists and a ton of other stuff too.

Sticky blinds

Is your room too light at night? Want to add a pop of colour to a boring view? Use a stick-on blind!

Stick-on blinds use suckers to adhere to the window so you don’t need to drill or leave any marks. They come in all kinds of colours and patterns and don’t cost that much either.

If you’re in a city centre university with lots of light, they can make a genuine difference to the quality of your sleep too.

Fairy lights or string lights

Fairy lights or string lights are another student room decoration classic. Look at any uni room ideas page and you’ll see them there, for good reason.

Fairy lights or string lights are cheap, colourful and can add atmosphere to a room. They don’t cost much to buy or to run and you can place them anywhere.

Wind them around furniture, hang them from your curtain pole, lay them on the floor, hang them with blu tack or Sellotape and you’re good to go.

Removable wallpaper

Removable wallpaper is a new uni room décor classic. It’s a fairly recent innovation that uses mild adhesive to stick to the wall.

That adhesive comes off without damaging the wall or leaving unsightly marks that might lose your damage deposit too!

There are now more patterns and colour options than ever before and you can buy rolls for cheap if you know where to find them.

Wall fabrics or tapestries

Wall fabrics or tapestries are core uni room ideas that have been around since the 1960s.

Whether you go for tie-dye or something more exotic, hanging coloured fabric on the wall is cheap, easy to do and can make a huge difference.

As long as you hang them carefully without drilling using decorating clips or something else, you won’t damage the wall or your deposit.


Rugs and carpets are another easy way to decorate a uni room but they can be expensive. There are cheaper options around so you’ll have to shop carefully to buy quality for cheap.

Rugs add colour, pattern, texture and warmth to a room, which can genuinely transform the space.

They don’t damage anything and can protect carpets from spills or wood floors from freezing your feet.

While they do require investment, they are a good use of your funds!

Decorate your desk

You’re going to be spending a lot of time at your desk so it makes sense to spend a lot of time setting it up right.

Brighten it up with creative storage, tidying up cables, a plant, a decorative lamp, hanging lights, coloured pencils in a jar, cards from home, a pinboard or something else.

Consider a freestanding bookshelf if your room doesn’t have one. Not only will it keep your books close to hand, it’s also useful for plants or anything else you like to keep in view.

You could also cover your chair with fabric to add colour and a little protection and use a cushion to add a little comfort.

If you spend money anywhere in your uni room, we recommend spending it here first.

Items from home

Don’t underestimate the power of nostalgia for decorating a uni room. You can bring things from home to help brighten up your space.

We lived with students who brought Warhammer miniatures, Star Wars collectibles, small cacti and other random items from home. We even studied with one person who hung his collection of cravats on the wall!

If you have a hobby, passion or interest that would work like this, don’t be afraid to bring them.