How to decorate a student room?

how to decorate a student room

University, the most magical years of your life. You’re off on your own adventure of laughter, learning and late nights, and you may be away from home, but your university city will become your new home, at least for a while.

With so many university housing options to choose from, your student house and room will be your sanctuary, your study, your den, your creative hub, and you’re probably already thinking up affordable ways of how to decorate your student room. So let’s get cracking!


How to make a student room look nice and feel like home


Add a splash of colour

Let’s start off with the fundamentals. Your room will most probably be very basic, bland and boring, so brighten it up with some colourful bed linen, throws and cushions! Be as wacky and wild as you dare – the crazier the better. Express your personality through the colours you choose, adopt a theme or throw some random patterns together, either way, let’s keep it creative!

The same goes for your walls. Obviously, your landlord is not going to allow you to run crazy with a tin of paint, so add a splash of colour to lifeless walls by hanging up a vibrant tapestry.


Light up your life

Never underestimate the importance of lighting. The right lighting can create a warm, cosy and inviting ambience, and can easily be achieved through a variety of different means. Fairy lights are everyone’s go to – they’re cheap and so readily available. Place them around your bed or your mirror, or take it further and cover a whole wall with their soft, soothing glow.

Small, pokey, dark room? Strategically placed mirrors can be an ingenious way to create more light and give the appearance of a larger environment, and you can discover some elegant and affordable examples in Wilko.

Find a delicate little lamp to place in the corner by your bed; a convenient reading light saving you from having to abandon your snug bed covers to turn the main light on or off.


Digitise your den

We’re living in the digital age – everyone has a smart phone, laptop and weird and wonderful gadgets for all sorts of purposes. To avoid the annoyance of long cables, create your own charging point to organise all your electrical items. Turn your desk into a creative digital hub, full of inspiration, organisation and motivation, and don’t forget to keep it clean and free of clutter!


Student loan come through? Splash out on some luxuries

If you’re prepared to splash out a bit more and embrace your fancypants, then invest in a fabulous sound system to make your student room the hit of the house and the place to hang out; for all those evenings getting ready for a night out or staying in for a Netflix binge.

Want to take it a step further? You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your room throughout the following year(s), so installing a coffee machine and a mini fridge is a great shout. Treat yourself to a Nespresso favourite and choose one of their stylish and sleek designs. That caffeine boost is bound to hype you up for those 9am lectures or all-nighters, and let’s face it, we all need a home for our beer and wine hidden from our housemates!


Miscellaneous magic

Let’s now move onto the finer details, the individual items that truly transform a room. Purchase a beautiful vase, and place in it a colourful bunch of flowers. Flowers are a great way to liven up an environment and make it more welcoming, with their bursts of colour and fragrances. If you’re no good at keeping them alive, you can always opt for artificial ones or even a cactus – super easy to look after! Other plants such as Aloe Vera are also great alternatives, as they cleanse the air and have even been proven to help you study better.

Cover your room with photos of wonderful memories, friends from back home and family, to bring aspects of your past into your present and help you feel more at home. TOP TIP: peg your photos to your fairy lights to create memory threads along your walls – this also saves you from leaving Blu-Tack marks everywhere!

If you do need an alternative to attach items to your walls, Washi Tape is affordable from Amazon, comes in a variety of colours and patterns and easily peels off without leaving marks. Furthermore, placing bunting along the walls is a satisfyingly simple method of decorating your student room, and is readily available and inexpensive from online retailers like Etsy


How to decorate your student room on a budget


Whilst you’re trying to budget for food, rent and a social life, decorating your room may not be at the top of your financial priorities, so here are some super-cool affordable ways to decorate a student room.


  1. Rather than buying a readymade tapestry, visit a haberdasher and pick up some discounted offcuts to make into your own unique handmade bunting – go get your creative on! Etsy also provide an array of beautiful fabrics for all your bunting needs.


  1. Save your pennies on a lamp – purchase a basic design from Wilko and poke patterns of small holes in the lampshade to create curious shapes of light shimmering around your room.


  1. Cork boards are super cheap and offer a great alternative to a run-of-the-mill whiteboard. Choose some brightly coloured pins and decorate your board with lovely photos, memos and anything that catches your eye!


The Dos and Don’ts of decorating your student room


If you’re unsure of what you’ll be allowed to do to decorate your student room – and what are the definite no-nos – here are some useful pointers:

Rule one: No open flames – this includes candles and burning incense.

Rule two: Definitely don’t paint the walls or wallpaper, at least without your landlord’s consent. From wall tapestries to bunting, there are other ways to add colour to your room.

Rule three: If using nails to mount items, ensure you fill the holes with Polyfilla before you move out.

Rule four: Scrap the Blu-tack and opt for Washi tape or command hooks instead to protect the walls.

Rule five: Don’t charge all your electricals at once – overloaded sockets are a fire hazard and usually a big no-no in your tenancy agreement.  Use a 4-way extension lead instead.

Rule six: Smoking is strictly forbidden in student accommodation. If caught, you could lose your deposit – think of all that money going up in smoke!


For more advice about what you can and can’t do in student accommodation, take a look at our student renting FAQs. While you’re there, take a look at the lovely student houses we currently have on offer.

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