Decorating your student room: the essentials, some added extras and décor tips

Elizabeth Wittingham·13 September 2018·6 min read
Decorating your student room: the essentials, some added extras and décor tips
The mattress topper, our saviour

It’s officially the start of fresher’s week and chances are you’ve either moved into your student accommodation, or you’re set to head off in the next few days. Whilst it’s pretty great to be moving out and living on your own for the first time, student accommodation rooms, being designed to be stripped each year to then stand as a blank canvas for the next student- tend to be pretty basic and bland.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can liven up your student accommodation- check out our guide here to tips and tricks on decorating your room, through to a few necessities to definitely remember!

Bedroom essentials

You’re definitely going to need a bedroom desk lamp for all those late nights reading, watching Netflix or hosting pre drinks. You can pick up super cheap lamps from supermarkets, don’t splash out too much cash, I saw the Independent recommending one for £30! If the thing lights up then you’re fine, trust me.

A mattress topper! University beds are really not the comfiest meaning a mattress topper- basically a big squishy bit of foam to lie on top of the mattress- can be great to stop random springs from jabbing into you at random moments during the night. You can grab mattress toppers again from supermarkets or places like WILKO.

A rug! University bedroom carpets are usually on the same level as sandpaper so pack a large rug to make your room feel much more inviting. If cash is tight, you can always get a fluffy bath mat and place it near your bed, so you have something soft to put your feet onto when jumping out of bed in the mornings. Great places to pick up rugs are Primark, Wilko again and stores such as Home Bargains and B&M.

Comfy pillows- these are literally an essential. They bring more colour to the room, add style, comfort and can be utilised to prop yourself up with during an intense Netflix binge. You can grab basic pillows from Primark, or, if you have old pillows from back home, you can always grab pillow covers online to spruce up your bed!

A few Primark throws can go a long way. They’re only £4 and can be thrown over chairs, the bed or even draped on the wall to make everything seem a lot more inviting, university halls usually come with a sad looking chair in the corner of the room so putting a blanket and pillow over this can really help to make everything more homely.

A massive essential when it comes to livening up your student room has got to be your favourite duvet set. Primark have some great ones at the moment, whilst George at ASDA are also selling some really pretty sets. Getting a bright and colourful duvet set is a great way to bring design to your room.


A candle! University rooms are usually cleared out and left, with the door firmly shut, for a few months, meaning they can definitely hold onto some odours. Lighting a candle is a great way to get rid of these smells- it’s also a great way to make your room really cosy! Remember to leave the windows open as much as you can also to get some fresh air flowing through the room. If you’re looking for a candle that will actually smell strong, then you can’t go wrong with Yankee Candles, there a little pricey but you could ask for one as a going away present? Worth a shot!

Framed pictures of friends and family from back home can be a great way to fight homesickness and to make your whole room a little home from home. It’s super easy to jazz up some basic frames to make them fit the aesthetic of your room! If you would like to stick some photos on your walls, but you’re nervous of staining the paint then give washi tape a go! You can pick up lots of rolls of the stuff offline; it comes in lots of different patterns and designs, does not stain and is easy to remove at the end of the year.

Create your own canopy! There’s a super easy and wall safe way to create your own canopy. All you will need are command hooks, string and sheer curtains. Command hooks are great because they use a removable adhesive which leaves no mark on the wall afterwards! Just place four on the roof at the corner of the bed. You’ll need three pieces of curtain, thread it all onto the string and hook the string up onto the hooks!

Bring in some nature! Having a large potted plant is a great way to bring colour and an extra addition into your room! It’s also great for breathing in clean air in your bedroom, something that’s definitely void at university!

Grab yourself a patterned laundry hamper to place in the corner of your bedroom to keep your dirty clothes from being scattered over the floor. TK Max are selling some really cute ones at the moment- you can also grab a fold out one from Primark for half the price.

When it comes to the ultimate student bedroom décor, you can’t go wrong with fairy lights! You can pick them up online for just a few pounds on sites like eBay and Amazon, or, if you’d like to save on electricity, you can grab some battery powered ones from Primark to create great mood lighting for your student halls!

You’re probably going to take your dressing gown and winter jackets to university with you, and there’s nothing more annoying than getting to your room to see that there are no wall hooks. Don’t worry, for just £1.50, you can pick up some wall hooks to loop over your front door- they come in lots of great designs and are super handy!