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Uni room decor ideas: 15 budget & bougie makeover tips

These uni hall decor ideas are budget-friendly and won't dent your deposit!

Published: September 22, 2022 at 10:00 am
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With features like fluorescent strip lighting and ugly carpets, student accommodation decor usually leaves a lot to be desired! Worry not though, there are lots of decor ideas to turn your drab uni halls space into a vibrant, stylish and cosy abode, and you don't need to spend a fortune either.

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From ambient lighting to stick-on wallpaper that you can take off easily, here's everything you'll need to make a uni room feel like home!

Uni room decor ideas 2022

Cute storage

pastel coloured plastic storage crates
Gcroet mini foldable desk crates storage box, set of four, £10.60, Amazon

Savvy storage is a must-have for any compact uni room – not only will it keep your room looking tidy and organised, but it’ll also give you more room to move about in the long run and stop your space from becoming overrun with clutter.

We particularly love using seagrass baskets or foldable storage crates in bright, pastel shades – you can fold them and store them under your bed when they’re not in use, and they’re great for adding a pop of colour to an otherwise bland room. Keep an eye out for them on Amazon and Etsy or in Primark, Tiger and Typo.

Cosy lighting

Warm Modern Glass Table Lamp
Warm Modern Glass Table Lamp, £39, Urban Outfitters

The harsh overhead lighting that you often find in halls just isn’t a vibe, and if you don’t fancy sitting under fluorescent strip lights for an entire year, ambient lighting is your best friend. Think bedside table lamps, desk lamps, sunset lamps, salt lamps or even colour-changing LED strip lights – these can be applied to the underside of shelving and furniture to give your room a TikTok-inspired glow.

If you're throwing pre-drinks, be sure to invest in some neon lighting too!

Add some florals

Dried flowers in a glass jar
Bloomposy Pastel Dried Flowers, £15.95, Bloom Post

We’ll admit that buying fresh flowers each week is a little bit bougie on a student budget, but how about dried flowers? They can have just as much impact as fresh flowers with the bonus of lasting forever!

Style them in a statement vase to give your room an instant lift. If you're not a fan of florals, you can always opt for houseplants instead.

Cosy throws

Blue fleece throw on white sofa
Exclusivo Mezcla fuzzy fleece throw blanket, £14.99, Amazon

The key to a homely room is layers, layers, and more layers, so don’t forget to take extra blankets and throws along with you when you move. Opt for patterned, colourful throws if you want to inject a bit of personality into your room, or go for something more understated – like a neutral chunky knit – if you prefer a laid-back, Scandi style.

They’ll help to make your space feel cosy and always come in useful when friends stay after a night out! If you want to help keep your heating bills down in winter, it's well worth investing in an electric blanket to save on heating bills too!

Wall collage set

Danish Pastel Wall Collage, Etsy
Danish Pastel Wall Collage, from £18.99, Etsy

The cost of art prints can add up if you want to buy loads, so collage sets are a game changer. There are loads of packs on Etsy, each designed to suit a different aesthetic. They look amazing grouped around a bed or on the wall behind your desk, and if you don’t want to stick them on the walls, you can always use them to spice up a plain pinboard.

Want more wall art, but have a limited budget? Don't panic as we have 14 ways of sourcing free pictures - or almost free!

Stylish bedding

Zebra Blush Pink Bedding Set
Zebra Blush Pink Bedding Set, from £16, Habitat

A nice bedding set is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to give a room a new lease of life. You don’t have to get an expensive one to transform your space – Primark, Dunelm, Argos, Habitat and Sainsbury’s Home all have amazing sets for really reasonable prices, and don’t forget to have a look in Olivia Bowen’s favourite, George at ASDA, too – they always have great budget-friendly designs!

Fairy lights

Ivy Fairy Lights, £15.99, Etsy

It’s a universally accepted law that fairy lights make everything look better. We love hanging a fairy light curtain behind a bed and attaching Polaroids to the cable with mini craft pegs for a personalised look. Ivy string lights – like these ones from Etsy – also look amazing wound around a bed frame, over a desk or along a shelf.

Plant power

String of hearts houseplant
String of hearts houseplant, £15, Beards & Daisies

Studies have shown that houseplants can boost well-being and even help with productivity, so they're a great addition to a uni room! Check out our guide to creating an indoor garden to get you started. You can put little cacti on open shelving, hang trailing plants from open shelving or put aloe vera plants on your windowsill.

Don’t forget a stylish mini watering can and some cute plant pots for them to live in.

Comfy cushions

Donut cushion, heart cushion and cloud cushion on a sofa
Donut, heart and cloud cushion set, from £20.99, Etsy

Want to give your halls a ~luxe~ look? Cushions are the answer. Ok, we appreciate they might not turn your room into the Ritz overnight, but it’ll be much cosier and comfier than it was to begin with. We love looking for quirky options from independent makers on Etsy or Not on the High Street.

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Removable wallpaper & stick-on tiles

Green eye print removable wallpaper
Theia Gold Foil Wallpaper Turquoise, £19, furn.

Peel and stick wallpaper is a godsend for covering up ugly walls – it’ll transform your space in minutes, and you can simply peel it off walls when you leave halls without leaving any residue behind!

If you’re lucky enough to have an ensuite bathroom attached to your room, you can even buy stick-on tiles to give the ones that are already there a makeover – both the wallpaper and tiles come in all sorts of colours and designs, so you can be as bold or as subtle as you like.

  • Buy Theia Gold Foil Wallpaper Turquoise from furn. (£19)

Wavy mirrors

Wavy Mirror, Etsy
Marbling Wavy Mirror, £34, Etsy

As well as being totally practical, mirrors are great for making a small room in halls feel bigger. You can put lightweight mirrors up on the wall with command strips, or, if you’re dealing with something heavier, you can lean them against the walls for a no-damage, boho look. Asymmetrical mirrors are a particularly stylish choice right and you can check out our pick of the best wavy mirrors for more inspo.

Short on wall space? Keep an eye out for full-length mirrors that hook onto the back of doors – they’re a great space-saving solution!

  • Buy Marbling Wavy Mirror from Etsy (£34)

Add extra seating

Daybed cushion
Rohini Daybed Mustard Cushion, £171, Urban Outfitters

It might seem simple, but putting some additional seating into your room will make it feel more homely, as you'll have a socialising space that isn't just your bed! Rooms in halls are generally on the smaller side, so it’s useful to have multipurpose chairs, like foldable futons, or chairs that you can store out of the way when not in use – think 90s-style inflatable chairs or sleek, Pinterest-inspired fold-away options. Beanbag chairs and floor cushions are also a great shout!

Framed art prints

Framed art prints on a mantelpiece
Framed Wall Art, from £39.50, Oliver Bonas

Adding some framed wall art is a speedy and simple way to add some depth and personality to your space. Brands like Posterlounge, Junique and Oliver Bonas all do great prints for budget prices, and wall hangings are also great - they won’t just hide nasty paint colours, they’ll instantly make your room feel cosier and welcoming thanks to their woven texture.

Use command hooks and strips to attach your chosen decor to the wall without causing any damage!

Battery candles

LED battery candles on a bedside table
LED Battery Candles, set of six, £15.99, Lights4fun

Uni halls often prohibit lighting candles, but battery-operated ones are a fine alternative – they’ll look just as effective and won’t burn the building down if you leave them on by accident. We always get ours from Lights 4 Fun – they look super convincing and last for ages.

Statement rug

Abstract runner rug
Magumi rug, £17.99, Kave Home

Last but not least, uni hall carpets usually leave a lot to be desired décor wise, so rugs are great for covering up an unappealing floor. They’ll also give your deposit some protection from any accidental spillages that might occur during pre-drinks, and you can always move them around to switch up the look of your room too!

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