How to Decorate Your Uni Room on a Budget: 31 Ideas
16 June 2023
How to decorate your uni room on a budget? This is a common question among university students who want to make their living space look cosy and personalised without spending too much. The good news is that you can achieve the look you want with some creative decorations that won’t break the bank.
In this article, we’ll show you 25 affordable decoration ideas that will help you turn your uni room into a stylish and functional living space.
Whether you want to add some colour, improve the storage, or make your space more comfortable, these tips will help you achieve your goals. So, let’s dive in and discover how to decorate your uni room on a budget with flair and creativity!
1. Adopt a houseplant
A houseplant is a great way to decorate a uni room because it provides a natural and calming atmosphere. Houseplants can improve air quality, can also help to reduce background noise and enhance the overall ambience of a room.
Additionally, did you know that houseplants can help increase concentration and productivity? Something you might consider when you’re preparing for exams!
Finally, houseplants are relatively low maintenance, making them an ideal choice for students who may not have the time to take care of more demanding plants. Beautiful, healthy, and student-friendly, what more can you ask for?
Cost: From €4 / £3.50
Image courtesy: Realhomes.com
2. Hang artificial leaf vines
If you are someone who loves nature and wants to be able to express that with the way you decorate your uni room, consider adding artificial leaf vines to your space. As simply as it may seem, it makes all the difference and enhances a room entirely.
You can even tie in your light strings and intertwine it with the vines to add even more decor. You can be as creative as you want with it!
Where? On Amazon or in department stores
Cost: From €5-15 / £4-13
Image courtesy: Homes.com
3. DIY wall art: personalise your space with your own creations
Wall art can instantly add personality and charm to your uni room, but it can also be expensive. Instead of buying pre-made art, consider making your own! Not only is it more affordable, but it also adds a unique touch to your living space.
You can create your own wall art by painting on canvases, printing your favourite quotes and images, or even making a collage of your favourite memories.
Where? You can find affordable canvases, paints, and brushes at your local craft store or online. Additionally, you can use photo editing software to create printable art that you can frame or stick on your walls.
Cost: The cost of this decoration idea will depend on the materials you choose to use, but you can expect to spend anywhere from €10-50 / £9-43, depending on the size and number of canvases, printing costs, and other supplies.
Image courtesy: Nordicwallart.com
4. Add colour and texture with decorative pillows
Decorative pillows are an easy and affordable way to add colour and texture to your uni room. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and patterns, so you can choose ones that match your personal style and decor.
You can mix and match different pillows to create a cosy and inviting look, or use them to add a pop of colour to a neutral colour scheme.
Where? You can find decorative pillows at home goods stores, discount stores, or online retailers like Amazon or Dealz.
Cost: The cost of decorative pillows can vary widely depending on the brand, size, and material. However, you can typically find affordable options for under €20 / £17 per pillow. If you’re on a really tight budget, consider making your own pillows using fabric and stuffing from a craft store.
5. In addition to the decorative pillows, get a matching throw blanket
A throw blanket is a super inexpensive addition to your room and if it even matches your decorative pillows, it can look super put together and almost like it came as a set!
Blankets are super cosy and maybe on those days you are feeling a bit homesick, wrap yourself up in your colourful and comfortable blanket and you will feel more at home!
Where? On Amazon or in any department store
Cost: From €10 /£9
6. Use string lights for cosy ambience
String lights are a great way to add warmth and cosiness to your uni room. They come in different colours and shapes, so you can choose ones that match your personal style.
You can hang them around your bed, across the ceiling, or even create a wall display by hanging them in a pattern. They’re also affordable and energy-efficient, making them a great choice for decorating on a budget.
Where? You can find string lights at home goods stores, discount stores, or online retailers like Amazon.
Cost: The cost of string lights can vary depending on the length, brand, and style.
However, you can typically find affordable options for under €20 / £18
If you’re looking for a more unique look, consider creating your own DIY string lights using materials like paper lanterns or mason jars.
Image courtesy: Housebeautiful.com
7. Hang colourful bunting flags
Add colourful bunting flags to your room and show off just how creative you can be. You can stream these from one side of your bed frame to the other, or one side of your window to the other, just however you like it!
You can even correlate the colours with your matching decorative pillow and blanket! Bunting flags are super cheap and can be found just about anywhere.
Where: At home goods stores, discount stores, or online retailers like Amazon
Cost: From €5 / £4.50
Image courtesy: Gathered.how
8. Make use of mirrors to create a bigger space
Mirrors are a great way to make a small uni room appear larger and brighter. They reflect natural light and create an illusion of depth and space. You can choose from a variety of shapes and sizes to create a unique and stylish look.
Hang a statement mirror on a wall, or lean a full-length mirror against a wall to create a focal point in your room.
Where? You can find mirrors at home goods stores, discount stores, or online retailers like Amazon.
Cost: The cost of mirrors can vary depending on the size, style, and material.
However, you can typically find affordable options for under €50 / £43. If you’re looking for a more unique look, consider DIYing your own mirror by adding embellishments or painting the frame in your desired colour.
Image courtesy: Magicbricks.com
9. Get a jewellery holder
Jewellery holders and jars are the best and cute little thing you can add to your night stand, bathroom counter, or desk. They are super inexpensive as you can buy them second hand in charity shops.
They also offer a great storage space for rings, necklaces, earrings or bracelets. You can really choose what you would like to do with it!
Where? Charity shops and department stores
Cost: From €5 /£4.50
Image courtesy: Bhg.com
10. Create a gallery wall with personal photos
Creating a gallery wall with personal photos is a great way to add a personal touch to your uni room while also making a stylish statement.
You can print your favourite photos in different sizes and frame them with inexpensive frames. You can also mix and match different frame styles to create a unique and eclectic look. Hang your gallery wall above your bed, desk, or dresser to add a cosy and inviting touch.
Where? You can find affordable frames at home goods stores, discount stores, or online retailers like Amazon or IKEA.
Cost: The cost of frames can vary depending on the size and material. However, you can typically find affordable options for under €10 /£9 per frame. Printing photos can also be affordable, especially if you opt for online printing services like Shutterfly or Snapfish that often offer discounts and promotions.
Image courtesy: Decoist.com
11. Use washi tape for creative wall decor
Washi tape is a versatile and affordable way to add colour and pattern to your uni room without damaging the walls.
You can use it to create a variety of designs, from geometric shapes to simple stripes. It’s also easy to remove and reposition, so you can change up your decor whenever you want. You can use it to create a border around your desk, a headboard for your bed, or even a mural on your wall.
Where? You can find washi tape at craft stores, discount stores, or online retailers like Etsy or Amazon.
Cost: The cost of washi tape can vary depending on the brand and design. However, you can typically find affordable options for under €5 / £4.50 per roll. Plus, you can often find multi-packs that offer a variety of colours and patterns at a discounted price.
Image courtesy: Blog.Modes4u.com
12. Repurpose everyday objects as decorative accents
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on decorations to make your uni room look stylish and personalised. You can repurpose everyday objects that you already have in your room or can easily find around campus to create unique and budget-friendly decor.
For example, you can use mason jars to hold pens or flowers, stack old books to create a side table, or hang string lights on your bed frame to create a cosy ambience.
Where? You can repurpose objects you already have in your room, find items at charitu shops, or even check out free or low-cost items on Facebook Marketplace.
Cost: The cost of repurposed objects can vary depending on what you already have on hand or can find second hand. However, you can typically find affordable options for under €10 / £9. Plus, repurposing objects is a sustainable and eco-friendly way to decorate your uni room.
Image courtesy: Hauteandhealthyliving.com
13. Find an LED candle that smells like home to you
Our senses have a funny way of stimulating nostalgia. We all have those scents that with one sniff can instantly jog our memory to a fond memory of a loved one, or a place or thing. Certain scents can even smell identical to a candle that once burned in your childhood home.
By adding an LED candle with a warm and comforting scent to your uni room, you are already one step closer to making your room a home. LED Candles are pretty inexpensive, wherever you choose to buy one, department stores nearby will have them available, waiting for you to make your pick.
Cost: €10-20 / £9-17
Image courtesy: Housebeautiful.com
14. If your uni room doesn't allow candles, look into a Febreze Bathroom Air Freshener
Some building complexes may not allow candles to be burnt in their buildings, but there are other solutions for the same outcome! The Febreze Bathroom Air Freshener is not limited to just your bathroom. You can place it anywhere to your desire and be able to enjoy the wonderful scents of cotton fresh, or watermelon lily.
This little device begins to fill the surrounding space with fresh scents, while fighting odours by just the click of a button. You click a button on the back and place the air freshener to your choosing, and scent will periodically roam the room for up to 50 days before you need a replacement!
Where? Lidl or any local grocery store
Cost: €5 / £4.50
Image courtesy: Therange.co.uk
15. Create a focal point with a statement piece
Investing in one statement piece, such as a colourful rug, bold artwork, or an eye-catching piece of furniture, can create a focal point in your uni room and add personality to your decor.
Look for statement pieces that fit your personal style and add visual interest to your space. You can also use this piece as inspiration for the rest of your decor.
Where? You can find statement pieces at home decor stores, online retailers like Etsy or Society6, or even at thrift stores or garage sales.
Cost: The cost of a statement piece can vary depending on the type of item and where you purchase it. However, you can often find affordable options for under €100 / £85. Keep in mind that investing in one quality statement piece can be a better long-term investment than buying multiple cheap items that may not last as long.
Image courtesy: Mohawkhome.com
16. Hang a tapestry or wall hanging
Hanging a tapestry or wall hanging is a great way to add colour and texture to your uni room without spending a lot of money. You can choose a design that complements your personal style or matches the colour scheme of your room.
Tapestries and wall hangings are also easy to hang up and take down, making them a convenient and versatile option for decorating your uni room.
Where? You can find tapestries and wall hangings at home decor stores, online retailers like Amazon or Society6, or even at thrift stores or flea markets.
Cost: The cost of a tapestry or wall hanging can vary depending on the size and material. However, you can often find affordable options for under €50 / £43.
Image courtesy: Madeinaday.com
17. Rearrange your furniture
One of the simplest and most affordable ways to freshen up your uni room is by rearranging your furniture, if you can do so. Experiment with different layouts to find the best arrangement for your space.
Try moving your bed to a different wall, placing your desk near a window for more natural light, or creating a cosy seating area with your chairs and a small table.
Rearranging your furniture can give your uni room a whole new look without spending any money.
18. Use removable wallpaper or decals
If you want to add some colour or pattern to your uni room without painting the walls or making permanent changes, consider using removable wallpaper or decals. These options are easy to apply and remove, making them perfect for dorm rooms or rented apartments.
You can find a variety of designs and colours to suit your style, from bold geometrics to delicate florals.
Where? Removable wallpaper and decals can be found online, at home decor stores, or at retailers like Amazon or IKEA.
Cost: The cost of removable wallpaper or decals varies depending on the size and design.
Image courtesy: Bhg.com
19. Get window stickers
Customise your uni room even more by adding window stickers of your choosing to your window! The fun thing about this is that you can also add it to your mirror! You can be creative as you would like with this as it adds a fun and artistic pop to your room.
Where? On Amazon or home stores
Cost: From €10 / £9
Image courtesy: Quotemywall.co.uk
20. Add accent lighting
Adding accent lighting to your uni room can create a cosy and inviting atmosphere without breaking the bank. You can use string fairy lights along your walls or wrap them around your bed frame for a magical effect.
Alternatively, you can use floor or table lamps with soft, warm-coloured bulbs to create a relaxing ambience. You can also experiment with different light shades and colours to create a unique and personalised look.
Where? You can find accent lighting at home decor stores, online retailers, or even at discount stores like Dealz.
Cost: The cost of accent lighting varies depending on the type and design. You can find affordable options for under €20 / £17
Image courtesy: Hampshirelight.net
21. Use floating shelves
Floating shelves are a versatile and affordable way to add extra storage and style to your uni room. You can use them to display books, photos, small plants, or other decorative items.
Floating shelves come in different sizes and materials, such as wood or metal, so you can choose the ones that match your room’s decor.
Install them above your desk or bed for a functional and stylish addition to your uni room. But before you do so, make sure you’re allowed to drill holes into your walls.
Where? You can find floating shelves at home decor stores, hardware stores, or online retailers.
Cost: The cost of floating shelves varies depending on the size and material. You can find affordable options for under €20 / £17.
Image courtesy: Realsimple.com
22. Hang a divider
If you are looking to create some privacy in your uni room or simply want to divide your space, hanging a curtain divider is a great solution. Not only is it functional, but it can also add a touch of style and personality to your room.
A curtain divider not only adds privacy, but it can also help to visually separate different areas of your room. For example, if you have a desk area in your room, you can hang a curtain divider to separate it from your sleeping area.
Where? To create a curtain divider, you will need a curtain rod and some curtains. You can find affordable curtain rods and curtains at stores like IKEA or Amazon. Choose a colour or pattern that complements your room’s decor.
Cost: €20 / £17
Image courtesy: Remodelista.com
23. Get a sunglasses station
Fill up empty space in your room whether that be on your desk or shelves, to hang up or align your sunglasses in a stylish way. You could find decor to hang up your shades in a charity shop near you! This is a super cute way to spice up your space and also store your stuff in a fun and organised manner.
Where? In a charity shop or department store
Cost: From €5 / £4.50
Image courtesy: Selectspecs.com
24. Display your collection of postcards or travel souvenirs
One way to personalise your uni room is to display a collection of postcards or travel souvenirs. They can help you reminisce on your adventures while adding character to your room.
Where? To find affordable postcards, check out local gift shops, museums, or even thrift stores. You can also find unique travel souvenirs online on websites like Etsy or Amazon.
Cost: Depending on the quantity and size of your collection, this decorating tip can cost anywhere from €5 to around €50 / £4.50 to £43.
Image courtesay: Thewell-travelledpostcard.com
25. DIY a dreamcatcher for boho vibes
If you’re going for a boho-inspired look in your uni room, consider making a dreamcatcher to hang on the wall. A dreamcatcher is a Native American-inspired decorative item that is believed to catch bad dreams and let good ones pass through.
Where? You can find supplies to make a dreamcatcher at craft stores like Etsy or IKEA/Amazon.
Cost: The cost will depend on the materials you choose, but you can expect to spend anywhere from €10 to €30 / £9 to £26. Making your dreamcatcher can be a fun and creative activity, and the end result will add a unique touch to your room.
Image courtesy: Instructables.com
26. Hang a macrame wall hanging
A macrame wall hanging is a perfect addition to your uni room if you’re looking to add a boho touch. These decorative items come in various sizes and styles and can be hung up easily with a nail or adhesive strip.
Where? You can find macrame wall hangings on websites like Etsy and Amazon.
Cost: The cost will depend on the size and design you choose, but you can expect to spend anywhere from €10 to €50 / £9 to £43.
Image courtesy: Hobbycraft.co.uk
27. Turn a cork board into a mood board
A cork board is a practical and budget-friendly way to personalise your uni room. It allows you to display photos, postcards, and other mementos, as well as organise your to-do list and notes. You can even use it as a mood board or inspiration board for your creative projects.
Cork boards come in various sizes and shapes, from basic squares to more unique designs, such as world maps or hexagons.
Where? You can find cork boards at most office supply stores, as well as online retailers like Amazon or Etsy.
Cost: Cork boards can range in price from around €5 for a basic square to €30 or more / £4.50 - £26 for a larger or more decorative design.
Image courtesy: Heyelsie.blogspot.com
28. Use decorative storage boxes
Decorative storage boxes can serve two purposes - they can store your belongings and act as a decorative item. You can use these boxes to keep your books, stationery, or any other items organised while also adding to the aesthetic appeal of your room.
Where? You can find decorative storage boxes at stores like IKEA, and Amazon. You can also try looking at thrift stores or garage sales for unique and affordable options.
Cost: The cost will depend on the materials you choose, but you can expect to spend anywhere from €10 to €30 / £9 - £26.
Image courtesy: Thereformschool.com
29. Customise your bookshelves
Decorate the back of your bookshelves to add a fun and unexpected pop of colour. You can use removable wallpaper, postcards, photos or sticky notes. Alternatively, you can create patterns with washi tape to express your personality and make your shelves unique.
Where? Removable wallpaper, sticky notes and washi tape can be found on Amazon
Cost: The price of the removable wallpaper depends on its design. Both sticky notes and washi tape under €10 / £9
Image courtesy: Drivenbydecor.com
30. Hang a collection of posters or prints
One of the easiest ways to add personality and colour to your uni room on a budget is by creating a gallery wall of posters or prints. Not only is it an affordable way to decorate your walls, but it also allows you to showcase your interests and style.
You can mix and match different sizes and styles of posters or prints to create a visually interesting display.
Where? You can find posters and prints at many online retailers such as Amazon, Etsy, and Redbubble. You can also look for posters and prints at thrift stores or vintage shops.
Cost: The cost of posters or prints can vary greatly depending on the size, quality, and where you purchase them. Generally, you can find a variety of posters or prints for under €20 each / £17, but some more unique or high-quality prints can cost upwards of €50 / £43 or more.
Image courtesy: Homemydesign.com
31. Personalised wall clocks
Adding a wall clock is a classic way to add functionality to your uni room while also enhancing its decor. However, instead of opting for a generic clock, consider purchasing a personalised wall clock. You can choose to add your name, favourite quote, or even a photo to the clock face to make it unique and meaningful to you.
Where? You can find personalised wall clocks online on websites such as Etsy and Etsy.
Cost: Prices range from around €20 to €50 / £17 to £43 depending on the level of customisation and materials used. Alternatively, you can also check out your local thrift stores or flea markets for vintage wall clocks that can be customised with a little DIY touch.
Image courtesy: awesomestuff365.com
To Sum Up
Decorating your uni room on a budget is not only possible but also a fun and creative way to express your personality and style. By following the 31 ideas we have provided, you can transform your uni room into a cosy and stylish space without breaking the bank. And if you need to save a bit of money before investing in bedroom decorations, check our student budget planner.
Remember to prioritise functionality and versatility when selecting your decor items and always think outside the box to find affordable alternatives to expensive items.
With a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can create a uni room that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and comfortable. So, start decorating your uni room today, and make it a space that truly feels like home!
At aparto you will find stylish student accommodation with modern and functional furniture. Book a tour now to visit our student accommodations, and start thinking about how you would decorate your room!