Dress Your Room for Less

Olivia Wilson gives her tips on how to make your uni room a little less hellish

9th November 2015

For many students, the prospect of transforming a lifeless room on a budget of almost nothing seems like an impossible task. However, you can put those pennies away, as this article will show you the various ways to decorate your room for less.

Let’s start with the big and scary matter: furniture. No, it doesn’t come cheap…but it can come free! This is a secret that everyone should know about. There are a magnitude of resources out there allowing locals to exchange or simply give away unwanted items. ‘Freecycle’ is ideal if you are looking for a sofa, tables, chairs and even a television!


Living in a house of eight girls was a blessing for décor inspiration. Everyone had different styles and various creative outlets. I learnt that you first need to decide what you want your room to say about you. Do you wish to create a calming atmosphere? Or perhaps a girly room is more suitable? Maybe a room filled with memories of travel and adventure?

candleONLINEOnce you have decided you can begin decorating. Now you’ve tackled the main bulk furniture (without spending a single penny), you can focus on the details. This is vital if you wish to transform your room entirely. If you have a large room, I discovered that beautiful wall hangings are great at filling big walls and stops the room looking unloved and empty. Wall hangings are available on Ebay for as little as £1, with a range of styles, patterns and colours to choose from.

“All you need are scented candles to create a welcoming, warm light”

The next step is to add a personal touch. The likes of Vistaprint and Snapfish are great for printing pictures in bulk for under a fiver. Stick them to your wardrobe, bedroom door and walls. You can aluminate these pictures with fairy lights for as little as £3!

If you have chosen a wall hanging, it is likely this will dictate your room’s colour scheme, so head down to Wilco for beautiful budget curtains and duvet set to unify your room.

Time for the final few touches, Tesco often sells flowers that are yet to bloom at the end of the week for 10p - arrange in a cup or tea tin for a homely rustic look. If you don’t fancy flowers, any other plant (real or fake) will do. This can all be done for under five quid!

It’s been a long day decorating and it’s time to relax, so all you need are scented candles to create welcoming, warm lighting, whilst making your room smell delightful, for just £1 each!

I have witnessed many male friends try and fail to decorate their bedrooms, often in the space of five minutes. While I don’t want to make generalisations, I have tailored this part of my article for such males; here are the quick and easy ways to decorate your room…

Posters, of anything or anyone, from bands to films: you can get three for a tenner at the SU in the Freshers Fair and for under £10 in HMV and online. All you need is Blue Tac and patience. Just fill your walls with them - already your room will have more personality. You can also let people know all the cool bands you’re into without actually having to converse with anyone beneath you.

Next, pick your favourite colour and stick to it. This will bring all aspects of the room together - rugs (which you can get cheaply on Ebay), duvet sets, dressing gowns hanging behind your door (head down to Primark), and towels that will inevitably be lying around.

If you’re into sport or music make it obvious to your guests – take your guitar out of the case and your hockey stick out of the cupboard, and put it on display. This will give your room more character - it takes no effort and costs nothing!

No coffee table? No worries! Get a metal waste bin for a few quid at any homeware store. Just turn it upside down to create a cool, modern and unique bedside table!

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