Moving into your uni room is a big stage in your life, whether you’re going into halls for the first time, or living in a shared house. 

Creating an environment that feels like “you” is so important, especially if it’s the first time you’ve moved away. From simple solutions like rugs and throws, to bigger furniture pieces that you can take on to your next place, it’s crucial to get it right when it comes to decorating your space.

Don’t forget how often you’ll be looking at your room as you spend a year there, you’ll find it easier to concentrate in a space that feels serene. Creating a home away from home will help you settle in quickly to your new surroundings. 

Our uni room ideas are filled with décor and storage solutions, DIY hacks, and the ideal way to make your place feel yours through scents. Click the links below if you want to skip sections, or keep reading to find out more.

Décor, Lighting and Storage
DIY Tips
Scent as Decoration for Uni Rooms

Décor, Lighting and Storage Ideas for Uni Rooms

Student bedroom with throw on bedStudent bedroom with throw on bed

Let’s start with your smaller solutions that will fit most budgets. These décor tips will transform your room from a standard setup to an Instagrammable paradise. 

Rugs - Let’s be honest, some uni rooms have carpets older than us. But what can you do about it? The easiest way to add some stylish personality (and comfort for your feet) to your space is to go and buy a rug to cover your floor. You’ll be genuinely surprised at how quickly it can transform your room. Plus, if you’re clumsy it’ll stop the carpet underneath from getting any stains, double win if you want to keep that deposit.

Bedding - Covers that show off your personality are cheaper than you’d think, especially if you find some reversible patterns so you can switch up on style. Duvet covers and pillowcase sets are ideal, and you can mix them up with throws. Bright blankets will make your bed more inviting, and will keep you warm throughout those winter months instead of having to use expensive heating.

And just because you’re on a student budget, doesn’t mean you can’t make your bed look like the interior design experts you scroll past on Insta. Check out our tips on how to dress your bed, make it look more luxurious, and extra hacks for keeping your covers super fresh here.

Lighting - The likelihood is that the bulb in your bedroom might not give off the warmest light, but there are super-cheap options that can help you with that. Some rooms may not have a lampshade, meaning the bulb gives off too much light. Bring your personality in by adding one that suits your style.

You can use a mirror to maximise the sunlight that creeps into your room, and always remember that side lights are your ally in creating a welcoming ambience while you’re indoors.

Fairy lights also create a cosy atmosphere, especially as you can buy plenty of packs with plenty of budget left over for essentials like food. Hang them from your window frame or in the corner of your room to get warmth from your lights, (just don’t use any sellotape on paint).

Cushions - Piled high on your bed, used as extra seating on the floor, or making the chair at your desk way more soft, cushions will act as a comfortable décor piece in your room. Buying a range of shapes, sizes and colours will add variety to your space. 

In terms of pillow style, you could go y2k and opt for flower patterns and vibrant colours (the gaudier the better for this trend). Or for a look that’s slightly more elevated, go for circular pillows to make it look like you’ve splashed out a little more on your décor.  

Doormat - Your carpet and rug will thank you for having a doormat into your uni hall room. Not only will they act as a foot wiper for dirty feet, but you can even personalise them to remind you to bring your keys or lock your door as you leave. What’s best is that they won’t cost you too much, and can come with you on your uni journey from home to home. 

Noticeboard - These are the best ways to get personal with the memories you’ll make on your uni journey. A noticeboard also stops you from sticking or pinning things to the wall (and potentially losing your deposit).

Whether it needs magnets or pins, you can even use this useful piece of décor to add the boring stuff like reminders and deadlines for your course. Believe us, organisation can be fun when you make it super-visual.

Wooden in-tray on student's desk, filled with notesWooden in-tray on student's desk, filled with notes

Desk Accessories - The little things that make a big difference when it comes to revision or essay-writing. Try to come prepared with a magazine rack or in-tray to hold all those important files and papers, which will keep your space clutter-free while you’re cramming in some last-minute work. Even in this digital age, you’ll likely use more paper than you expect. So having somewhere to keep your all-important notes is crucial. Just remember to recycle everything once you’re done.

Small extras like pen pots and a whiteboard for note-taking (much better for the planet than sticky notes) will make all the difference to making your desk space uniquely yours. You can even use desk accessories to help you concentrate, instead of using this online Pomodoro timer for focusing you could use an actual kitchen timer to be more productive. 

Now you know about the little décor pieces that can transform your space, it’s time to talk about plants. Adding green life to your room always looks great on Insta, and can bring drab-looking uni rooms to life.

If you’re an amateur plant killer, dried flowers are the way forward as they add beautiful colours to your room. Best of all, they require literally no looking after once bought so can follow you around forever on your uni journey.

Dry flowers and small framed picture on side table, black foor lamp next to itDry flowers and small framed picture on side table, black foor lamp next to it

For those of you that are a little more green-fingered, why not try keeping some live plants. Here are our top ten plants for uni rooms that are fairly easy to look after without needing to pay too much.

Succulents - Little pots of plants like Aloe Vera will look lovely around your room, and they only need watering every couple of weeks! The best thing about succulents is that if looked after properly, they’ll grow tiny off-cuts that you can propagate and give as gifts.

Black Raven ZZ - For when you’ve moved out of halls into somewhere bigger (if you’re lucky!).  These gorgeous plants are great for creating a monochrome or minimal look in your room, only need watering every couple of weeks, and don’t need loads of light to survive. Perfect for your uni room.

Marimo Moss Ball - These little moss balls are really easy to take care of, they just sit in water  and love the dark. You simply have to change their water every couple of weeks and keep them out of direct sunlight. Recreating their preferred habitat of lakes will help these cute plants thrive.

Calathea - A gorgeous plant that has distinct white/pale pink stripes along its leaves. It requires a little more watering, misting and plenty of light to survive, but despite its tropical nature, the Calathea can survive in cooler temperatures. This makes it ideal for student housing if you don’t want to turn the heating on all the time.

Coleus - A fast-growing leafy plant that creates amazing colourways when it gets exposed to light. And the best thing about the Coleus is that you can take cuttings and start growing them in a glass of water. Just make sure you trim flowers quickly once they start to grow or they’ll take all the energy from the colourful leaves.

Macbook on desk with fern sitting next to itMacbook on desk with fern sitting next to it

Ferns - Transform your en-suite and make it resemble an influencer’s space. Add a couple of these green plants to your bathroom shelves as they thrive in humid and warm conditions, the heat and moisture from your shower or will keep them happy.

Snake Plant - This hardy plant is basically unkillable, which makes it a perfect addition to a student home. It copes well in low light spaces, and can go for a while without needing water - so if you forget for a week or so, it doesn’t matter. The Snake Plant will even show you if it’s being over watered, as the leaves become droopy or even mushy.

String Of Hearts - A lovely little plant that will look amazing hanging off a shelf. They need morning or evening sun, but just protect them from draughts as they are a little delicate. Exposure to bright light will also bring out their lovely pink colouring, making them a stylish addition to your room.

Cast Iron Plant - With a name like that, you’ll struggle to kill this sturdy indoor plant. The best thing about the Cast Iron Plant (or Aspidistra) is that they don’t like much light at all, making them ideal for student rooms. In terms of the initial care, they do require some high-quality compost for potting. But after that they only need a little water to survive.

Echeveria - One of our favourite succulents to have indoors as its leaves grow into an amazing rosette shape. There are a variety to choose from, but the ‘echeveria agavoides’ grows green leaves with a cute pink tip. They don’t need much watering, but always make sure their soil is dry before adding any more moisture or their roots will start to rot.

Student bed with storage container next to itStudent bed with storage container next to it

Before we tell you about fun DIY you can try in your uni room, don’t forget about one of the most important aspects of living alone - storage. No matter whether you’re trying to hide the mess from visiting family, or just keeping all your personals to yourself, making the most of your space is crucial. 

Here are some handy storage tips for you to try:

Under bed storage - The first thing you’ll notice when you move in is that you may not have much room in your student halls. So getting as many of your belongings under your bed will mean way more room to move around. Plastic boxes will help with moving in, storage and any future house moves, so invest your budget in them and thank us later…

If you don’t want to go for the hard plastic solution, try vacuum packing your softer items like bed linens as you store them. This keeps them fresh, and - more importantly - safe from moisture which can sometimes occur in student housing.

A drink and snack trolley - If you don’t want to spend too much time going from your desk to your kitchen during those periods where you’re cramming revision time in, this will be a lifesaver. A moveable drinks, snacks and kettle trolley is the perfect addition to your space, especially if you want to make sure no one steals your nicer treats!

A wash caddy - This might feel obvious, but for those of you that are sharing bathrooms, this is crucial if you don’t want anyone stealing your precious shampoos, conditioners or skincare products. Keeping them all in a wash caddy that you can take to and from the shower will mean they all stay safe, neat and upright without any danger.

Shoe and clothing storage - Keep your trainer collection safely out from under your feet by investing in a wardrobe shoe holder (just don’t forget to hang this GoSmart Fragrance Holder filled with SmartScents Sticks in there to keep your cupboards smelling fresh).  

Once you move out of halls into a student house, you could also invest in an ottoman or storage container. This will keep your winter jackets safe through the hotter months, and doubles up as seating for any extra guests that may come into your room. 

Over the door hooks - No drilling needed, these are rent proof storage solutions that you can take anywhere. Hang them in your bathroom for towels, or behind your bedroom door for keeping coats off the floor. 

DIY Tips for Renters

Shelf with flowers on it, next to a wall decorated with Washi TapeShelf with flowers on it, next to a wall decorated with Washi Tape

If you’re an aspiring DIYer, but don’t want to lose your room deposit by drilling into walls, we’ve got the solutions for you. Just always remember to ask your landlord or student housing association before making some of these changes to your room just in case!

Peel and stick wallpaper - While we don’t recommend fully changing your room with peel and stick wallpaper, it can act as personalisation in many other ways! You can stick it to the outside of your cupboards and drawers to create new patterns in your space, or stick it on the inside of your desk shelving to elevate your revision space.

Washi Tape - Washi tape is a little like peel and stick wallpaper, but allows you to be more artistic with your pattern-making. This is definitely a solution for those of you who are a little more artistic or confident with your DIY. You can get super creative by making a feature wall in your bedroom, or again you can use this peelable decorating solution on your furniture to add plenty of personality to your room.

Swap out furniture knobs - If it can be unscrewed, it can be screwed back on when you leave. Change door knobs, cupboard and drawer handles out for something that’s a little more “you”, just make sure to place the existing furnishings somewhere safe. To find some new accessories, hop online at places like Etsy for inexpensive knobs that look amazing, or DIY your own.

Pitch in together for your hallway - If there are a few of you looking to spruce up your space, finding a runner that perfectly fits your student hallway won’t be easy. Why not buy one small rug each to place next to each other up your hall? The ideal way to show off your individual styles with some eclectic accessories.

DIY colourful scatter cushionDIY colourful scatter cushion

Customised pillows - This is a super-fun way to personalise your space, even if you’re not the best at DIY. All you need are scraps of fabric that you love and some pillow inserts, then you can sew to your heart’s content. One of the best things is, making cushions yourself at home can also act as an amazing de-stresser after a long day of uni lectures…

Washing line photo display - Want to show off your memories without using the dreaded tack to stick them to the walls? All you’ll need is some washing twine and wooden clothes pegs, plus a way to tie the twine to your walls (we recommend tying it around cupboards and above beds). Once you’ve hung it up, you could wrap fairy lights around it for a beautiful photo display with added ambience.

Get arty - If you don’t want to hang your photos up, charity shops and goodwill stores will be full of frames that won’t cost too much. Buy as many as you need, and start having fun by painting them in whichever colours suit your style - black and white for a monochrome look, pastel pinks are super elegant, or go eclectic for that y2k revival.

Once you’ve painted your frames, you don’t have to hang them up. If you’ve got a shelf in your room, simply place your photos next to each other. The more variety in frame size the better to create depth. 

DIY storage - You’re probably eating a lot of pasta, so give your chopped tomato tins a second life by upcycling them into stationery or makeup holders, or as tiny vases for dried flowers. Make sure you wash them out at least twice to get all the food out, then once dry you can paint them or wrap them with any leftover washi tape.

For more DIY tips that keep mother nature happy, check out our feature on upcycling here


Scent as Decoration for Uni Rooms

One of the easiest ways to personalise your room or space is to fill it with a scent you love. The olfactory system is where smells are processed in our bodies, and the way it’s linked to our brains can trigger certain memories

If you’re looking for aromas that make you think of home, holidays or a time in your childhood as a comfort for your first time away from home, you can do this through scentscaping. This is a technique that many high-class resorts and hotels use to create a certain atmosphere in their venues through fragrance. And you can easily recreate it in your uni room without breaking the bank.

As always, it’s really important to find out if you’re allowed open flames in your student room. If not, our wax melts will fill your space with up to 60 hours of fragrance, which is ideal for those on a budget. Just remember to pair them with a plug-in wax melt burner that suits your style. 

One of the best things about candles - apart from their unique aromas - is that they can double up as lighting in your room, which means you can save a little on those electricity bills. Surrounding yourself with the soft ambience of tealights is one way to achieve this, especially as they’re an ideal student-friendly spend. If you’ve got a little extra budget, wax with an all-over instant glow will make your room look amazing once the curtains are drawn.

For those who want to create a calming space for themselves to study or unwind in peace, why not pick soy candles that are infused with essential oils? The blend of wax and mood-enhancing oils is ideal for those stressful revision weeks, with jar candles that offer up to 50 hours of fragrance.

It’s tempting to spend your student loan on premium products when you first get to university, but you’ll want to splash out on something that’s worth the investment. Choose single-wick or 3-wick candles that will transform your space with long-lasting fragrance, making that extra treat go further. Plus, once the wax melts, you can reuse it for a number of things - have you ever wanted to make letter seals? Now you can, and they’ll have an amazing scent!

If the worst happens, and you accidentally spill wax in your room, don’t worry, you won’t lose your rent thanks to our wax-cleaning tips. We have the solution for any potential situation, whether you’ve got residue on wood, carpet, clothes or even glass!

Find more home styling tips from PartyLite here, see more from our latest collection here, and shop our full range of candles here.

Chris Shelmerdine