You’ve finally arrived on the hallowed grounds of campus and after five minutes of waving your parents off while they put on a brave face, you now have the keys to your safe space, your shrine for the next year or so; your uni dorm room.
Let’s be real, it’s probably not the biggest nor grandest room, but hopefully, you’re going to spend the next year inviting people round for cosy movie nights, pre-drinks and study sessions, as well as chilling on your own. And if like me, the carpet was a motel-worthy shade of brown, you stubbed your toe on literally EVERY piece of furniture in there, and spent most of your money on noodles and nights out then don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than you think to decorate a gorgeous room on a budget.
1. Fairy lights
I will happily swear by fairy lights; mine have seen me through three uni dorm room changes and they make everything better. Mini lanterns, animals, stars or little bulbs – you can find pretty much anything you’re looking for from a decent hardware store. They’ll make those uni room walls glow!
Low maintenance and adorable, what more could you ask for when it comes to uni dorm room decorations?
Unless you’re into minimalism, bare walls can be pretty bleak at times. But just like fairy lights, posters can instantly add spice…and you can find them literally everywhere. From TV shows, films or anything similar, posters can be a great conversation topic when you’re still getting to know people.
I have to admit I had no idea what these were until my sister mentioned them, but tbh, they speak for themselves. LOOK HOW CUTE THEY ARE.
5. Fresh flowers
Houseplants might be a bit too much work if you’re planning on being out night and day, but health-wise, apparently they have some serious benefits…as well as looking hella cute. This is definitely one of the best uni dorm room decorations!
6. Mirror, mirror on the wall (or propped up on your desk)
Okay, pretty much every uni dorm room has some kind of mirror bolted to the wall, but realistically you’re probably going to want at least two, surely. It’s not just me, right? #vain
Unless you’re lucky enough to get a 3/4 in your dorm room and a working radiator, you’re most likely snuggled up in a single bed most nights hugging a pillow; in which case, GET A THROW. They’re so warm and soft and perfect for winter mornings when you’re asking yourself ‘do I really need to go to this lecture?’
Amazing for face-planting when you come back from a night out/hugging the following morning when everything hurts.
Uni is the perfect excuse to be a kid with all the freedom you’ve ever dreamed of, so why wouldn’t you want glow in the dark stars on your dorm room ceiling?
10. Maps and wall hangings
Not a poster person? If you’re not into bare walls or want something a little more chic, try fabric wall hangings or an old-fashioned map – they can brighten up any room no matter how small.
11. China bowl
They make the perfect fishbowls. No, I’m kidding (sort of), but just having a patterned bowl where you can chuck your keys, spare change, or jewelry can be really useful.
12. Storage boxes
You either bring nothing to uni or twice as much stuff as you really need…
These are a little harder to find, but if you’re the kind of person who loves jewelry and hates how tangled things get in various boxes, railings are perfect. Not only do they look cute but they keep everything in order and you’ll never lose a necklace again.
Let’s be real, a comfy bed is the most important thing ever. Yes, sometimes it’s better to invest in good sheets and duvet covers (thread count is a real thing guys), but not only is this bedding super affordable, it’s also seriously soft.
Regardless of whether you’ve got hardwood flooring or carpet, a small rug can give your bedroom a homely feel to it, as well as adding a splash of colour.
The only tolerable part of going back to school was buying a ton of cute stationary, and now that you’re at uni, you’re going to be spending a lot more time at your desk. So here’s the perfect excuse to kit your room out with these adorable stationary sets.
Most students are bound to have a few textbooks, yet surprisingly few dorm rooms have decent shelves – take it from me, don’t mix alcohol and horribly high stacks of books, buy bookends.
Probably a good idea if you need something more practical than fairy lights, also they’re fun to jazz up with a patterned lamp shade.
A little unusual maybe, but they’re a great way of maintaining a little privacy (especially if you’re ground floor) and your room will be looking absolutely gorgeous with the light streaming through these clever little things.
Not only are they super comfy, but super useful if you’ve got a few friends in your room- just don’t start drinking while you’re sat in one or you’ll never get back up again. Seriously though.
There you have it! 20 things to brighten your uni dorm room up on a budget. If you’re a fresher then hopefully by this point you’re feeling brave enough to prop open your door and show your room off to the rest of your floor. Or just on Instagram…but still, enjoy!