Tuesday, 1 September 2015

10 Ways to Cheer Up Your Drab Uni Room

With summer almost at an end (R.I.P happiness) you might be getting ready to go back to uni or move in for the first time. University can be a daunting experience which is why it is all the more important make your room as homey as possible. I've created these 10 ideas to inject some personality without wasting too much time, money or space. If you've got more time on your hands than you can manage, this would be a perfect way to style your room without wasting precious minutes when you start studying. If you're not moving, you can still hopefully use these ideas if you're looking to redecorate.

1. Make a statement wall

Statement walls are my personal favourite as they provide a brilliant focal point for the room and they're perfect for lazy people like me who can't be bothered to decorate their whole room (there's a whole FOUR walls you know!). Since you can't make any permanent fixtures, it's worth either covering your wall with posters using easy to remove Blu-Tack; although be careful with removing it from the walls as cheap paint (which uni no doubt uses) tends to come off with it. I had no problem with it last year because I tried to remain delicate in an attempt not to cause any end of year fines but if you're rough, you'll have chipped paint and a hole in your wallet. I quite like the idea of a mood-board design as I've tried to recreate in the image on the right. Yes, I know it's very Tumblr and pretentious but I'm trying to keep the motivational quotes and clichés to a minimum, I promise. 

2. Stick to a colour theme 

Probably the simplest of tips but having a distinct colour theme makes your room look so much more meticulous. They said I couldn't do it, but I showed them! I painted my room at home a shocking yellow (to make it brighter and to feed my Utopia obsession) then decorated it with white accessories to really make it pop. Obviously you don't have to go to this extent, but using two contrasting colours can really make your room unique and give it an extra burst of life.

3. Decorate cushions

Fill up your room with cushions, cushions and more cushions! I regret not doing this in my first year because when binge watching some classic Will & Grace I would have loved to cuddle up amongst a collection of cushions. I genuinely believe they allow you to transcend into the ultimate level of comfort. To save costs as much as possible because we all know that's what student life is all about, stores like Wilko (which is amazing may I add) sell white cushion inner pads for as little as £1 and they're so easy to cover! (check out this cool tutorial here) If you fancy yourself as a budding Picasso, you can buy your own fabric paint and create your own designs: the paint itself is cheaper than some cushions themselves and this way you and integrate it to the theme of your room and let your imagination go wild!

4. Homemade artwork + frames

As a budding young photographer, there's nothing better than to see your work printed on a canvas. If you don't want to spend lots time adding various posters and little elements to your room, you can keep it simple and print out one of your favourite photos - it could be a candid shot of you and your bezzie mate, or even your best holiday snap. You could either get it enlarged for a reasonable fee (Boots or Asda usually offer the best deals) or get it printed on a canvas and hang it up above your bed. Again, since you can't afford to be nailing things down if you have a canvas, a good alternative might be sticky pads. If you want something on a smaller scale, try buying a nice decorative frame second hand and jazzing it up with gold/silver spray paint then putting your photo of choice inside to make all your flatmates jealous of your creative ingenuity.

5. Fairy lights/LED candles

In your first year when your electricity is included in the bill, it's nice to create an ambience with fairy lights usually hung around your bed. However, in your second and third years when you have to watch your electricity usage, I'd probably skip the fairy lights and just live in darkness instead (uni life, am I right?). If like my first year accommodation you aren't allowed to have any candles in your room for health and safety reasons, it might be worth buying some LED candles if you really can't live without them. These mock candles are totally safe; they run on battery power and some of them are even remote controlled for those lazy students out there (I'm mainly directing this at myself). If you can't find any LED candles you like, just buy some plain ones and decorate them - it's amazing the transformation a bit of glue and glitter can give.

6. Homemade shelves

If like me you're pushed for space in your uni room and have more books than you do shelf space (shout-out humanities students!) this is a great way to utilise all the space you have. It's handy if you already have some wicker baskets lying around; if not, I'm sure your friends (or Amazon) will lend a hand for your strange requests. Place some sticky pads on the four corners of the basket and stick them to the desired area on the wall (this image I found from Pinterest shows you how it looks). If you're not a fan of sticky pads then try some adhesive based removable hooks - you shouldn't damage the basket if you just poke the hook through the gaps in the wicker. However, be careful not to overload these makeshift shelves - after all, they are makeshift. I'd suggest putting your heaviest items on the actual shelves and lighter things or things on your D.I.Y shelves.

7. Personal bookends

Instead of going out and buying some boring run-of-the-mill bookends, why not use heavy items like cute souvenirs to add a quaint touch to your room? A brilliant store for little gadgets and toys is a store called Tiger -  check out the website for some inspiration. The majority of branches are in London, although some can be found dotted around the south. If you don't have a Tiger near you, you could also make your own personalised bookends by buying some papier mache letters, cutting the bottom out, adding some marbles to weigh it down, cover the bottom and spray paint the letters whatever colour you want and Bob's your uncle! (That only really works if you have an uncle called Bob)

8. Organiser!

Goodness knows how many pens and random stationary I had dotted around my room - to create some sort of method to the madness take some old cereal boxes and paper rolls, paint them using acrylic paint however you like, glue them together and you've got your very own, unique (probably not state-of-the-art) desk tidy! You can glue these boxes whatever way you like to maximise space and style. Add your own blackboard or notice board and you've got your own mini office going on to remind you of your future 9 to 5 job.

9. Heart photos/memory wall

This is probably the most generic idea (apologies) but if you're feeling homesick it gives you a lovely reminder of home. Print off your favourite photos and then decide beforehand how you want to organise them. Most people go for the classically girly heart shape, but why not push the boat out and place your photos in the shape of Pacman or a space invader? It's really up to you how you want to decorate them, but I'd definitely recommend some sort of photo collage if you're really feeling low. If you're not a fan of the photo idea, I enjoyed creating a memory wall where I would stick up little mementos like concert tickets and wristbands so I could look back on that LIFE CHANGING Red Hot Chili Peppers concert many moons ago.

10. Motivational posters

Yes, yes, I know, another cliché but hear me out here - this usually works for other people, but if you're hungover in bed and just lacking the motivation to do anything, guilt trip yourself by putting tons of motivational posters that'll make you more likely to get up and do some work! Not exactly 'get up you lazy piece of dirt', put something a little more subtle. Something like YouTuber Superwoman perhaps?

These were just some of the few ideas I have if you want to quickly jazz up your room. Feel free to make any other suggestions in the comments below (go on mum) and let me know if you try any of these for your room, I'd love to see the end result. 


  1. A much needed blog 😊 you should see my new room this year...actually you shouldn't 😂 it's horrible. Thanks Angie 😘

    1. Thanks for your support! Haha please send me your room I so wanna see it! xo