Decorating on a Budget – OurWarwick
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Decorating on a Budget

Meredith Whiting
Meredith Whiting | Global Sustainable Development and Sociology Contact Meredith

This feels like a little bit of a strange time to start talking about decorating rooms at uni, considering most people will have been moved in at the start of term. Life has finally started to settle down for me here so I’m finally looking to change how my room is and make it feel more homely ready for second semester.  I have just under a month until I fly home, at which point I can figure out what to bring with me, such as photos, but for now, here are some of my tips for decorating a uni room on a student budget!

1. Find the right stores

As far as I’ve found, some of my favourite places to find items for the home are ones you wouldn’t normally go to. For the past three rooms I’ve lived in for uni, I’ve used a mix of Ikea (the classic), Wilko, and Flying Tiger; all a short bus ride away from Warwick in Coventry City Centre. Even here in Canada, I’ve been looking at Dollarama and thrift stores (another place to find hidden treasures); and of course Amazon. All of these places, I’ve found, offer cheap but often sturdy enough items for decoration for uni – although sometimes it is worth splurging for the items you’ll use every day!

2. One bright item 

My bedsheets have always been one of the brightest items in my room, and even when I don’t have much around, it brings something different and much more refreshing! Here in Canada, not having much decoration, I bought a teal comforter that has definitely brightened up my room, even when it’s bare!

A photo of one of my shelves above my desk here, including the one plant I restrained myself to, and a photo of baby me with my dad!

3. When in doubt, plant it out

Plants. I honestly love them for a room and found them to be a cheap way to add something. The SU at Warwick had a plant sale on the past years during freshers, and small cacti and succulents are available there. I think last year I ended up with 5-6 different plants (that are hopefully still alive, courtesy of my parents watering them) along my window sill. If you don’t think you’re able to take care of living plants at uni, buy a cheap fake one! (no one has to know!)

4. Textiles

Finally, any form of textile use is a good way to change up somewhere. I really like my bedrooms being cosy, and that’s what makes it homely for me, so I love cushions and blankets of all sorts. I ended up buying two $6 (about £4) blankets to use from Walmart I think, and honestly couldn’t be happier with my decision, especially now the weather is getting colder. It doesn’t have to be blankets, but fabric swatches are really easy to stick up on walls as one large wall hanging, or a patchwork style notice board, or whatever really takes your fancy. 

Overall, there’s a lot of ways to decorate your room to make it feel like your own, especially in campus accommodation. I found that I settled in much better when I started to make my room my own, but by following what makes you comfortable (whatever level of decoration that is!) I’m sure you’ll be able to find a space that suits it’s purpose for you. 

Meredith Whiting
Meredith Whiting | Global Sustainable Development and Sociology Contact Meredith

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