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Room decorating inspo

By ResLife1 09 Jul 2021

The environment we are surrounded by plays an important role in our daily life. It does not only affect our moods, but it also shapes our view of the outer world and, in the long run, influences our personalities. 

The architecture and general arrangement of space give us hints on the personality of the person inhabiting the space. The opposite is also true, that people’s personality shapes and influences space. The choice of certain decorations and colours are a result of the preference of a person. For example, a colourful space can suggest an extroverted person living there (Gosling, Ko, Mannarelli, & Morris, 2002).

In a wider view, the architecture and interior design are an expression of their time, they represent a certain type of society, its values, needs, taste and its economical conditions. 

One of the best things about going to university is that you finally get that personal space you always craved. No room sharing with siblings, no parents telling you to clean your room and complaining about how you arrange your things. This doesn’t mean you can live without rules and in a messy place! 

Most students look forward to having their own space and decorate it the way that most suits their taste. However, the budget is one of the things that can limit and demoralise some people, but creativity does not have limits (a quote to inspire you: “The creative adult is the child who survived”, by Ursula Leguin). A solution can be some DIY (do it yourself)!

So, let’s get started and have a look at the different options available! 

General Guidance 

  • If you are living in the University Residences make sure you do not damage the paint or the furniture. 
  • Candles are not allowed in residences as they are a potential source of fires. 
  • If you are planning to buy fairy lights make sure they are battery-powered. 
  • All the lamps and electric equipment must be proven to be safe to use. 

Please read your residence contract carefully (the guidance for room decoration is 11.1.1 in the Terms and Conditions) or speak to one of the staff members before making any changes to your room.

Battery-Powered Fairy lights

Battery-powered fairy lights allow you to change the spatial experience of a space by changing its light source. An environment can give different sensorial experiences based on the way it’s illuminated. For example, a room will appear different if illuminated by natural light compared to the one illuminated using artificial illumination.

Battery-powered fairy lights have different shapes and dimensions, and you can also find a different degree of warmer of colder tones. Check the links (link 1 & 2 ) for more ideas. And remember, no plug-in fairy lights allowed.

Some greenery to connect with nature 

Plants are a great way to bring some of the outside world into your room. They can add a colourful touch to your room and if of the right shades, brighten it up. 

Choosing the right type of plant is essential. The choice can be made based on the time you want to dedicate to it, sunlight available, colour, etc… Here (link 3 & 4 ) you can find some of the best options available for indoor plants. 

Arrange your drawer space 

Have you ever been in a rush, running late for a lecture or meeting and can’t find your favourite shirt? I can feel your distress.

So why not organise your things in an orderly manner and have a specific space for each of them? I know it’s a pain at the beginning, doing all that cleaning, separating and replacing, but the result will be worth it in the long run as you will save a lot of time and space. Check this link (Link 5) to find inspiration and get started!

Personalised lamp 

Adding a lamp can give your room a unique atmosphere and it’s even better if it’s your own creation. You can find personalised lamps on the market at a reasonable price, but if you are feeling artsy and up for some DIY check this article (21 DIY Lamps and Chandeliers you can create from everyday objects” Link 6) and have fun creating your own Chandelier. 

Have a pin-board (especially for work submissions and deadlines)

Ok, down to more serious stuff now! So, let’s find some ideas on how to organise all the deadlines and, in general, your Uni work. 

One of the best options is having a deadline board. Usually, the University Residence rooms will have a board so all you need to do is write that checklist and start working. In case your room does not have a pinboard you can buy one. There are some really cheap ones out there! Here are some tips on how to organise your board (Link 7).


A more affordable and damage-free option to wallpaper is using a tapestry. You can find them in all the colours and with different patterns. So get your designer intuition to work and have fun adding a colourful touch to your room. Here is a link you can use for reference (Link 8).

Pillows & Cushions

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential if you want to maximise your potential to study. Most students do not take it seriously and, in the long run, end up overstressed and having concentration problems while studying. 

So it is important that your sleeping place is comfortable and inviting. Pillows and cushions play an important role in ensuring this and, if of the right colour and material they can become essential equipment in decorating your room. Here you can find some cool pictures for inspiration (Link 9). 


Photos eternalise a single instant of life. A photo is basically freezing time and capturing it on a piece of paper. Through photos, you can bring the people and things you love into your new home, even if it’s a temporary one. There are multiple ways of arranging photos: from frames to a picture-wall, from hanging them to pinning them to a board. It’s really up to you and your imagination to arrange them in a creative way. Here’s a link with some ideas you can get inspiration from (Link 10).


Are you an avid traveller and love the idea of visiting new places around the world? If yes, having a world map where you can pin all your favourite places is a must.

It doesn’t necessarily need to be something fancy. You can buy a really cheap one and personalise it if the colour is in harmony with your room’s general arrangement than you are good to go. Here you can find some great ideas (Link 11). 

Posters, paintings and sketches 

Posters, paintings and sketches add a personal touch. You can unleash your creativity and start mixing colours and techniques. Painting and drawing also help in lowering stress levels. 

Here are some ideas for easy sketches (Link 12

Reed diffusers

Reed diffusers is a great way to keep you room always smelling nice. It's an affordable and safe option too. 

Note: If you are staying in one of the Cardiff University residence halls you are not allowed to keep candles, incense or plug-in air fresheners in your room as they are a potential fire hazard.


A nice colour bedding can completely change the atmosphere of a room, it can make it look brighter or darker based on the light and time of the day. It is essential to choose something that will be comfortable and easy to wash. Here are some guidelines on how to choose the right material (Link 13)

Mason jars

If you are in the mood for some DIY, you can create great decorations for your room/flat using mason jars. All you need is some paint and a lot of creativity. Here you can find ways to recycle you mason jars (Link 14).

Bean bag

Sitting in a comfy bean bag and watching something good after a tiring day of lectures sounds close to the definition of happiness. 

So why not buy a bean bag or make your own one? It sounds really difficult but once you learn it’s really fun. Or you can always buy one online. Here is some guidance on how to create your own (Link 15).


  • Do not damage the walls, carpets, or furniture.
  • No candles or plug-ins. 
  • Only battery-powered fairy lights allowed. 
  • Electric items must be tested and safe to use.

As always, check your Ts & Cs, or ask your Resi manager for help!



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