Live stylish on a budget.

Posted by Emma Debson on

Live stylish on a budget

There are many ways to live stylishly on a budget. As a student, you will have more freedom in a house rather than halls, simply because of the space, however most of these tips apply to all types of accommodation.

The most important thing when decorating your flat is to know your own taste. There is no need to fake yourself at University, if you have an eclectic taste then rock it! Don’t be pulled in by brand names, there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat but 9/10 times you can get what you’re looking for elsewhere and cheaper.

Photo by Andrea Davis 

A great way to decorate your bedroom is to use artwork or photos. A selection of black and white photos can look bold in frames or by themselves. Polaroid photos of you and your friends and family can be made using a printer and some photo paper (which is surprisingly cheap). If you are good at sourcing bargains, then a striking art piece can be a great way to add personality to a room.

Making use of fabrics in your home is an easy way to give the illusion of style. A well-known interior design trick is to have a plain colour bed linen and work around that. For example, a crisp white bed set with a few patterned cushions and a lively throw can set a great precedent for a room. Fabric can be used in many ways, be it a set of blinds, a rug, or a wall drape so make use of them wisely. Both ideas are Landlord friendly ways to add your style without losing your deposit.

A bathroom is a functional room but there is no reason for it not to look good. The first thing to think about when styling up your living space is the colours that you use. In a student house it is unlikely you can paint the walls, but you can make use of colours in other ways. Use a jazzy mug for your toothbrushes, have a bright hand towel, replace your shower curtain for one of you choosing. Of course, if you remove something that was provided for you, keep it and replace it once you have ended your tenancy.

This one is a bit off the wall but a simple, yet space saving trick is to have a small hostess trolley. A double or triple tiered trolley will have enough space to keep your toiletries, personal products, and toilet rolls without looking cluttered.

In a kitchen is it not always wise to skimp on important items. For the essential items i.e.: microwave, kettle, frying pan etc., buy quality and things will last longer. That £2 frying pan is a great price but if it melts the first time you make bacon it isn’t good value. Of course, good value doesn’t mean brand new. Don’t disparage secondhand shops as they often have some brilliant gently used bargains.

If you’re looking to create a particular look in your kitchen secondhand shops are the way to go. Mismatched crockery can be an endearing and stylish look. Vases and jugs can be found for as little as 20p, so can important additions such as clocks, throw cushions, and trays.

In a student kitchen it can sometimes feel drab and miserable so making your own stylish twist is essential. Fresh greenery or even faux flowers in a dainty holder can lift any room, as can a nice poster. If you are lucky enough to have a pinboard you can fill it with recipe cards or photos. If you are living in shared accommodation it can be a fun way to display takeaway menus or leave messages for your housemates.

Photo by Emma Dau

Greenery is one of the best ways to make a room stylish, even hanging ivy’s on shelves or a tray of cacti on a windowsill can add an air of sophistication.

How to bend your landlord’s rules.

No blue tac:
Blue tac can leave grey, sticky marks that cannot be removed onto walls, especially if it is stuck all year round. Things like Washi tape and command strips are brilliant alternatives because they can be moved around and will not leave any trace. (yay for a returned deposit)

No candles:
Candles are a fire hazard. Even if you are super careful and are sure that you will remember to blow them out, all it takes is one timely nap for something to go wrong. Electric candles are brilliant as they provide the ambience of a candle without the danger. If you are a scented candle person a room diffuser will offer the same effect. Some argue that diffusers are better because the scent lasts up to a month each time.

No wall hangings:
I have seen some accommodation pictures that have the most beautiful tapestries hung. If your landlord doesn’t allow wall hangings (the kind that need to be nailed in) then command strips will do the trick.

Renting your room at University is never the same as living at home but with the right tips you can find a way to make it special and a comfortable home from home.

Written by Sulets, The only accommodation agency trusted by your student unions. Their mission is to provide better student accommodation at a fair price. Finding accommodation that is right for you is an important part of your University experience, Sulets here to help you with that choice. See more at