My University Bedroom & How I Decorated

Moving away from home for the first time was a bit terrifying for me. Of course, I was excited too but I recoiled at the fact of not having some sort of familiarity around me as I like to have a safe space. I had never visited my accommodation before I moved in so the only impressions I had of it were based off photos I had found on the internet and some that my future flatmate had sent me. I took to Pinterest and Youtube months before I moved out to find inspiration for my room that would help make it feel like home for the nine months I would live in halls. I hope some of you may find inspiration from this blog post for any of your future decorating endeavours but please do not expect a polished room with a jaw-dropping aesthetic because that is certainly not what I had but something I wish to pursue in the future. I will also be writing a tips/advice blog post about living in halls but it won’t arrive until after I am back from Paris in two weeks so please follow my blog and social media to be notified when it arrives, all links below.

With that subtle plug out the way, we can get down to business. I lived in Brae House, Edinburgh which is close to Holyrood Palace and Park and run by The Student Housing Company. The top floors had spectacular views that looked out onto Arthur’s Seat and the rest of Edinburgh below but unfortunately, I had a bedroom on the first floor with a view of the courtyard and therefore was woken up on occasion by people laughing and talking at 3am when they came in from their nights out. It wasn’t ideal but I started getting used to it, along with the sounds of the trains that also went past often during the day. Nevertheless, I had a bedroom with a 3/4 sized bed and an en-suite as part of a flat with four other bedrooms. There was a shared a kitchen/living room but I am solely going to focus on my bedroom in this post.

As part of my tenancy agreement, I wasn’t allowed to stick anything directly onto my walls. I know some people defied this and simply took things down for inspections and that other student accommodation can have different rules but I followed them simply because I had enough pinboard space for everything I needed.

When I moved into my new room, I didn’t really put anything on the pinboard above my desk but as time went on, I added many things to my collection. A couple of photos went up along with concert tickets, programmes from my own orchestra concerts, and two puppy calendars that I got for Christmas. It was also home to my growing sunglasses collection which I did show in this post on my Instagram story from less than a month ago, I think I have one or two more pairs now. My lanyards were also hung up on my pinboard there as it meant that I didn’t lose them and always remembered to take them with me when I left my flat. I wish I could say the idea was my own, but I did copy Abbie when I visited her flat for the first time.

As you can see, the square shelves around my desk were a little bit untidy but they all had particular spaces for my things.

  • Two were dedicated to folders, notepads and cello music
  • One for hats, scarves, gloves and other things for when I go out like my umbrella
  • One for any electrical related items such as chargers, cameras and my laptop case
  • One for ‘beauty.’ My jewellery box, straighteners, nail polishes, perfume etc
  • And finally, one on my desk for my lap tray and sticker collection

Whilst they may look cluttered in the photo, it gave me a system that I quickly became used to so I could easily locate all my stuff. On occasion, I would look at it and go a little crazy because it reminded me of how much unnecessary stuff I had brought. Over summer I plan on having a huge clear out and have already started with my clothes, with a bag filled and soon off to charity.

I tried to minimise the amount of stationary that was on my desk with a fabulously large holder that I found on Amazon. It managed to hold most of my things from pencils and pens to paperclips and stamps. Larger necessities like my stapler and hole punch lived in a miniature shopping basket from Flying Tiger Copenhagen. I have one in my parents’ home too but forgot to bring it with me which is why I bought another. Some of my pen sets like my pastel highlighters and Stabilo pens were displayed separately because I love to show off my colourful stationery. When I was packing everything away in my last week, it was rather satisfying to see it all together in one box.

This little photo frame was the perfect addition to my room. I’m obsessed with cacti (as you’ll soon see) so when I saw that it was on sale in Paperchase, I snapped it up immediately. I plan on having a lot more of my photos displayed in my new room when I move in August but I’m still debating on matching photo frames or a more eclectic mix.

I always thought of the shelves above my bed as my ‘cactus shelves’ because there was an unintentional theme to them when I moved in. My plants went up there along with this button photo frame which had a picture of Dan and me in a greenhouse before I changed it to a more recent photo. As time went on, I gained a few more plants which also made it to the shelf as well as a colour changing cactus light. These shelves were definitely my favourite part of my room as they were super useful especially because I had a USB charging point directly above my bed which was great for charging my phone. As all my DVDs and books were housed here, it was very much my relaxation nook. In the evenings I would curl up in the corner of my bed with all my pillows and a blanket to read, watch a film or write another blog post.

In my bedroom at home, I have a huge tapestry that was given to me for my birthday by my friends. I did plan on bringing it to Edinburgh to hang up in my room like I saw in lots of dorm room tour videos on Youtube but it was too big to put on my pinboard above my bed. It will be up in my new room when I move into my new flat (I have big plans for it) but for my university halls, I had to decorate it differently to my original plans. Instead, I decided to string up al my polaroid pictures which were developed as a birthday present for me. I dotted other things I had, like postcards, prom photo booth pictures and quotes on my wall, to create a sort of collage of my life so far.

I collect a few things whenever I travel, one of them being postcards. Some are to remember a destination that I’ve been to, others are just there to make me giggle. I have this hanging pocket frame that allows me to display many of them at a time. Though as I have picked up a fair few over the years, I regularly swap them out with others to ensure they all get time at the front. I hung it on the outside of my bathroom door and it made a somewhat empty part of my room more cheery.

The en-suite in my room wasn’t particularly big but as I haven’t had an en-suite room before it was a nice little upgrade for me. There weren’t any cupboards or drawers for me to put my things in so I just had a basket in the corner filled with cleaning supplies and extra toiletries. It isn’t the most glamorous or tidiest solution but it worked for what I needed and it was a cheaper solution than a new shelving unit.

What I loved about my bathroom was the LED strip of lights all around the mirror, I felt like a superstar rather than a student struggling to wake up for her 9am tutorial. My bathroom was always a lot brighter compared to my bedroom, especially in winter because of the room to light fitting ratio. After my December inspection, two of my lights had bulbs replaced which I never noticed had stopped working and I was squinting a lot the next morning because I wasn’t used to the sheer amount of light that greeted me.

I could speak a lot more about my room by going into more detail about my wardrobe, storage and the rest of my flat but I fell like I’ve covered the main points. Some of these topics may be covered in a future blog post with advice for moving into halls but I guess you’ll have to read it to find out.

I move back to Edinburgh in August ahead of the new school year and I’ll hopefully catch some of the Fringe too. I will do another blog post like this on my new room because I am planning for it to be significantly less cluttered and more aesthetically pleasing. To keep you intrigued, here’s the mood board that Abbie, who is studying Graphic Design, helped me create which should entice you to stick around.


My Social Media

Abbie’s Instagram


Favourites in my Room

  • Cactus Photo Frame – Paperchase
  • Copper Lamp – Dunelm
  • Botanical Print Bedding – Amazon
  • Stationary Holder – Amazon
  • Fairy Lights (not shown) – Primark
  • Copper Sequin Pillow – Amazon

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