Best student homewares on a budget: photo frames, fairy lights and wall art for less

·8-min read
 (Best student homewares on a budget)
(Best student homewares on a budget)

Congratulations if you’re heading off to uni this autumn! Whether you’re planning to stay in halls or rented accommodation, there are a few things you can take to make your new digs feel more familiar.

While your new place is likely to have all the fixtures and fittings like a bed, shelves, cupboards and kitchen equipment, some personal touches can really make an anonymous space feel like your own.

From decorative pillows, to reading lamps for your desks and cool photo displays, here are our favourite homewares for student accommodation.

See our favourites below

Ollny LED String Lights, 100 LEDs Fairy Lights USB Powered

If you only pack one decorative item for uni, make it this set of fairy lights. They change colours and rhythm to suit your mood and can be operated with a remote control - so you don’t even have to get up if you don’t want to! The ambient lighting makes any space instantly magical and cosy.

Best of all it’s USB operated so you can use it with a power bank or connect it to your laptop and save crucial Student Loan funds on batteries.

£14.99 | Amazon *On sale from £21.99

Bother subscription service

Save yourself the back-breaking effort of lugging home heavy bottles and chunky tubs thanks to this new subscription service, which drops off all your bulky items in one monthly order. Bother offers a wealth of products on its online supermarket, from food and booze to laundry and house cleaning products. There are even refillable options to ease the burden on your finances as well as the planet.

Best for undergrads is undoubtedly the University Bundle, 22 must-haves for your new pad, all delivered in one, no-fuss box.

Minimum spend £40, and if you order by 3.30pm you’ll score free next day delivery.


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Plastic collapsible fruit vegetable crates, medium x3

Storage solutions that look great too? Find this colourful crate set over at Amazon; there are three collapsible pieces a set and they can be folded flat when not in use. Use them to bring order to your wardrobe, kitchen, bathroom, or coursework. A perfect and practical buy. The medium measures 24.9 x 16.5 x 7.5cm.


£23.99 | Amazon

Smartphone Projector 2.0

No space - or cash - for a proper telly? You can still have a big screen in your room with this clever smartphone projector. It’s made from eco-friendly cardboard and is fitted with an high-quality magnifying glass lens at the front to create a home cinema without wires or the expense. Fits most smartphone devices.


£19.99 | Firebox

Argos Home Desk Lamp - Black

An all-nighter is part of the undergraduate experience. Make working into the wee hours easier (on your eyes, at least), with the help of this desk lamp. Argos’ budget design has a flexible neck so you can adjust the angle and can be paired with low energy and dimmable bulbs.

£8 | Argos

Lumie Sunrise Alarm Wake up to Daylight Table Lamp

Sure they have an alarm on their phone, but they also have a snooze function too. Make sure you never miss a lecture or class - even in the depths of winter - with this cute sunrise alarm clock.


£33.99 | John Lewis

Lavazza Tiny Espresso Machine

Available in black, white or red shades, this mini coffee machine is the perfect size for uni halls. It’s compact enough to keep in the bedroom if you don’t want to share with your new housemates.


£59 | Lavazza

SIMBOOM Bedside Storage Pocket

Keep all your bedtime essentials close to hand with this nifty storage pocket. There are multiple compartments to store everything from your phone to tablet, specs and reading materials nearby without the need for a table.

£13.99 | Amazon

Kane Steel Over The Door Ironing Board, Black & Mint

You'll be thankful for bagging this space-saving solution the next time you need a pressed shirt or trousers for a big occasion.


£39 | MADE

Mini Diffuser Set

Scent your space for just a few pounds thanks to M&S’s miniature diffusers. There are four aromas to enjoy: bergamot, rose, vanilla and cotton and promise to gently fragrance your space for six weeks - that’s half a term at least.

£9.50 | M&S

HUANUO Laptop Stand with Cushion on Bed & Sofa

For those rainy weekends when all you want to do is curl up in front of a box set, this laptop tray is genius. The substantial pillow wedge beneath is comfortable to sit on top of your lap, while the anti-slip bar will prevent your laptop or tablet from sliding off.

It’s light and portable, and thanks to the breathable lycra cushion cover, you can also flip it around to use as a pillow if needed.

£13.59 | Amazon *On sale fro £15.99

Elements Bamboo Over Door Hooks

When space is at a premium, it’s important to look for all kinds of ways to maximise storage. This over door design offers five hooks to hang your clothes and accessories, helping to keep the floor clear and trip-free.


£8 | Dunelm

Linen Laundry Hamper

Leaving home for university is the first step into adulthood - and there’s nothing more grown up than having to sort out your own laundry. Make it less of a chore with this stylish linen hamper which folds flat when not in use.


£9 | Homebase

Hello Blue Doormat Large

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Make the right one when you welcome new guests in with this cheerful patterned doormat made from a blend of coconut fibres.

£29.50 | Oliver Bonas

Multicoloured Reusable Glass Straws Pack of Six

It’s never been more important to do your bit for the environment. Kick your single-use plastics habit with this colourful set of six glass straws. They come with a brush cleaner so you can keep them clean for their next use.

£10 | Oliver Bonas

Beatrice Set of 2 Velvet Printed Cushions

Upgrade your bedding to new levels with MADE’s tiger printed cushions. Measuring 45 x 45cm, the square cushions are perfect for perching on. Machine washable.

£25 | MADE

Argos Home Loft Living Table

This useful powder-coated steel table makes the perfect bedside table or sofa companion. There are two levels on which to balance essentials and the clean black colour makes it fit into any colour scheme. Some self-assembly is required.

£23.45 | Argos

Wilko Mink Waffle Throw 200 x 240cm

Chilly days are around the corner. Stay toasty with an additional layer on your bed like this waffle-textured throw, now half price at Wilko. It’s made from super soft polyester - perfect for snuggling.

£8 | Wilko *On sale from £16

Small glass vase

Bouji on a budget? You can pick up elegant homewares for much less than you would expect at H&M Home. We love this small green glass vase, ideal for displaying everything from a fresh bunch of flowers to makeup brushes and stationery.

£6.99 | H&M

Argos Home Rose Gold Polka Dot Bean Bag

Give them a space to sit other than their bed with this trendy bean bag chair, offered in white and on-trend rose gold. There’s a loop handle attached to the top to allow them to move it around as needed.

£30 | Argos

Mambo Eyes Pattern Cushion

All eyes will be on this fun faux-suede throw cushion, which is covered in a blinking eye pattern. The soft cushion comes in three sizes and is finished with a white zip for a seamless finish.

From £29 | Fy

Umbra Tucker Multi-aperture Notice Board Photo Frame, Gold/White

No student digs is complete without a decent noticeboard to keep those all-important letters, notes, photos and takeout flyers. This one uses bungee cords to secure papers and cards in place rather than pins.

£40 | John Lewis

Floral Pizza Art Print

Combining two of your favourite things - pizza and petals - this art print offers a much nicer way to decorate those drab walls than a dog-eared poster. Printed using state-of-the-art digital giclée printers, the colours will remain as vibrant as ever. Use Command Strips to attach frames to the walls without damaging the paint underneath.

From £18 | Fy

Shop more wall art here

Kaye Swirl Pink & Blue Dinner Candles Set of Four

Perfect for adding some fanciness to homemade dinner, this set of four candles come in pale pink and and blue and are finished in a swirl design (which also make them rather good for brightening up your bookshelves too, coincidentally).

 (Oliver Bonas)
(Oliver Bonas)

£20 | Oliver Bonas

Compagnie de Provence toiletries

Take the lessons learned from the last 18 months into uni with you with a set of fancy toiletries to encourage hand-washing and Covid-busting hygiene habits. Compagnie de Provence offers a range of natural skincare and homecare to help keep you and your new digs spick and span. Made in Provence, southern France, scents include rose, black jasmine, fig, and more. It’s not ridiculously expensive either - this Shea Butter Hand Cream is currently half price at £3 for 30ml.

 (Compagnie de Provence)
(Compagnie de Provence)

Shop the range


Good lighting can make or break a room, transforming the barest of halls room into a cosy little den. Ollny LED String Lights are stunning and as they come fitted with a USB charger, it means you won't have to constantly shell out for batteries - making them cost-effective and eco-friendly too. Win-win.

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