Great design your home on a budget

It’s never too early to start planning your bedroom design for the upcoming academic year. So whether you’re a freshman thinking about how to make that filthy Fallowfield house a home, a fresher future who wants more than just Ikea furniture, or even a college student who still hasn’t decorated their current hallways , La Mancunion has the perfect guide to spice up your space!


First, put something on those walls. Posters are the obvious choice and Affleck have a huge selection, with everything from band posters to city prints.

For a different aesthetic, head to the charity shops to pick up art books, old postcards and calendars. This unique work of art can be bought on any college student’s budget, and the DIY project of turning your second-hand finds into a wall installation will leave a personal touch in your home.

Unique illustrations can also be found in the printed pages of La Mancunion which is perfect for a bright and durable DIY wall display. You can also consider doing something more interesting with your DIY projects, like making your own collages, banners or 3D art with sustainable finds – get creative! Whatever you decide, visit the North Quarter Fred Aldous where endless artwork and art supplies are sold is always a good decision.


With the shift from halls of residence to student accommodation, you’ll suddenly find a lot more space to think about in the design process. Consider visiting antique shops or garage sales to bring your vision to life. Cheaper options can include side tables, chairs, mirrors and books to add an intellectual touch to your Fallowfield rug, and you can still go wild on the bike.

Otherwise, see Etsy if you don’t feel like doing the recycling work yourself. Antique centers can also be a great place to find quirky trinkets for your room, or even one-of-a-kind dinnerware to impress your guests.

Some of Manchester’s largest antique centers include Manchester ancient world in Failsworth and Levenshulme Antique Village, although often the best antique options are found going out of town. Good crockery is also available new at places like Ikeabut for something more individual, it could be a fun day to visit gallery gift shops and independent retailers across town.


Soft furnishings are essential to any cozy space that needs to provide comfort from the stresses of college life. Pillows are a great place to start, and no inviting bed or sofa would be complete without a blanket or throw. Plus, light rugs have been shown to make a room feel bigger – they’re a feast for the eyes and feet.

There are many homeware brands to choose from when selecting upholstery, but dunelm Where Habitat is a good starting point. You can even print your own photos on textiles on websites like photo box! If you feel like leaning into the crafty spirit, consider crocheting a quilt, pillowcase, or throw.

Charity shops often have crochet or knitting yarn and needles at very low prices, so it’s easy to get started with an online tutorial. Textiles also give the possibility of adding a touch of color to your room, for which the North Quarter Oklahoma has a lot to offer.


A staple in any student space, indoor plants really bring the outdoors in. Start by checking out The Mancunion’s guide to the best student plant shops, which will give you the perfect recommendations for independent places to visit.

Alternatively, supermarkets usually have a good selection of indoor plants that won’t stretch the budget too much, as well as flowers for a quick fix from nature. And, if you want to add a splash of green to your space without the pressure of keeping the plant alive, there’s always the option of a fake plant or two for the same effect. I would recommend sense of home for fake options, or a tour of establishments to bloom and good things to create an indoor oasis in your space.

Any good plant or home furnishing store will probably also carry botanical themed prints, so why not double down on the artwork and add an extra splash of green to your walls without the need for water?


If you’ve moved into a student residence, rejoice in the luxury of candles! Candles are perfect for transforming that dull smell of old rooms, and there are tons of independent candle companies floating around the internet and in Manchester. General deadstock store in the northern district is an excellent starting point.

Consider investing in a good reed diffuser (or even just a good air freshener) for that communal bathroom — you’ll thank yourself after a messy night out. Reed diffusers are also a great option for those in hallways where candles aren’t an option, as is a good fabric softener. You’ll soon be creating a space that smells so good you’ll never want to leave. Diffusers can be purchased from any good throwback section, like following Where MRSwhile there are many small candle companies to check out on Tiktok.

If you want to do your own candle research, the @candlepeeps account on Instagram can be a good place to start – they share a different independent candle maker every day.


Ambient lighting is essential. Investing in some sort of salt lamp, spotlight, or sunset virus lamp, if your pennies can go that far, will set the mood for any room. Of course, fairy lights are a classic and come in many variations. Or, you can opt for the LED strip that features at all Fallowfield house parties. LEDs and string lights can be purchased cheaply online, while Affleck has a good selection of salt lamps.

Likewise, mirrors are a great way to make a space look bigger, especially if placed next to a source of natural light. As mentioned, antique and charity shops are good places to go for a unique option, while wilko and Primark will offer something cheap but effective.

Storage Solutions

Most of the time, students don’t have the luxury of large bedrooms. Simple and inexpensive ways to add storage to your space include under-bed boxes, closet organizers, and extra shelving, all of which can be purchased very cheaply from your favorite furniture giants.

Command hooks and over-the-door hangers will also save valuable storage space. A simple solution could be to buy a cover for your electronic cables, or trays to store miscellaneous crap – out of sight, out of mind! For smaller storage solutions, consider bookends, pen holders and miniature crates, which can be found at retailers such as flying tiger, treasure hunt or the independent Fred Aldous.

About Gertrude H. Kerr

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