How to decorate your Cambridge room

Your study Instagram stories will never have looked better

Now that the evenings are getting darker, it’s the perfect time to brighten up your room.  There will be plenty of bargains this Black Friday weekend on items you can give your room a makeover with.  So, here is the Tab’s ultimate guide to transforming your room from a glorified cupboard to something off a Pinterest board.


My desk is starting to look like the Love Island villa

Many student rooms have narrow windows, and overhead lights as harsh as a supervisor’s essay feedback.  Making the lighting in your room warmer will give it a cosier feel, plus give you a radiant angelic glow on zoom calls (a valid priority).  Lamps or even lightboxes (throwback to 2018, anyone?) will really make a difference to the overall feel of your room.  Typo (in the Lion Yard centre) and Neon Sheep (opposite Sidney Sussex) both sell lots of fairy lights to get you in the mood for Bridgemas.  You could drape them around your shelves or pinboard, or, in my case, the pillar positioned so bizarrely and inconveniently in the middle of your room that it makes you doubt the entire structural integrity of the building…

These fairy lights around the pillar are definitely for the aesthetic, and definitely NOT to stop me from walking into it so much…

Wall decorations

Is there anything more pleasing than pens in rainbow order?

Assuming that you do in fact have more personality than a blank wall (a big assumption if you’re a STEM student), things like posters can make a room feel more like yours.  Many colleges officially don’t allow you to use blue tac or cellotape, but command strips and washi tape won’t mark the paintwork.  If you can face becoming a 1970s boho teenager, wall tapestries are a great way to add some colour to your room.  Redbubble has almost unlimited designs, but can sometimes be quite expensive, so Etsy might be a good shout.  Whiteboard sheets like these are a student’s dream.  They stay up with static, so won’t mark your paintwork, plus they’re actually useful: you can plan your essays or copy out revision notes on them, and then leave them up in order to deceive friends who come into your room that you are actually on top of your degree.


I swear my personal jungle is growing faster than my essay word count

There is no aesthetic greater than that of a succulent-growing hippie nature goddess.  As well as looking nice, you might find that looking after plants in your room can be really therapeutic.  Cambridge Bee and The Flower House are two lovely independent Cambridge plant shops.  Mainsbury’s, Eddington Sainsbury’s and the M&S by the market also sell potted herbs which can add some spice to your room décor and to your pasta.  If your plants don’t usually have a long life expectancy, try getting a cactus or a succulent, because at this time of year they’ll only need watering two or three times a term.

Soft furnishings

Soft toys definitely count as interior decor

Cushions and extra pillows will make your room feel so much cosier, and will also compensate for how hard and worn a lot of chairs in student rooms are.  Too many cushions can be quite bulky to fit into bags and ferry backwards and forwards to Cambridge, but putting your own blanket over a chair or window seat can still make it comfier.


Tip: try pinning your necklaces to a pinboard so that they don’t get tangled!

It is essential that all visitors to your room must gaze upon a variety of images perfectly selected to showcase your popularity, adventurousness and Disney princessesque animal-whispering abilities.  Having lots of photos in your room of friends and family, trips and pets will also cheer you up too.  If your room has quite a small pinboard and you’re worried about using lots of blue tac, you could peg photos to string or even fairy lights and hang it across a wall.

So, there you have it!  The Tab’s ultimate guide to decorating your Cambridge room. You’ll be feeling like a student light academia Tiktoker in no time.

All Image Credits: Claudia Cox