uni essentials. However, with nearly every store advertising 'back to school', where exactly are the best places to get the best bang for your buck and bag some stylish finds to help your child decorate their dream uni room?
Everybody by now knows that IKEA is always a winner for students (hello, IKEA hacks and convenience galore). However, if you don't want your child to inevitably end up with the same dinnerware and cutlery bundle as everyone else in their shared kitchen, here are a couple of alternative places to buy uni essentials that I (Ideal Home's most recent graduate), swear by.
The best place to buy uni essentials, beyond IKEA
Admittedly, I was one of those awful people who didn't anticipate shopping for uni until came the day of moving into my first-year student halls. Okay, don't look at me like that.
Given my lack of preparation naturally, I was scrambling around and panicked trying to wrap my head around my long list of uni essentials. IKEA wasn't an option since we had already driven too far, and frankly, my family and I didn't want to walk around for ages – you know how IKEA can be.
So, I hit up these stores on the day of and during the first week that I was settling in, and believe me when I say they didn't disappoint.
Dunelm is a go-to retailer for me if you want to shop affordably without compromising style. They've got all the bedroom cult classics, like your trusty throw and ottoman storage box that I believe are guaranteed to be must-have home comforts for your child's new journey.
Crafted from a sumptuous Egyptian cotton pile, this thick bath towel has enhanced absorbency, durability, and softness.
Crafted with a soft textured feel, this large throw comes in a range of colours and is machine washable for easy care.
2. George Home
Would this be an Ideal Home round-up if we didn't include George Home in the picture? You can be sure that your child's new uni room will never falter from the latest home decor trends, with their comfy bedding choices and lighting trends that effortlessly amp up the cosiness.
Simple and stylish, this grey jersey duvet set is a chic way to update uni room decor.
This bath mat is a bestseller and for good reason. Cheap and cheerful and available in a range of colours, pick one up to update a uni bathroom.
3. The Range
As we all know by now, The Range is a one-stop shop for everything now. You can get DIY and arts and crafts supplies, kitchen appliances, and home decor bits. Not to mention it's just a lot of fun browsing through the aisles.
While you're there, I'd recommend picking up a dinnerware set and having a mooch around to see what's on sale, because bargains can be had.
Ideal for those moving house (or in this case, moving into student halls), this set has it all.
I know uni rooms aren't the most luxurious in size, but nabbing some desk organisers will help your child's room feel like a small home office.
As I mentioned, student halls have small bedrooms, so you have to make it count. This over-the-door mirror is the perfect space-saving solution.
Just to preface, Argos and Habitat are pretty much one and the same, so I often just use them interchangeably – and believe me when I say that they're certainly clued up on how to do uni essentials right.
Suitable for both gas and electric hobs, these pans have bakelite handles that can withstand high temperatures.
This bathroom ceramic set is guaranteed to add some style and functionality to a uni room setup.
5. Urban Outfitters
Although many may not instantly go to Urban Outfitters as a place to shop uni room essentials, they've really got it on the nose. So, they should definitely be considered one of the best places to shop for university (especially if your kid is up to date with home decor trends, as everything is super stylish).
Add super versatile storage to your space with these retro-inspired plastic crates with a collapsible design.
Add check detailing to the bedroom with this distressed check duvet set crafted from a soft and cosy cotton.
And there you have it. Those are my picks of alternative retailers to visit when shopping for uni, which will hopefully give you a better round-up of the best place to buy uni essentials for you and your child.
Good luck and happy shopping!
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Jullia Joson is Ideal Home’s Junior Writer. She’s always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham in 2022. Previously, she was an Intern Editor for ArchDaily. Now focused on news stories, Jullia can be found down the TikTok and Pinterest rabbit hole scrolling through any new and upcoming trends, hacks, and home inspiration.
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