For many students, finally getting a room of their own is one of the most exciting aspects of college life. Though free of parental input, students off- and on-campus face the challenge of decorating their new digs in a way that is mindful of both money and space.
There are many ways for students to maximize space without spending any money, said Diana Cruz, assistant community director for Townwood apartments.
Lofting beds, both in a dorm and an apartment, instantly opens up extra floor space and creates room for desks, dressers and mini-fridges, Cruz said.
There are several options for the money-minded student to make a new dorm or empty apartment truly feel like home.
Taylor Deppisch, communication design senior, said she loves do-it-yourself projects because they are inexpensive and give a sense of accomplishment when completed.
“I repainted my desk from home and turned it into a vanity,” Deppisch said. “I mounted a circular mirror above the desk to create a little stool, and it was cute.”
Deppisch said she recommends students shop at Target if they are not artistically inclined.
“I also like vintage and thrift stores because they have pieces you wouldn’t typically find in most department and general stores,” she said.
For unfurnished apartments, students have a variety of inexpensive options including Craigslist, thrift stores and yard sales.
Cruz said Townwood offers furniture for sale at a discounted rate available to residents of any complex, a practice several apartments have adopted.
San Marcos residents have the added advantage of the outlet mall located just miles from campus. The mall features stores like Pottery Barn, Kirklands and Williams-Sonoma, all boasting brand-name housewares and furniture at discounted prices.
Deppisch said something as simple as changing the color of a room’s walls can completely alter the appearance of the dwelling and the student’s mood.
“Blacks and reds can make you feel worried or fearful,” Deppisch said. “Bright yellow, blues and greens—these can help set a good mood for those long nights of studying.”
Deppisch said her own room is yellow with a splash of turquoise to brighten her mood and lift her spirits.
While most students relish the idea of leaving their childhood homes, some see the convenience and comforts of staying with their parents. Abigail Rogers, interior design freshman, said she decided to stay at home to avoid the expensive cost of residence halls and save her family some money.
“Staying home is great because I get to be closer to my family and friends,” Rogers said. “I want to save money to buy a new car for school next year.”