By Carina Vo
With fall term quickly approaching, college and university students moving out of their homes and into their own dorms face a daunting task: decorating. When schooling costs and other underlying fees arise, decorating on a budget can prove to be more challenging than it sounds.
For the basics – tables, bed sheets, bean bag chairs, etc. – Walmart, Target, and IKEA are great places to shop. Famous for their inexpensive Swedish furniture, IKEA offers almost everything imaginable, from small wooden tables in a variety of colors priced at $10 each to endless patterns of bedding in numerous sizes. Walmart and Target offer a wide selection of towels and rugs, perfect for bathrooms and inevitable messes.
Although the aforementioned stores may also have appliances, the true appliance wonderland is Brandsmart USA, chock full of televisions, coffee makers, and microwaves. Because the selection is so vast, it’s not hard to find a deal at Brandsmart, and you can browse all the different items to fit to your needs. And although FYE may be your first thought for buying speakers, Brandsmart is much more well-equipped to satisfy that need.
When it comes down to true personalization, FYE and Barnes & Noble reign champion in this region – from POP figurines to posters to quirky coffee mugs, these stores zero in on your personal pop culture interests. Plus, these stores both sell a variety of books, vinyl, audio CDs, and movies to keep your dorm room stocked for free time. However, for unique trinkets and wall decor, thrift stores such as Goodwill and lower price retail stores such as Ross and TJ Maxx offer home additions that may not be found anywhere else.
DIY (do-it-yourself) projects can be daring, but there’s a reason you do them yourself: to save money. YouTube, which has become the go-to site for how-to videos, features DIY videos far and wide. Whether you want to make a Legend of Zelda-themed cork board (see: Zelda Cork Board DIY for UNDER $10 by Mort3mr) or tiny plant pots (see: DIY Gold Leaf Plant Pots by LaMadelynn), it’s all on YouTube. If you’re really looking to make your dorm stand out, the DIY-focused channel ThreadBanger shows you how to create the most far out pieces, from bacon-scented candles to melted crayon art.
One last thing: If you have a roommate, make sure to touch base before you buy. No one needs to have two of anything in a shared space, so talk to your roommate to see who will buy what. Because Target knows that feel, there’s a place where you and your roommate can share a checklist: madeforu.target.com.
New place, new rules. But with the looming danger of homesickness, it never hurts to bring a little something from home, whether it’s your favorite jewelry box or an old figurine. It’s imperative to make your living space as comfortable as possible, both in atmosphere and livability. Make sure to create an environment that makes you feel at home, whether or not it reminds you of your own home.