posted 2012-02-02 12:45:20

Stylish Living Space for a College Student on a Budget

Jenady Garshofsky

Editor in Chief

Whether you live at your parents house, a student dormitory or have an apartment with some friends, there is no excuse for not decorating your living space. You can transform your dull living space into a homey, creative environment and have fun doing so. After all, your bedroom or living space is a reflection of individuality and creativity. Most people are reluctant to customize their bedroom because it sounds expensive. However, adding extra flare can be inexpensive if you know what you’re doing. Self-expression can come from the heart, and from being smart and crafty. Here are some tips to start the spring semester with new style for your space.

Thrift Stores

Not all thrift stores smell like an old person’s home. In fact, in many of them you can find hidden inexpensive treasures that will liven up any room. If you have a few hours to kill in between classes, take the 6 train down to 23rd and Lexington and stroll down the avenues to until you reach 1st avenue. You will find a plethora of thrift stores, including Goodwill and a Housing Works, both of which are stocked with vintage finds that can make any room look exotic and fantastic. Interested in music? You could purchase a bunch of records for less than 10 dollars and mount them to the wall. Make a border, glue them to a glass table, or make a chandelier to hang from the ceiling. Buy a bunch of miniature figurines and line your bookshelf and windowsill with antique scluptures. Buy a poster, a frame, or vintage clothing and sew things together to make a curtain or blanket. Thrift stores allow you to inexpensively reference the past and redecorate your room on a budget. Also, the plus side of thrift store shopping is that not only are you purchasing one of a kind items, but thrift stores like Housing Works and the Salvation Army use their proceeds to donate money to people in need.

Photo Collages

I bet if you signed onto Facebook you will see that you have hundreds of photographs with your friends. Have you realized that you could print those photographs and decorate your walls with collages of your friends, family and your favorite pet? Print them in all different sizes at a local CVS or Walgreens. While you are there buy blue sticky tack to mount the photographs without ruining the wall. Outline shapes with the photographs, put them in a cluster, or buy a few inexpensive frames.

Poster Madness

Plain white walls bringing you down? Cover them up! Start collecting show posters. There is a stack outside the USG office on the first floor of the North building. Find out what musicians are playing and then hang the poster on the wall. One side of the show poster features a local artist work. The artwork is eccentric and unique. Another option is to go to a cheap poster website like, and buy a bunch of pictures from your favorite movies, TV shows and bands. Hang them up, take them down, switch them around and repeat! Looking to get more creative than that? Buy a few white posters or hang large sheets of white paper on the wall. Invite some friends over and decorate it. Make sure your wall is covered completely before you go crazy. When you get sick of it, tear it down and start over!