A college student's first apartment offers an exciting opportunity to live independently for probably the first time ever. Just as important, getting an apartment provides a fun opportunity to decorate it as desired, often in unique and creative ways that Mom and Dad might not necessarily appreciate at home.
One thing to keep in mind for most college students is cost. Few can afford to decorate a place to live with all new furnishings. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to find innovative designs at cheap prices to decorate an apartment to suit an individual student's taste. Here are a few tried and proven strategies.
Graduating students often sell apartment or dorm furnishings dirt cheap. Check campus publications and ads as well as dorm or local apartment housing for fliers offering great deals. Families of college grads may also have extra furniture they want to dispose of if the graduate is relocating for a new job.
Second-hand stores often feature used furniture at unbeatable prices. Bed frames, book stands, chairs, tables, desks, and sofas are periodically available. If you take advantage of daily store discounts, you can save even more. Goodwill, for example, has a daily color discount that slashes fifty percent off the purchase price. Donors are offered twenty-percent off coupons. Frequent shopper discounts may also be available.
From spring through autumn, yard sales and garage sales are good places to find cheap furniture and furnishings. Draperies are often on hand at bargain prices. Add ribbon, new hanging rings, or a tie-back for a fresh new look. Estate sales, tag sales, and auctions are more ways to get nice things at low cost.
Craig's list and eBay are two popular places to buy inexpensive things for an apartment. Photos and descriptions may be posted for quick reference. As always, be careful and take someone along when going to see an item at an unknown location.
Some college campuses offer occasional sales of surplus items like chairs and desks. Check with the campus facilities office to find out if sales will be held in the near future. Prices are usually extremely low, although selections may be limited.
Furniture stores sometimes have a discount room or area for items that can be bought cheaply. This is a good place to find an inexpensive kitchen table with a couple of chairs, a nightstand, or other supplemental furniture. Chances are the prices are a little higher than buying used items, but the tradeoff is these things are new and in mint condition.
Use personal or family creative talent to make some of your own furnishings or furniture. Curtains, bedspreads, and slipcovers help to dress up any room. Making your own with selected fabrics and a mother's loving touch makes them all the more meaningful. The same is true in woodworking. Making a table or other furniture items means they will always be special; having them in a student apartment will remind you of home and a parent's love.
After adding a fresh coat of paint to the apartment, furnishings can be coordinated to create a unique design or theme that will make the place all your own. Add house plants for a homey and healthy touch. Select used or inexpensive new dishware that goes with the kitchen colors and style. Get decorative throw pillows for the bed, sofa, or patio chairs to coordinate colors and patterns throughout the apartment. A table lamp and wall art will provide finishing touches to make the apartment unique and enjoyable for your college life.
This guest post is courtesy of The Ivy Apartments located in Rexburg, Idaho. The Ivy is known for BYU-Idaho women’s housing and the amenities it provides resident students.