Don’t break the bank while you decorate

Decorating your own apartment is fun and feels fulfilling. Baylor students share how they can decorate their space cheaply. Chase (Junyan) Li | Photographer & Videographer

By Julia Pearl | Reporter

Students moving into their own off-campus spaces for the first time have found a number of ways to furnish their living spaces without over-extending their budget.

While some off-campus housing, such as apartments, provide students with furniture, other housing options require students to procure their own.

Waco senior Bryan An said he split costs with his roommates and found used items in order to furnish a house he shared.

“We would just split the costs into fourths,” An said.

An also said one roommate might be in charge of buying one piece of furniture, while the other housemates would contribute by purchasing another. This way, they kept costs lower and relatively equal.

Houston junior Hannah Stevenson said bringing items from home was easier for her and her roommates.

“Some of it was just things other people brought from home, so we didn’t really split the cost of most of that,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson said the items her and her roommates purchased were mainly DIY projects such as a photo collage in their living area or items found at inexpensive stores.

“My favorite is my bookshelf,” Stevenson said. “I put those [cloth bins] on my bookshelf too, so it adds decoration, and I can put different things in there.”

An and Stevenson agreed that big-name stores and resale stores or websites were both good places to shop for furnishings.

“It just depends on which one you’re looking for,” Stevenson said. “If it’s just the price, then I would say Walmart. I’ve gotten a few things from there, and the only problem with shopping there is their stuff typically doesn’t last more than a year.”

While Walmart is a good option for inexpensive new items, An said he found resale shops and websites to be helpful.

“Typically, for furniture, it’s easier and more beneficial if you buy used furniture,” An said. “New furniture, it’s going to get messier; it’s going to get worn out, so it’s easier to get something used that’s in good condition.”

An said he found used items in thrift stores, websites like Facebook Market Place or from graduates who needed to get rid of their furniture.

“Thrift stores actually helped a lot too in terms of decorations,” An said. “Then, just knowing people and what they’re selling, you can get things for free.”

He also said that looking to older members of clubs or organizations is a good way to find furniture.

“Within your own organization, you can find club members who are graduating or giving things away,” An said.

Stevenson said that buying used furnishings are also a good option when big-name stores sell out of many of their home goods.

“Not as many people go [to resale stores] to look for stuff, so you might have a higher chance of finding something that will work,” Stevenson said. “In resale stores, especially when people are going back to school, there’s a heightened chance you’ll find something that someone may have sold because they graduated.”

Jill Turner, owner of Junky Monkey, a local resale store and antique shop, said Baylor students can find good decorations and furniture for a low cost.

“You can decorate your wall here for $25 dollars with a big piece, like say a big window, or a door or something that’s really cool,” Turner said.

Turner also said because Junky Money is one of the few thrift stores in Waco with a salvage yard, they are able to offer unique items like road signs and patio furniture.

“We’ve had two big groups of guys from Baylor that came in to decorate their houses,” said Turner. “They’ve bought a lot of the signs in the back and stuff like that. On a budget, you can find lots of really cool metal and things like that.”