Décor makes home so much sweeter

Anthony Holloway

New or used, in or out, students do some sprucing

Credit: DKS Editors

Freshman nursing major Meghan Ellert made her Fletcher Hall dorm room more homey by adding a colorful rug, candy dispenser and Christmas lights. Ellert also saved some money on her dorm decorations by using used items along with her new items. Tessa Barga

Credit: DKS Editors

As cold weather approaches, students, just like squirrels, are looking to collect their necessities before they nestle in to their winter roost.

“Last year, I went nuts because it was my freshman year,” said Samantha Trainer, sophomore public relations major.

But she said buying dorm room décor can be expensive.

She decided to reuse the same things this year to save money. The choice she made, used over new, is only one of the factors to look into when decorating on a budget.

New vs. used

Kelsey Bowman, sophomore fine arts major, said she prefers to have her dorm decorated with used stuff.

“Used is cheaper and on hand,” she said.

She said it’s her nature to be more attracted to less expensive used items, which is why she also uses cartoons from newspapers as wall art.

To Bowman, though, buying new is better for people looking to buy decorations that match.

“Almost everything I have mismatches,” Bowman said.

Junior nursing major Mel Paulino said while he is a fan of used, he is partial to having less decoration. He said he moved three times in the past two years, and sometimes less is more.

“I try not to have furniture,” Paulino said, “so I don’t have to move it.”

He said when he does get used items, it works out for him. He recently bought a table from a friend for $75.

Junior architecture major Adria Moyer said used works for her, too. She just bought a table and chairs from Craigslist, and even though she had to reupholster the chairs, she said she is glad she bought them.

“I think it has more character,” Moyer said.

But in buying new items, she said, they’re likely to last longer.

Finding space

Decoration durability is important, but according to students, so is having a place for those decorations to go.

Moyer said space was an issue last year when she and her roommate brought more than they could fit.

“We had to take some stuff home,” she said.

Stephanie Sanker, junior music education major, said she had no problems with space. She said she packed a Chevy Tahoe from front to back with dorm room stuff and was able to fit it in her room with ease. Sanker said she attributed it to thrifty use of space and organization.

“I took advantage of space under the bed,” Sanker said, “and I also stayed organized. The more organized you are, the more you can fit.”

She said, above all, it is important to decorate a dorm room and “don’t let it sit there with off-white walls.” For Sanker, she said the way a person decorates his or her room is important because it shows a person’s personality through what he or she chooses Sanker is a big fan of thrift stores. And one way she decorates is to put a little natural beauty in her room.

“I would get a glass vase from somewhere like Goodwill,” she said, “and then I’d go out, pick some flowers.”

Paulino said he put Christmas lights up to decorate his walls.

“It seemed like a good idea,” he said.

Erik Shear, freshman broadcast journalism major, said he sees some simple things that work out well.

“Some people will write their names on their windows with Post-it notes,” he said.

Shear said one of his friends put a bamboo plant in her room to add some character.

Shear decorates his room with whatever he can find, though. He said he uses old newspaper headlines, posters and a big Norwegian flag to decorate his walls.

Contact student finance reporter Anthony Holloway at [email protected].