Dig in with Dani: How to decorate for the season on a budget: college student edition
Danielle Rasouli is a junior journalism major and writes "Dig in with Dani" for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Danielle at email@example.com.
On top of the many expenses that college students face, decorating accordingly to the seasons seems to be the last of our priorities. However, it can easily become a priority by establishing a budget. I decorated my entire dorm room and carried those same decorations into my junior year for under $50. Use these six tips if you are interested in turning your white walls into a more homey, autumn-inspired space.
1: Online seems to be cheaper. Use the Yroo app.
This app is great for anyone who wants to be a smart shopper. You scan the barcode of the item, and it brings up lists of stores and websites of how much it is priced. From there, you can easily see where you buy the item for the lowest price. Based on my experience, Amazon always had the cheapest prices. Do not forget to keep shipping prices in mind if you go the online route.
2: Use your personality as inspiration.
I know people who get exhausted and want a change when it comes to the appearance of their room. To avoid this, look to your personality as to what would fit you best. Choose your favorite colors as a color scheme, or be simple and look for warm colors — reds, yellows and oranges — to bring that Autumn look.
3: Keep an eye on clearance shelves.
This one is a little more obvious for decorating on a budget, but it goes a long way. On the “Yroo” app, you most likely will not see clearance items listed since it only provides the original prices. Items are usually put on clearance when they have open packaging, have been used, or are selling slowly.
4: Use thrift shopping to your advantage.
I am the type of person who prefers everything new and barely used, but there are items that would be smarter to seek elsewhere. For example, I bought used vinyl records to hang on my wall. Each vinyl cost less than a dollar at Goodwill. See what fall-themed items are offered at the local thrift stores in Muncie to explore your options.
5: Find a color scheme.
Use as many colors as you need to establish the vibe of your room. Specifically decorating for fall, some good color options would be oranges, browns and reds, as mentioned earlier. If you are living in a dorm, speak with your roommate about what would fit well for the both of you.
Tapestries are a great way to tie an entire room together, so if that is your style, find one you like online. I bought one on Amazon for only $12, but have seen similar ones in store for over $70. Always shop cautiously. Some people, in fact, search for a tapestry first before establishing the color scheme. Let the tapestry be the focal point of the room, accenting the colors you’ve chosen.
6: Finding the actual decorations.
As I mentioned in tip two, let your personality do all the shopping. Christmas lights are also a given when you want to establish a laidback atmosphere. If you walk down the hallway of any dorm, chances are, you will see countless rooms with lights hung up. That is because Christmas lights are worth every penny for their already low price.
Remember that the standard white lights are not your only option. Christmas lights can be found in a vast amount of colors and sizes. Purple and orange lights are popular in stores right now since they are perfect Halloween decorations. They also fit well in the fall color scheme. There is, however, more to decorating than just wall décor. Throw pillows are a chance to add color and comfort to not only your bedding, but also your room as whole. Washi tape that fits your fall color scheme is also works to add in creative pops of colors on your desk, shelves or even your walls.
Using artificial pumpkins and leaves to decorate desks and tables can give a boost of the overall fall-inspired look you are going for. If you have space at the end of your room’s bland-to-bold transformation journey, create a sitting area with beanbags or lounge chairs. This creates a welcoming environment for guests and presents an opportunity to add to your color scheme.
Creating a cozy autumn atmosphere on a budget with decorations that will carry you throughout your time at school is definitely doable, and it will be worth it at the end when you finally find your home away from home.