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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students get creative with home decor choices

    Mike Swanson, left, and Andy Swanson of Swansons Furniture load a coffee table into a UA students truck Friday afternoon. Swansons Furniture offers UA students 10 percent off purchases with a student ID card.
    Mike Swanson, left, and Andy Swanson of Swanson’s Furniture load a coffee table into a UA student’s truck Friday afternoon. Swanson’s Furniture offers UA students 10 percent off purchases with a student ID card.

    Don’t stress. Furnishing living space on a student budget is no dilemma. Whether students crave a chic vintage chaise or need practical pieces to fill their homes, bargains can be easier to find than one might think.

    Psychology senior Michelle Mitchell acquired much of her furniture from her mother, but got one free piece from her roommate’s friend, who gave Mitchell a chair that was going to be thrown away.

    “”I do know college students who have gone the brush-and-bulky route without knowing the person,”” Mitchell said.

    Studio art senior Vanessa Allen said she gets her furniture from different places, but didn’t expect to find a 1920s antique wooden couch in an alley.

    “”These homeless guys helped me put it in my van,”” she said.

    Allen said she also relies on Web sites such as to find eclectic pieces, such as her vintage 1950s chrome table with a Formica top and chrome and vinyl chairs.

    She said she got the set for $150 from a ad, while a similar set at an antique store was priced at about $500.

    “”I have a 1950s kitchen table that I got from craigslist for $75 about a year ago – and four dinette chairs,”” said John Kozel, a communications junior. “”I found another chair that matched the set in an alley.””

    In addition to furniture, Kozel found items to enhance his home’s decor.

    “”Most of our artwork came from trash piles,”” he said. “”A lot of people throw away original canvas paintings.””

    He also found part of a hand-painted gate in the trash and used it as decoration in his home.

    Drew Abromowitz, a retail and consumer sciences junior, said he has also used for furniture shopping but also finds great furniture deals at the Salvation Army or through hand-me-downs.

    “”I got these orange corduroy chairs from my mom,”” he said.

    For students who don’t mind second-hand furniture, thrift stores are another option.

    Lily Trave, a Spanish junior, sifted through the furniture sections of thrift stores like Goodwill and Value Village, 300 N. Fourth Ave., and wound up spending less than $30 per item for a kitchen table, a coffee table and comfortable chair, she said.

    Kozel also likes finding deals at the thrift stores and once found a blue chair for $5 at a thrift store in San Diego. He named Value Village, Casa de los Ninos, 1101 N. Fourth Ave., and St. Vincent de Paul as his top thrift store picks.

    “”You never know what you’re going to find,”” he said.

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