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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Local shops offer decorating resources

    Whether you’re in a dorm, apartment or house, decorating on a budget can be a challenge. When it comes to making a space, your own décor can be everything. With a few helpful hints and tips, making your place shine on a budget can be done without breaking a sweat.

    Tucson offers an array of interesting shops that offer inexpensive items to decorate with. My first stop is always Target — who offers an array of useful dorm-style decorating and furniture pieces at budget prices. By mid-September, items that haven’t sold will usually be further discounted. Simply knowing when to shop is key. Most major big-box retailers, like Walmart and department stores, are months ahead of the game. That means that September isn’t back to school, it’s Halloween and Thanksgiving. By shopping just a bit after the masses, you can pick up massive deals. In my own apartment, my bookshelves and shoe organizing racks — which keep things neat and tidy — were a steal at $12 each on sale at Target. Don’t forget that places like Lowes and Home Depot offer plants and furniture pieces that can spice up your space too. Look for deals in your junk mail — that stuff that comes on Wednesday isn’t always total trash; often times discounts and coupons for major retailers lurk within.

    If you don’t mind secondhand, give Goodwill or Twice as Nice a try. Although you’ll need the patience to look through everything they’ve got, you can find fantastic and unique items. From lamps to bookends, there is a lot to be found. If consignment is your thing, why not stop into the Student Exchange in the Park Student Union? Ashley Sanders, a UA senior who not only used to work at the Student Exchange but helped dream up the idea, is a huge fan of going with secondhand items to make a space ones own. “”Used has a lot to offer, you know? People don’t always think that secondhand stuff is cool and can make your space your own but it totally can.”” Sanders explained that you can save huge on items to help organize, posters to decorate, photo frames and more if you’re willing to do a little digging. “”If you have an idea for what you want your space to look like, you can make something totally yours,”” she added. Another man’s trash — or used items — can be your treasure.

    Student Exchange isn’t the only place on campus that can meet your needs. You’ve got one last week to use your Bursar’s account, and if Mom and Dad are OK with it, you can find some cute trinkets in the bookstore. Poster sales on the mall offer a way for you to create a space all your own by highlighting your tastes in music and movies. If posters are your thing and you love music, Zia Records is worth looking through. Besides offering a solid music selection, you can ask the staff at Zia to place any poster not already claimed on hold for you. Simply let them know you’re interested in the Sufjan Stevens promo poster and they’ll give you a piece of paper, to write your name and number on, and a piece of tape to stick onto your newly claimed work of art.

    And don’t hesitate to connect to your artsy side; buy a canvas or poster-board and collage some of your favorite photos, clippings from magazines or anything else. Throw a little Mod Podge crafting glue on there and you’ve got a unique piece of art all your own. For the rebel crafters out there, check out — a website dedicated to rogue crafting. They offer a huge array of home decorating and DIY projects. While you’re doing it yourself, why not try a block poster? Choose your favorite image, go to and upload it. The website produces custom portions of the image and creates a large poster for you to put up on your wall. Match the block pieces together and you can turn that photo of you and your friends rocking your ZonaZoo shirts into a 4-by-5-foot masterpiece for all to see.

    Decorating may seem intimidating and can certainly get pricey fast, but don’t let that stop you. From small plants to lamps and posters or trinkets that express your personality, it’s easy to make a space your own. Whether you’re looking to shop on campus at the Student Exchange store or you’re willing to brave secondhand stores to find that perfect expression of your personality, you can find a way to express your style. Target, Lowes, Home Depot and all the major department stores that Tucson has to offer have websites where you can browse and even order inexpensive decorating items. If you’ve got the weekend off, try IKEA; it offers fun and modern items at reasonable prices. Making a space your own is half the fun of living on your own, and with some decorating smarts you can do it all for cheap.

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