MEMPHIS, Tenn.–Open those books and turn on the coffee machines. You’re in for at least a few all-nighters. Adjusting to college life can be stressful. You’re relearning your study habits, fending for yourself and, for the first time, living on your own. But moving into your first place, whether a dorm, apartment, or a house, doesn’t have to add any extra stress when it comes to decorating.
Sandra--Sawdust and Paper Scraps
As women, most of you want your place to be a sanctuary, a place you love to live. Why should you settle for the blah walls and the uniform furniture and the stereotypical design?
Trust me girls, your place can be beautiful, even on a limited budget. All it takes is a little creativity and effort and you too can have a room worthy of design super star status.
According to Sandra from the DIY blog Sawdust and Paper Scraps, “One of the easiest ways to transform a space is through paint. If you are in a rented space that doesn’t allow you to paint the walls, paint your furniture. If you don’t have furniture, go to a thrift store or yard sale and find some ugly piece that is just right for your space and needs some TLC and paint it.”
Moving into your first place can be scary for some. However, if your looking to decorate your place, its perfect because it’s a blank canvas. A great place to start is by painting the walls or furniture. Starting with simple projects helps alleviate some of the trepidation that may come when considering using do-it-yourself decorating techniques.
Joey and Lana Make A House A Home
Lana Migliore of the DIY blog, Making a House a Home, said, “Renters and owners should defiantly give it a try. You can DIY lamps, which are easy and gratifying, small furniture, frames, decor, and other things that don’t take up too much time or money. I think it would be a great mental exercise for college students.”
In terms of the advantages of using do-it-yourself techniques, Migliore said, “It makes you think in new ways. Each object can play a variety of rolls. You start seeing objects in a new light.”
According to another blogger, Jessica Fediw of Happy Together Creates, “when you are in college or just out of college, it’s the perfect time to try out some DIY projects. You are looking to have a nice place, but usually are on a budget. Plus, you might have more time on your hands and energy for DIY projects.”
Also, DIY projects can help college girls on a budget save money by decorating their places themselves. According to Migliore, it helps save her and her husband money. “Even when we mess up, we save. I would say we save at least 75 percent on everything we do.”
DIY blogger Kelly Marzca from A View Along The Way said “Doing projects ourselves saves lots of cash, but even better, we are able to create exactly what we envision. We’re limited only by what we can imagine and what we’re willing to take the time to learn. Not to mention that once you finish a project, there’s nothing like enjoying it every day with the knowledge that your hard work made it happen.
“My favorite part is that I’m investing as little money as possible, so if I don’t like something or it doesn’t turn out well, I can change it,” said Marzca.
Sandra’s favorite part about DIY projects is “knowing that I can do just about anything I set my mind to.”
Migliore said, “We can customize anything we want, when we want, and how we want. I love the problem solving aspect of dreaming something up and making it happen. It feels amazing to have something in your mind and then see it in your home.
So you may be wondering where to begin. The answer is simple; the Internet. The Web is full of DIY blogs, and Google can be your best friend when researching certain projects. Pinterest can also be a huge asset when looking for inspiration or tutorials on DIY projects. Home décor magazines and websites like HGTV also provide ideas for home improvement and decorating.
So you’ve done some research and have been inspired. Some projects are obviously going to be much harder, while others will be easier to tackle and can serve an equally appealing decorating purpose. For college girls who want to use DIY decorating techniques, starting small and working up to bigger projects is the route to take.
Migliore said, “I would suggest sewing curtains, making pillows, and refinishing and painting furniture. You can find cheap furniture at good will and even if the finish is bad, it’s easy to sand and paint and will look great if the structure has good lines.”
“If a person wants a certain look, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to create it. Often times, that means thinking outside the box,” said Sandra.
Kelly Marzca--A View Along The Way
“I’d say almost anything you want to create can be done if you’re willing to invest the time in Googling around to learn how to do it, and it helps if you know someone with access to tools. Start out small, with little art projects or simple projects that don’t require lots of time and energy. Build up some confidence and don’t be afraid to take risks or try things that fail,” said Marzca.
Decorating your first place should be a rewarding learning experience. DIY projects can help you save money and help you develop your style. Decorating is a process. You sense of style changes, and so can your home décor.
“For me, it’s taken me years to refine my style and my taste, and I’m still doing so today, so it just doesn’t make sense to invest lots of money in decorating. Doing projects yourself gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation for how things are made, and allows you to save money while exploring your personal style,” said Marzca.