Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

10 inexpensive ways to make your apartment a home

Chloe Williams

It is no secret that student apartments are not the best quality that money can buy. Oftentimes, the furniture, walls and pretty much everything has seen better days. Building a space you enjoy and feel comfortable in is a necessity — but it does not have to break the bank.  

1. Utilize contact paper 

Is your student apartment desk ugly or does it not match your style? Pick up some contact paper from Target or Walmart and overlay it on the desk. This supplies personality and beauty to an otherwise eye-sore in your room. 

2. Get cheap prints

Upgrade the traditional posters with custom prints from FedEx or UPS. A new hack I have found is using public-domain art from the Met or other websites, downloading that for free and then getting it custom-printed for your frame size. Thrifting frames is a great way to add unique touches to vintage art. To make the art look oil painted, add a thin layer of matte Mod Podge to look like brush strokes.

3. Do not sleep on second-hand finds

Thrifting is by far the best way to get unique decor for cheap. A new Goodwill just opened by the H-E-B off Bandera and their color-coordinated home decor section is quite impressive. Another favorite is Facebook Marketplace, where you can find pretty much anything you could ever need for a fraction of the cost of buying new. 

4. Hang curtains instead of blinds

Some student apartments come with big, loud blinds either full-length vertical or horizontal. To upgrade your window coverage either pull the vertical blinds out and replace them with a curtain clipped into the blinds or hang a curtain rod above using screws or command hooks. Then hang your curtain for an upgraded look. 

5. Switch out your showerhead and rod

This might be on the more expensive side of renter-friendly upgrades, but switching out your shower head to one with better pressure can be life-changing for those who cherish their shower time. It also helps avoid spending 15 minutes trying to rinse out conditioner from your hair. Shower heads are pretty easy to switch out and make a difference. Another upgrade is switching out the provided shower rod with a curved one to make your shower feel bigger. 

6. Reduce, reuse, recycle 

A free hack is to use containers or jars for decor. For example, Oui yogurt containers are perfect for knick-knacks or mini-fake plants. There are creative ways to reuse everything if you just look for them. 

7. Decorate the fridge

Personalize your fridge with cute items that reflect you and your style. Cute ideas include covering your fridge in polaroid’s, magnets or stickers. 

8. Organization is key 

The key to a home you enjoy being in is not just decor but making sure this decor has its time to shine. Organization and making sure everything has a place will keep your area clean. Walmart, Facebook Marketplace and Ikea have relatively inexpensive organization options for your closet or bathroom — whatever is needed to keep things clean. 

9. Ambient lighting > overhead lighting 

Ambient lighting can transform your space into a cozy atmosphere. A lot of times, student apartments have dark lighting that can seriously kill your mood. Thrifting lamps and putting warm lightbulbs in them will make your space cozy and enjoyable. 

10. Decorate your balcony 

Utilizing and decorating your balcony is an underrated way to make your apartment feel like home. Get some plants and find an outdoor table and chairs. Other additions are a rug or turf and some outdoor lights. 

Whatever way you decide to make your apartment feel like home, just remember it is okay that it is not perfect all at once. Doing things on a budget takes time and patience, but in the end, you will have a space made just for you with items that will not be found in any other student’s apartment. 

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About the Contributor
Chloe Williams
Chloe Williams, Managing Editor
Chloe (she/her) is a senior majoring in Business Marketing with a minor in Adaptive Decision Business Models. On her off days you can find Chloe thrifting, being a self-proclaimed food critic or outside enjoying nature. This is her third year at The Paisano and she is excited to serve as Managing Editor.

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