Thrifty furnishings discovered in off-campus homes

For college students, money is usually limited. With a little creativity, many off-campus seniors have found ways to decorate frugally.

Megan Toney, a senior living in a local duplex, advocates thriftiness in the midst of decorating. “I’m a college student, money is tight.” Toney said. “I am a big believer in the idea that you don’t have to sacrifice what you want it to look like, you just have to work a little bit harder.”

Toney and her two roommates, seniors Jessica Owens and Tina Harder, found a stool and two bookshelves just thrown away on the side of the road. A new coat of paint transformed these pieces of trash into treasures that furnish their new home.

Toney explained, “Trash cans would not be my first option, but when you do not have the money to spend, you find ways to get the look you want with the cost you can afford.”

To be economical does not always call for dumpster diving. Taylor Wood, senior sports medicine major, took a hands-on approach to furnishing his place.

His experience in carpentry gave him the ability to build not only one, but two bunk beds. The first bunk bed he crafted for himself and his roommate. The second set he created for seniors Cassie Kelley and Lori Franz.

Kelley said she was “very grateful to not have to purchase a bed frame.”

Owens did not have the ability to craft her own furniture like Wood, but that did not stop her from keeping the costs low. She got
creative and picked up her furniture at a thrift store that is connected to a nursing home.

While this particular type of thrift store is not one that many students frequent, Owens found great success in purchasing a dresser and a mirror for only $30.

Also, most college seniors experience the need for furniture when moving off campus, so many who graduate have been gracious to pass down their collected items.

Toney was third in line for an antique looking bed that first belonged to Kristie Neff, who graduated from John Brown in 2010. When Neff graduated, she passed her bed to Gretchen Gunter, now a 2012 graduate. When Gunter packed up and moved away, Toney got the bed.

Toney and Owens refer to their home as the “patchwork house” and enjoy the atmosphere that the mix of furnishings brings to it.

“Each item has character,” Toney said. “Every desk, chair, bed and dresser has its own story. They each had lives before they came to our home, but now they make up our house. We kind of like it. I personally think it is more exciting than simply clicking ‘buy’ online.”