5 tips for Cal students who want to decorate living spaces for cheap

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SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

Did you just move into a new apartment? Have you lived in the same apartment for three years and just realized that your walls are empty and boring because you’re too cheap to buy wall decorations? Have you ever walked into a friend’s apartment and gotten extremely jealous because all of his or her decorations were way cooler than yours? Well, we have some tips for you frugal Cal students who want to spice up your living space without spending too much moola!


Buy cheap tapestries. Shopping around online or at typical decorating stores will lead you only to find tapestries that are $40 or more. If you didn’t know this already, we have a variety of cool stores in Berkeley, such as Happy High Herbs on Channing Way (who would have thought they had things other than herbs?) or Tibet Souvenirs on Center Street that sell really cool tapestries. Many of the tapestries you will find are around $20, but if you split the price with several of your roommates, you can end up paying a fraction of the original price! You can use a tapestry as a wall decoration, curtains or couch covers, or you can even put them on your bed. A tapestry will make your apartment hip, and we’re pretty sure that logic says that that makes you hip too! Congratulations!


Use excess materials from clubs you’re in. If you’re a Cal student, we can guarantee you’re involved in something. And whatever club you are involved with probably has a committee or subcommittee that consists of artsy people with artsy materials. If you are not one of them, hit these people up and tell them to make you something cool and artsy with their leftover materials. Or, if they have decorations left over from an event, ask if you can have them. With all these aesthetically gifted and creative Cal students around you, you’ll definitely find some delightfully unexpected decor!


Buy cool wall decorations from local shops. There are a number of local shops on Shattuck and College avenues where you can find neat things to decorate your apartment with. At Therapy on College, you can find inflatable animal heads to put on your walls! These cost about $30, and if split evenly with your roommates, you’ve got yourselves a deal! You can also find products such as frames, posters and clocks at various local stores.

Posters around the UC Berkeley campus advertise the general strike happening in Oakland on Wednesday.

Accept flier attacks on Sproul. For once in your life, don’t try to circumvent the intense individuals handing you fliers on Sproul. Again, with the aesthetically inclined student body you’re surrounded by, you’re bound to get some pretty badass-looking fliers! These may or may not be fliers for events that are completely unrelated to your life, but at least they’ll look cool!


Pick up the Daily Cal. No, we aren’t self-advertising! What are you talking about?! But you should try it! Pick up a copy of The Daily Californian, cut out some cool headlines or pictures and make awesome collages for doors and walls. People will think  you’re cool and cultured because you keep up with the Daily Cal, and they’ll think you’re artsy and resourceful for making pretty things with our newspaper! We’re all winners!

Have any tips on cheap decorating ideas? Let us know in the comments!

Contact Gabrielle Nguyen at 


SEPTEMBER 24, 2013

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