A feel-good home

Students discuss making their South Campus abodes more ÒhomeyÓ

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The Spectrum

Living in the University Heights could mean inhabiting homes with broken front doors, cracks in the walls, creaking floors and an overall disheveled feel.

But that's not to say that a bit of feng shui and decorating can't make some of the most unkempt houses more "homey." Some UB students have figured out how make their South Campus homes feel less like broken-down sheds and more like home.

When Carly Schreiber, a senior communication major, first saw the Tyler Street home she'd be living in during her sophomore and junior year, there were holes punched through the living room walls, a broken ceiling light fixture hanging in the middle of her soon-to-be kitchen and dirt covering the floors and walls.

Toilets were broken and the house seemed unlivable, she said. But throughout her three years living in house away from her home, she and her friends figured out how to make their South Campus home more comfortable.

Christmas tree lights, tapestries and photographs are the ingredients Schreiber uses to spice up her bedroom. For $2, she purchased Christmas tree lights from the Christmas Tree Shop and hung them from each corner of her bedroom to circle her ceiling. Behind her bed, Schreiber hung a purple tapestry - $10 from a boutique in Israel - along with a black Grateful Dead tapestry on the wall across from her bed.

The longest wall in her room is filled with posters of her favorite bands - Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish and more. She collected these posters from concerts, travel and the Internet.

Her bohemian quilted comforter is made up of teal, orange, pink, white and light blue abstract designs - these warm colors add a comforting feel to her bedroom. Schreiber has a television, a white dresser and some shelves in her room as well.

The final touches are the pictures of her and her friends throughout their college career hanging near her door. These mementos make Schreiber feel truly at home in her room.

Nicole Faerman, a junior communication major, used her artistic skills to add zing to her room. Because her bed didn't come attached to a headboard, Faerman took a door off its hinges, sand-papered it, painted it bright teal and hung it behind her bed.

"The inside of my room was very dark - the walls were supposed to be white but they were covered in tape, nails and dark dirt marks, so my parents and I repainted it immediately," Faerman said. "The posters above my bed now add personality and color to my room. The random throw pillows and Anthropologie comforter I have make my room feel more like home."

Paige Liebowitz, a senior communication major, believes making a house more "homey" involves more than just bedroom decorations. Liebowitz and her friends decorated their living room in purple and gold colors to represent their sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon.

Walls covered in banners and photographs make them feel at home in Buffalo. The banners are created from painting sorority symbols and images on mattress sheets.

Liebowitz's kitchen features wooden cabinets and drawers, matched with red d?(c)cor she and her roommates picked out at Bed, Bath & Beyond and ordered from eBay.

Furthermore, blasting loud music through speakers in the house while the girls cook dinner or get ready to go out also enhances the comfort and "home-good" feel, Liebowitz said.

She personally loves her room, too. She said every roommate decorated her room based off a color scheme - hers is pink and black.

She found a zebra striped comforter and other funky hot pink decorations at Target. She bought simple, cheap furniture from IKEA, she said, in order to complete her room.

Amber Rijos, a junior speech and hearing sciences major, painted one wall in her room turquoise and matched it with a lime green carpet and blue and green paisley comforter. The brightness adds happiness and comfort to her life.

Above her bed, Rijos hung a dream catcher, along with a collage of her and her friends nailed into the wall - the framed photos remind her of good times.

"I just like to go home and feel at peace," Rijos said. "Laying in my bed, I want to be surrounded by a positive atmosphere."

Joyce Chun, a junior social science major, values home d?(c)cor. She said it's important to make a space your own, especially when living in an area with so much urban decay, in order to find comfort when you feel homesick.

Good color schemes are everything to Chun, who lives with Liebowitz. Her house's gold and yellow living room is covered in tapestries and sorority banners that are paired with matching colored pillows on couches and futons.

"Your room is like an extension of yourself," Schreiber said. "It's hard to create a perfect home when you have so many roommates - not everyone has the same style or likes. But when you're inside your room, you're in your safe zone, and I think it's important to make college a home away from home - just as contented and cozy as your real home."

Shopping at Target, Christmas Tree Shop, Michael's and on eBay can be helpful in finding cheap decorations to make a house look more like a home.

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