Cost-effective furniture

Christina Deal, Staff Writer


Though many University of Dallas students covet living off-campus, the privilege brings added responsibilities such as signing up for Internet or buying furniture. Limited funds inspired some students to make their own furniture this year.

“The idea started with me not having a mattress … My wallet was actually a big inspiration, but actually I have to give full credit to Nick McCabe,” senior Alex Ziolkowski said. “He is the original user of cinder blocks. I didn’t want to spend the time looking for cheap furniture.”

Senior Matt Cyr also felt that furnishing an apartment was an unnecessary expense.

“I started shopping around and realized that frames are really expensive and from there we just decided that making it would probably be cheaper and we found some plans online that explained how to do it,” Cyr said.

Each of the students built their furniture differently. Ziolkowski used cinder blocks to mount an oriented strand board as well as plywood and perfect balance for shelves.

“I didn’t do any nailing, gluing or screwing, I use the weight of gravity to hold everything together,” Ziolkowski said. “For my shelves, I initially built it the wrong way, and it [almost] tipped over.”

Pinterest inspired junior Natalie Gempel to build her own bed out of shipping pallets.

“I got [pallets] on Craigslist,” Gempel said. “I saw [a bed made of them] on Pinterest, and I thought it was a cute idea that would be cheap. My dad helped me because they’re really heavy … They’re literally just stacked. It wasn’t too much assembly.”

Cyr was a bit more ambitious, constructing bunk beds with plans from the Internet. He made a few mistakes along the way, like buying boards that were too short. But despite these hiccups, he successfully created his own bed.

Ziolkowski, however, did not get his plans from the Internet — he used his creativity.

“I just had a rough idea of how many cinder blocks I wanted to use in between my bed and my shelves … so I just drew up an idea,” Ziolkowski said.

After building the bed and his shelves, Ziolkowski also made a bedside table with the leftover wood.

Gempel noticed only one difference between her bed at home and her bed here at school.

“It’s kind of funny because they’re industrial wood so if my leg touches the side of it I’ll get splinters sometimes, but other than that [it’s comfortable],” Gempel said.

All three students suggested that other students research and use outside advice when building.

“Definitely make sure you do your research before you go shopping because once you get in Home Depot it’s very confusing,” Cyr said. “Make sure you know what you want.”

Ziolkowski agreed, suggesting where to find the best advice.

“Take measurements beforehand, and when you are at the store, ask advice from the guys at Home Depot [and] ask advice from your dad,” Ziolkowski said.


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