Story and Photos by Sierra Pedro

Winter means hibernation. If you’re anything like me, that means snuggling up with a fluffy blanket, lighting the last few Cinnavanilla candles I have left, and welcoming that extra urge to buy all the cute office and home decor whenever I step into Target. In the pursuit of cozy and impulse buys, creating a comfortable living space can end up being a little spendy. We interviewed senior advertising student Katie TenBoer to give us the scoop on finding cozy, winter home decor on a budget.

One of Katie’s biggest passions is interior design. She credits this to her mom, who was an interior designer in her early twenties. Katie’s most recent project is her DIY refurbished desk space. Taking an old wooden picnic table, she sanded it down, painted it with white paint from Bring Recycling (4446 Franklin Blvd. Eugene, OR) and finished by putting a custom-sized piece of glass for a surface before decorating. One thing Katie wants her peers to know is that decorating doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, some of her favorite items have been Goodwill or Craigslist finds. For example, she found her livingroom couch for $150 on Craigslist and then split the costs with her roommates. The key, she says, is to focus on one item at a time. Don’t go to the store without a goal in mind because that’s how you will buy unnecessary items and feel overwhelmed. Instead, start with a vision. Visit an antique and thrift store for inspiration and then look out for the best deals. Above her desk, she stacks hardcover books from Goodwill and sets a ceramic elephant on top. “When I’m choosing books at Goodwill, I have a color scheme in mind,” says Katie. “For these, I wanted neutrals with hints of gold. I take off the covers of book and underneath are these beautiful hardcovers and I got them for 50% off.”

Her advice to those of us who don’t have the magic touch when it comes to decorating is to start small and collect inspiration by following Pottery Barn on Instagram and creating a mood board on Pinterest. “I recommend starting with one room,” says Katie. “Your bedroom is the perfect place to start because each time you add something to it, you get to wake up and it’s the first thing you see, and that’s exciting! It will keep you motivated. At least, it does for me!” Like what you see? Katie will be leasing out her furnished apartment during the summer. For more information, email [email protected]

Katie’s Finds

Bed Pillow, Anthropologie, $25

Mirrors Above Bed, Target, $15

Blue Shelf, Saturday Market, $15

Bathroom Basket, Tuesday Morning, $10

IKEA Couch, Craigslist, $150

Gold-scripted Books, Goodwill, $5

Ceramic Elephant, TJ Maxx, $10

Ceramic Plant Holder, TJ Maxx, $10