Indiana Daily Student

Sustainable maximalism: how to overdecorate without overpaying

The Bloomington Antique Mall is located at 311 W. Seventh St.
The Bloomington Antique Mall is located at 311 W. Seventh St.

Every single house on my Pinterest feed is covered with quirky décor and luscious plant life. I’ve always wanted to decorate in that style, but as a broke college student, I don’t want to break the bank. Here’s a look into some local Bloomington businesses that will help you find the perfect pop of pizzazz without costing hundreds of dollars. 

 Hanging decorations and coffee table books 

The Bloomington Antique Mall has everything: old Coca-Cola signs, Kermit the Frog landlines and far too many Precious Moments memorabilia to count. It hosts a variety of vendors, guaranteeing items that fit within every budget. And its slogan is very accurate: “If it’s not here, chances are it doesn’t exist!” 

Boasting 24,000 square feet of vintage finds, the mall is perfect for any style. It also houses hundreds of vintage dining sets and glassware for all your cottagecore dreams. The basement is filled with books on every subject, from cookbooks by IU sororities to old textbooks — so go find your holy grail item at 311 W. Seventh St. 

Vintage furniture 

A Bloomington staple since 2003, Jeff’s Warehouse is the perfect furniture store for all your mid-century desires. Don’t limit yourself to just checking out the furniture — it also has a plethora of American and European antiques spanning an extensive price range. 

Sofas, dining tables and lamps smother the floor, showing off the extensive collection of nearly -one-of-a-kind finds. Everything you need to furnish your home or apartment can easily be found here, including rugs and TV dinner platters. 

Jeff’s Warehouse might have the biggest collection of Fiestaware that I have ever seen. It’s always worth the trip. It’s located at 424 S. College Ave., a short visit away from the main heart of Bloomington. 

A sprinkle of plant life 

The most important thing for every house, in my opinion, is plants. Just a short walk down Kirkwood Avenue to 401 E. Fourth St. lands you at oak., the perfect store for your plant needs. 

Plants start at just three dollars, truly offering an option for all kinds of budgets. The staff is friendly and happy to help with any kind of plant question. It truly feels like an oasis. 

I have never found a plant I didn’t like here. They even host events like plant swaps that are free to attend, providing accessible options for all kinds of plant parents. 

I can’t close out the article before mentioning well-known nationwide staples such as Goodwill and Half-Price Books. While they might not have every unique item that these local Bloomington businesses keep in stock, they do offer a wide range of affordable second-hand items. 

Remember, it is always most important to be conscious of how much you buy and where you buy from. If possible, shop small and shop sustainable. 

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