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Four empty walls, and a chair — this may describe how your room will look like after you have just moved in. How should you turn your room to a home?
Once you have arrived in Copenhagen and landed a room in one of those wonderful Kollegiets, or a shared apartment or even a kollektiv, a plain room will now be staring back at you. The rooms often come with the bare minimum furnishing; a bed, a desk and a wardrobe. Actually, it costs less to rent an unfurnished apartment. Either way, this place is now your home and it needs to feel that way. You have to make it cosy. The concept of cosiness (Hyggeligt) is central to Danish culture for reasons you will find out once the winter comes.
For a bargain, and if you know your way around, you can achieve this. Whatever your home decor style is, an oriental rug, a patterned throw, a potted plant, fluffy pillows or colorful bedspread, could be the extra touch you need to create your home away from home.
You are now in the Scandinavia, the home of IKEA. It would be a crime not visiting their large store in Gentofte, less than 30 minutes by the 150S bus from the centre. The grand building housing it, is quite an experience. Should hours of bargain hunting leave you knackered and hungry, relax at the restaurant while enjoying their Frikadeller, a taste of the authentic Danish spirit.
However, to avoid getting overwhelmed by their ridiculously wide selection, you can pre-visit through their website.
A good hunt at one of Copenhagen’s many flea markets would yield some wonderful homely treasures for a song. These second hand markets can be found in any neighbourhood in the greater Copenhagen area. Visit this website to identify a convenient location.
The Ostebro Sommer Loppemarked is currently running until September. Studenterhuset (the students’ house, a place you will become intimately acquainted with) returns in September, with a loppemarked every first Saturday of the month.
Websites and social media pages exist where one can benefit from a second-hand bargain. DBA, one of Denmark’s leading online marketplaces is a great place to start. Be careful though, and don’t pay for items you have not seen.
A Facebook page namely ‘ESN CPH: Give-Buy-Sell’ was created for international students to help each other in finding and disposing of items. Many a times people will give out stuff for free, one just has to organize transportation to collect them. To find out more by sending a request to the group.
These are spread all over town. A major one on Nørrebrogade 116 called Hjerte Genbrug can easily be visited by taking the 350S or 5A bus from Norreport. The proceeds from the sales at these stores mostly go to charity. So get in there and make your contribution, while walking away with the piece which will take away your homesick blues.
Finding a market for used wares is not that easy, especially on short notice. Therefore, many Copenhageners throw out used furniture, bedspreads, cutlery and sometimes wonderful artwork into these large waste areas. Most of the stuff is still in great condition, sometimes being almost unused. You can find a convenient location, and head down there for a veritable treasure-hunt!
In conclusion, visit any of the places above and make your room a favorite spot, not only for you, but for all the new friends you are going to make in Copenhagen. Decorating on a student budget this way is not only easy and affordable; it is bound to be a ton of fun!
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