Finding an apartment to fit your lifestyle has its challenges. Perhaps you find one that is in the perfect location but the interiors are uninspired, to say the least. You might also find an apartment where the previous renters felt a little too inspired. Don’t let the cosmetics of a space scare you away from renting and settling into your new apartment.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 tips and solutions for decorating a rental apartment that are not only affordable, but are impermanent, and can even travel with you if you find yourself moving to another unit. In the mean time, your apartment is your home and you should feel comfortable in this space – that’s what home is all about!
- Floating shelves. Floating shelves are great, modern additions you can use when decorating an apartment. You can minimize the amount of holes you put in a wall by setting artwork, pictures, and mirrors on the shelf. Not only is this a great way to add some interest and color to your wall, but also you won’t have to worry about patching up so many holes when the time comes for you to move.
- Purchase new window fixtures and put the old ugly ones in storage. Plastic venetian blinds or those dreaded blinds with three cords tend to be eyesores and impractical for a space. Find some curtains or blinds that can add some color, luxury, or comfort to you apartment and put the other blinds in storage. This temporary fix lets you enjoy the space while you live there and avoid losing some of your deposit for missing inventory.
- Paint your furniture, instead of the walls, to add some color. This way you can brighten up and personalize a space without worrying about changing the color of the walls or needing the approval of a landlord to spruce up your space.
- Use open storage if you don’t have enough cupboards or closets. If you can keep the storage space presentable, it will look like a reinvention of the bookshelf and maximize the use of wall space. The trick with this kind of storage is to not let it get too cluttered.
- Buy a rug. While this solution seems elementary, it sometimes gets overlooked. Area rugs and carpet squares can add comfort to a space, as well as hide imperfections in the existing floor. Rugs also cover up floors that you just don’t like or detract from other features you want to be prominent in your apartment. *Bonus: Make sure the rug you choose is the appropriate size for your space. If the rug is too small, your room will look awkward and smaller than it actually is.
- Use mirrors to make spaces feel bigger. Mirrors are great for reflecting light and giving the illusion that a room is larger than it actually is. Think of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Ignore the fact that the space is gigantic, but all the mirrors make the hall bright and feel even bigger.
- Use furniture to divide or define space. If you are living in a studio apartment, or have an oversized room in your apartment, you define the space by strategically placing your furniture. Large bookshelves, couches, or decorative folding screens can give your room definition and separation.
- If your home comes with a pop of color, work with it – not against it. Sometimes an unexpected color can be a good thing. If it is less expensive to paint the wall and you know how your landlord will react, go ahead and paint. However, if new paint isn’t in the budget, invest in a few features for the room that will play off the color, like through pillows, frames, rugs, and more.
- Update the lighting fixtures. If your apartment has fluorescent lights that you just can’t stand, you can avoid using them by setting your space up with a few floor lamps, making your space feel warmer, more like a home, and less like an office. Experiment with different light shades or actual fixtures, if you feel comfortable replacing them. Changing a light covering from fabric to metal makes a huge difference, as well as adjusting lamp placement.
- Invest in a new showerhead – store the old and take it with you when you leave. While this is less of a decorative adjustment, it will help you enjoy your bathroom more. Trade out the sputtering pipe for a rain showerhead or one with different settings, giving your shower a more spa-like accessory.
- Temporary wallpaper. Perhaps one of the most amazing inventions for home redesign, temporary wallpaper allows you change the appearance of any room without risking damage to the walls. Hide ugly wall colors or just change the look of your space. Temporary wallpaper doesn’t require glue or adhesive when you apply them to the wall – you just peel and stick. This also adds interest to the room without putting holes in the walls to hang pictures or shelves.
- Splurge on items you can take with you. This is the best piece of advice we can give you. If you choose to rent instead of own, you don’t have to compromise your personal style or the freedom to make your home uniquely yours. Furniture, showerheads, light fixtures, curtains, rugs, coat racks, and shelving units are all pieces and features you can spend extra money on take with you to whichever place you call home.