Make Your Rental Space Unique
Decorating an apartment or rental home can be a challenge. Tenants are often constrained by existing walls, floors, cabinets, and other finishes that are often plain and uninspiring in leased spaces.
In some cases, many landlords are now happy to pay for approved property improvements. reward? You usually do the work yourself (for free), and you can’t take improvements with you when you move. However, if you plan to stay put for a while, it might be worth investing a little time in the property. Some landlords may even be willing to negotiate lower rents in exchange for some free sweat capital.
When improving your property isn’t an option, there are still plenty of affordable ways to brighten up your rental space and take your rental home or apartment from drab to stunning.
How to Decorate an Apartment: The Main Considerations
Walls: create or get wall art or wall decals, decorate walls with curtains, invest in mirrors or paint.
Flooring: Throw blankets are inexpensive and can be taken with you when you move.
Windows: Get or make curtains.
Lighting: Check to update older fixtures, add mood lighting with bulbs or accent lights.
Furniture: Furniture defines the flow of space; space-saving products that do double duty, such as an ottoman that doubles as a coffee table; many options range from the budget to the premium.
ACCESSORIES: Pottery, plants, throw pillows and decorations add personality to any room.
Try these easy, inexpensive decorating ideas to add unique style and personality to your apartment or rental.
Budget (and free) wall art is super easy to make, even if you’re not the art type. Stretched canvas is affordable enough to decoupage or paint on just about anything. For an easier option, you can color coordinate pretty fabric or scrapbook paper to match your decor.
Wall stickers are inexpensive and readily available, and most are easy to remove. Decals can even be applied to furniture and tiles. Would you like to save even more? Prepare yourself a roll of removable self-adhesive shelf film. Decals can easily be cut into different shapes or designs, attached to the wall and removed before moving out.
Curtains don’t just cover windows. Hang inexpensive curtains or fabric on the wall to create a beautiful feature and add color and texture to your space. You can even hang curtains from the ceiling to divide a large area.
Mirrors are an economical way to upgrade a room. Mirrors make small rooms appear larger and dark areas appear brighter. You can find inexpensive mirrors at home improvement stores, or look for bargains at estate sales.
If you are allowed to paint, choose light, neutral colors that are easier to repaint before moving. Add color with other elements such as art, furniture, and decor.
Area rugs are a tenant’s best friend. Not only will they protect floors (and your deposit), but they’re a great way to add warmth, color and pattern to an otherwise dull space. In a studio apartment or large room, an area rug can also be used to define the living area.
Oftentimes, drapes are already installed in rental properties, but if you need or wish to have drapes installed on a budget, consider DIY–no sewing skills required. Fusible connective tissue (aka stitch voodoo) is available at fabric and craft stores and can be used to make simple fabric panels with treated edges for hanging from windows or glass doors.
Replacing existing lighting in rental properties is generally not permitted, but if a particular lighting fixture is unsightly or unusable, it may be worth bringing to your landlord’s attention. A good landlord may surprise you and offer to replace it or pay you damages.
Adding extra lighting to a room is an inexpensive way to brighten up a drab space. When lighting a room, think in layers, from top to bottom. Overhead lighting is a given, and lamps can provide soft light or task lighting, but don’t overlook floor lighting or accent lighting to accentuate artwork, cabinets, or bookshelves.
If your rental space is small, consider furniture that does double duty. A sofa bed, Murphy bed, or bunk bed works great in a studio apartment. An ottoman that doubles as a storage solution or a coffee table that turns into a dining table are creative solutions for small spaces.
With Craigslist and online marketplaces, numerous flea markets and flea markets, furnishing a rental apartment on a budget is easier than ever. Invest in a new mattress, but buy everything else that is used. It’s amazing how gorgeous an old dresser can look when painted peacock blue.
One of the best ways to add color and personality to a rental space is through accessories. Accessories are easy to carry. To add uniqueness to an otherwise dreary apartment or rental, look for handcrafted or vintage items to liven up your space.
Add a pop of color with throw pillows and small accessories like crockery, picture frames or book covers. If these items don’t fit or match your next home, they’re inexpensive and easy to paint, cover, or donate.
Houseplants can add much-needed life to an otherwise dreary space, and they’re affordable. If you work long hours or aren’t interested in maintenance, try growing succulents or other low-maintenance plants.