Personalizing your apartment without painting, drilling holes in the walls or updating old appliances can seem impossible. Plus, with the ugly paint color and awful carpet, you may not feel like you have too many options. But it can be done. There are steps you can take to make your home or apartment more appealing — without ticking off your landlord.
Use Easy Change Wallpaper
Often called “temporary wallpaper” this stuff isn’t permanent and it’s easy to take down. It’s also known as “renter’s wallpaper” or “temporary wallpaper.” Find a funky pattern in your color scheme and enlist a friend to help you put it up. When you’re moving and ready to take it down — or just want a change — just pull the paper right off (it’s reusable). Run a damp cloth over the wall to remove any excess glue residue and your landlord will never know.
Similar to removable wallpaper, but not as transformative (or time consuming), wall graphics are perfect for any room. Get creative and use decals to accent cables running up your wall. Using the cable as the trunk, decals could be the branches.
What do most rentals have in common? Dirty, ugly, plastic blinds. Inexpensively dress your windows with something a little nicer and you’ll be surprised how much of a difference it’ll make. If you can’t find the drapes of your choice in your price range, head over to the kitchen department. Table cloths can double as curtains and they come in a variety of patterns, and made of durable fabric and generally less expensive than drapes. For something different, mount a rod and hang a sheer curtain over your window blinds. It’ll add a bit of color to your apartment without sacrificing light.
Brighten Up Old Furniture
If it’s time to update old furniture, buy bold. Colorful or pattern furniture eliminates the need to add dimension to a room using paint, so typical white walls in rentals won’t be a problem. If you’re stuck with neutral couches, use accent-bright throw pillows to liven the space.
Bring light to a dark bookcase by painting the interior backing a bright color. Pasting wallpaper to the back can bring more attention to items on display.
Update Outdated Fixtures
Typical light fixtures look bland. Troll flea markets or eBay in search of a cheap replacement, and you’ll love the decorative options you find. Paper lanterns are another easy and inexpensive fix to your drab décor. If the kitchen or bathroom of your rental is looking particularly aged, update with new handles, knobs and faucets. Easy to do by yourself and take with you when you leave, this simple detail will make a huge difference.
Hide Ugly Carpet
Hoping you can learn to live with the awful carpet — and that guests won’t notice it — is quite the task. But since replacing the carpet isn’t an option, hide it instead. Use wall-to-wall rugs to completely cover the problem, or accent rugs around the room to add dimension. Rugs can be expensive, so put your do-it-yourself skills to work and make one. Using old fabric scraps from sheets and shirts, crochet or braided rug patterns. Even if it’s your first time, tiny mistakes will only make the rug that much more personalized.