Renovations are simple enough to talk about when you own your home and have creative free reign to remove walls, update your windows, replace those old radiators, and rip out the horrific shag carpet that’s been in the house since 1965, but for those of us that have to rent, making spaces feel like home requires a little bit of creativity and finesse – if you want to keep your security deposit, at least. While we all might have to continue to tolerate some of your rental home’s quirks, the home sweet home effect is still possible with a couple of easy tips.
Have the white wall woes? Plastic blind problems? Curtains and window treatments are easily the most effective way to add color and pattern to a dull room, and functions just as well as an accent wall would. It’s also the most painless way to ensure that your difficult landlord doesn’t eat up your entire security deposit due to holes in the wall or bright paint colors. Pro tip: if your landlord is as bad as some of mine have been in the past, upholstery tacks are a great way to avoid the large holes, and are much easier to patch up if you’re a novice like I am.
Image courtesy of 24/7 Curtains
Whether you have to deal with spaghetti stains from the previous tenants of your home, or the scratched hardwood from pets, or that godawful 1970’s vinyl, covering that up is as simple as employing the help of a good old area rug. Adding accents to drab flooring can spruce up any home.
We all know it’s a jungle out there, but creating a jungle in your home is a great way to add homey touches to an apartment or small rental. Plants warm up any room they’re in, they are inexpensive and many purify the air. And if you’re like the Typhoid Mary of gardening (you’re not alone there, as I’ve definitely killed a cactus this year), there are plenty of alternatives, like air plants, aloe, jade, and ficus, which you can only kill if you really try.
Image courtesy of Freund Evon Freunden
Invest in furniture that you love
Skip the build-your-own plastic dorm room furniture that your mom helped you pick out when you first went to college, and invest in something quality that you’ll love and will be able to take with you as you move from home to home. Quality furniture doesn’t have to break the bank, so check out local thrift stores, estate sales, craigslist ads, or even Ikea if you can’t find something you absolutely love. The furniture holds better over time, and won’t make you feel like you’re obligated to buy ramen packets and study for your chem final. Additionally, thrifted or old furniture can take on a fresh coat of paint, vinegar stains, and new cushions. Cheap and customizable!
Image Courtesy of House of Fifty
It’s no surprise that the lighting in most apartments and rentals can be a bit of an eye sore — pun intended. Every rental I’ve ever lived in has had the same light in the bedroom, and you know exactly which one I’m talking about. Sprucing up the lighting in your house is a relatively inexpensive way to add color, and light to a drab apartment. To quote Albus Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when only one remembers to go to Target and buy some new lights.”
Most rentals don’t come with storage readily available, and with roommates, extra storage space isn’t often an option. One solution for the lack of space is to build up. Floating storage gives you an extra space to store your books and knick-knacks as well as breaking up wall space.
|Image Courtesy of Betapet||Image Courtesy of Decoist|
That’s right folks, wallpaper has been the midst of a comeback for some time now. Not to worry, the rooster print has been largely driven off the market with fire and pitchforks, leaving only tasteful patterns. And with the advent of temporary and easily removable wallpaper, you can put wallpaper on a whole lot more than your walls. Everything is fair game; fridges, coffee tables, dressers, the family dog, you name it, it works.