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Infusing that Classic You-Style into your Rental Apartment

by Charlie Brown on Sep 11, 2014

Decorating a rented apartment can be the trickiest thing ever: it’s your space, but not really. There's the all-mighty landlord who gets the final say on what you can and cannot do. The walls must stay white. You can’t make any structural adjustments, no matter how small. For some, you can’t even nail anything to the walls.

That’s not all, by very nature, rental apartments are built with basic functionality in mind – and that means builder-grade doors, cabinets, light fixtures and other trimmings. Certainly no frills or superficialities and very little character, if any!

If you want to know how to spruce up your living space without getting yourself evicted, read on as a Smart City Locating shares a thing or two gathered from years of dealing with properties, and by extension, landlords. As they say, life is too short to not have a unique representation of your vision in your sanctuary.

Careful planning

The main rule is choosing function over form, particularly with smaller rental spaces. It can be tricky just to fit the stuff from your old apartment into a new smaller one, but here’s where a little creativity goes a long way. Find new ways to use old items – like placing a small shelf that was in the living room in a corner of your kitchen.

Before investing in more furniture suited to your current space, find things you own that can be transformed (with a little work) into what you need. And then thrift shop – you can find ideal pieces and paint them for that new feel – style at a bargain. It’s all in the how you use it.

You can change the walls

There are now lots of choices as far as wallpaper goes, and they are now made to easily peel back when you need to move without damaging the paint on the wall. Some are even wipe-able. Use any of the many patterns that tickle your fancy – Burberry, chevron, stripes or any combination for special effect.

You can stagger the wallpaper to have your own patterns. And then simply pull it off when it’s time to go. If you want to paint some place, be sure to know what the color and brand of paint was originally, and keep that to a minimum.

Color infusion

If you absolutely can’t do some work on the walls, then color and texture infusion with different fabrics is the way to go. Have boldly striking curtains that coordinate the color of your couch and possibly floor rug. The different textures on each will bring variety.

House plants are also a great idea; they bring the space to life and warm up the home. Pick simpler ones if you aren’t quite the gardening type. And be sure to water them so they don’t die.

The fifth wall is the floor

Find a beautiful wall to wall rug for starters. Carpet tiles are also a great idea since they can be arranged in different ways to create different effects.

Make temporary changes

For small costs you may be able to swap the drawer and cabinet hardware for something you like. Keep the old ones to restore if you think it might cause an issue. Apply the same to your lighting fixtures, but make sure to enlist the services of professional for this one. In fact, in many states it’s illegal to handle lighting issues without proper certification.

As always, keep the old ones safely to return them when moving time comes.

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