Ideas To Make Your Rental
Feel Like Home
So you've moved into your new apartment. The walls are painted eggshell white and the floors are covered in beige carpeting. It's clean and shiny--but totally lacking in personality. With stringent rules from your landlord about what you can't do to the place, how will you ever make your rental feel like home? Here are some suggestions, ranging from bathroom decorating ideas to tips for personalizing the living room.
Decorate On The cheap
Start with the walls. If your rental agreement allows it, paint the walls in the color of your choice. Remember that you'll have to repaint later, so go with a pale color -- it's easier to paint over. Designed with renters in mind, removable wallpaper comes in a variety of patterns and colors. Vinyl wall decals are another option that is easy to apply and come off clean. Turn a blank wall into your own personal art gallery by hanging framed photos of loved ones, mementos, and artwork in a pleasing combination. Nail holes can be repaired with toothpaste and paint.
Play With Color
Surround yourself with your favorite colors. It's easy to do with decorative accents. Hang colorful curtain panels on the windows. Toss throw pillows in various colors onto the sofa and easy chairs. Cover the floor with a bold area rug or use multiple smaller rugs to define the space. Set the dining room table with colorful placemats and runners. You can even create a kitchen or bathroom backsplash using decals that look like trendy colored glass tiles.
Plan To Take It With You
Put your personal touch on the place with bathroom and kitchen hardware, light fixtures and other things you won't have to leave behind. Swap out the cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, switch plates and even doorknobs to reflect your taste. (Save all the old hardware to restore it later.) Replace plain-Jane, low-wattage light fixtures with something that pleases you and gives off more light, especially in the bathroom. When it comes to furniture, invest in high-quality pieces you'll love forever, maybe a living room sofa or a dining room suite. Or if the budget is tight, buy second-hand furniture and make it your own with paint or new upholstery.
Everything Must Be Reversible
Do it yourself and undo it yourself. Begin every project with the thought that when you move out, you'll have to restore the property to its original condition. Take photos as reminders. Since your stay is only temporary, any changes you make should be portable or inexpensive.
Add Living Things
It could be a green plant, a vase of cut flowers, or perhaps an herb garden on the kitchen windowsill. If you're lucky enough to have a patio or balcony, enliven it with planters overflowing with greenery. And most importantly, invite family and friends to your new apartment and store up memories, and it will feel like home in no time.