Just because you don’t own your apartment or condo doesn’t mean that you can’t make it “your” space. Rented spaces are not often conducive to creating a cover page home — with their laminate flooring, outdated cabinets, and wall-to-wall carpeting. But, you can easily overcome these challenges with a little bit of creativity—no demolition crew required. Here are a few ways to personalize your apartment without making your landlord angry.
First Things First, Hang Some Artwork
Many landlords are not keen on their renters painting the walls, but white walls can often seem a little boring or sterile. To remedy this, hang some very colorful and creative artwork to brighten up your space.
Try to be purposeful with where you hang your artwork so that it looks strategic and not random. Gallery walls are trendy and a great way to add some interest to an otherwise boring wall. To really make the wall pop, ditch the traditional black or white frames and spray paint them in a vibrant shade of pink, teal, or another chosen favorite to make the art look cohesive — even if it doesn’t necessarily “match.”
Buy Accessories and Lamps That You Love
Accessories like vases, candles, and baskets, as well as decorative pieces like typewriters, can really make a difference in the way your space looks. If you surround your apartment with things that you love to look at, your space will automatically be transformed into something more personal.
Lamps are also a huge part of transforming your apartment into a space you love because they perform double duty. They not only light up a dimly lit home, but also can serve as conversation pieces. You can get lamps in a variety of shapes, sizes, and style to match the overall look you want to achieve.
Invest in Nice Linens
When you think about decorating your apartment, try to invest in things that you can take with you to your next place, such as linens. No matter how ugly your carpet is or how much you hate your cabinets in the bathroom, a really nice comforter or a pretty shower curtain can improve the look of the space dramatically. Ratty, old towels in a bathroom you aren’t crazy about will only add to your dislike of your bathroom vanity set, so be sure to buy matching sets or pick out patterns that mix well together. The idea is to pull your eyes away from the problem areas and focus on the things you add to the apartment.
Get Rid of Vertical Blinds
Vertical blinds are a renter’s Achilles heel. They’re often yellowed and not in the greatest condition, so the sooner you can get rid of them the better. Replace the vertical blinds with curtains for privacy, but be sure to store all of the vertical blinds to reinstall when you move out.
Replace Outdated Fixtures
Nothing shows age more in a home than outdated or ugly fixtures. Though you definitely want to refer to your lease, landlords are typically okay with you replacing door handles, drawer pulls or even faucets, just as long as you replace what was there originally before you vacate. Be sure to keep all of the pieces together and label what goes where if you end up replacing a lot.
Temporarily Cover Unwanted Features
Though you may be tempted to rip out all of the bathroom countertops or the wall-to-wall carpet that has seen better days, the best way to deal with it is to cover any problem areas up with something temporary. If you have an unsightly kitchen countertop, invest in a large butcher block cutting board that is always left out. Dealing with less than perfect kitchen or bathroom floors? Cover them up with a colorful rug. Rugs are also a great way to break up the monotony of wall-to-wall carpet that renters aren’t always so crazy about.
Work With What You Have
Renters often have to deal with elements in their apartments that they wouldn’t have picked out themselves, but sometimes the best solution is to work with what you have. If you have really outdated lime green tile in the bathroom, buy a shower curtain and artwork that complements the color scheme instead of trying to cover it up. If you have blue shag carpet, play up a retro themed bedroom to make it look quirky and purposeful instead of downplaying it. Though you may not have chosen these elements yourself, you can try to make your space as inviting as you can.
Try Removable Wallpaper or Tiles
If you’re really adventurous and want to commit to the expense, there are many products available for renters that are made to customize their space without being permanent. Removable wallpaper can transform a space instantly in a pattern that you choose. Try it on a focal wall or a small space like a powder room first before you order enough wallpaper for the whole house. Temporary tile decals are also available if you want to change up the look of your bathroom tile or kitchen backsplash.