Living in an apartment or another type of rental comes with conveniences and inconveniences. While you have on-call maintenance that can come to fix your appliances whenever they break and many amenities are included in the cost of rent, you can’t always design your apartment like you want to.
It can be difficult to make a rental feel like your home when you can’t make too many changes to it. However, there are plenty of ways you can make your apartment or rented home feel like it’s yours without risking your deposit.
Add Your Own Built-Ins
Some luxury apartments come with built-in shelves you can use for anything from books to trinkets. However, most apartments don’t. If you have bookshelves you put in storage because you thought your space would be too small, it’s time to find moving companies that can help you get them inside your apartment. These bookshelves can also be used to separate rooms for more defined spaces.
When looking for the right bookshelves, make sure you find tall ones that will almost reach the ceiling. Also, they shouldn’t be able to be easily knocked down. While you won’t be able to nail your bookshelves to the walls to ensure they won’t fall you can use command strips on your walls to give your bookshelves a little more strength.
Change Your Wall Color
Most apartments come with plain, white walls. While you might want to keep some of those walls the way they are, most people want to add a pop of color or design to their walls to make their rental feel like home. Some landlords allow you to paint as long as you paint the walls back when you move out. Other landlords don’t let you paint at all, and you can risk breaking your lease if they find out you’ve made any change to your walls.
Instead of risking your relationship with your landlord or having to paint your walls again when you move out, consider getting peel and stick wallpaper. You can find the wallpaper in a variety of colors and designs so you can make any wall a feature wall. The best part about peel-and-stick wallpaper is that it easily comes off and doesn’t damage the paint.
Update Light Fixtures
You won’t be able to do any construction to your rental, such as adding lights to the ceiling, but you can bring your light fixtures to make your lighting unique. Make sure you purchase lamps that match your style so you can make your place feel more like home.
Luckily, many rentals don’t come with many light fixtures. You may find one in the dining area, kitchen, and bathroom, but you can do whatever you want with the living room and bedroom.
Some landlords won’t allow you to take down your blinds because they want their property to look at a certain way from the outside. However, they may allow you to put up curtains as long as the side facing outside is white. The good news is you can find curtains that have a design or color on one side and are white on the other. While your home may not look like yours from the outside, it will as soon as you step inside.
Use one large mirror to make any small space feel larger. Mirrors work best in living rooms, but they can be added just about anywhere to give your home more dimension.
Purchase a New Mattress and Linens
While you may be renting your home, it doesn’t mean you cannot find ways to make it feel like your personal space. By purchasing a new mattress that molds best to your body, you can feel more relaxed and comfortable in your space. Take it a step further by replacing old, boring comforters and linens with those that match your unique design aesthetic.
Get New Furniture
Your furniture is one thing you have absolute control over when you’re a renter, so make sure you get furniture that matches and is comfortable. If you can’t add any paint to your walls, you can still put color throughout your home by getting sofas with a pop of color or blankets and throw pillows that make your space feel like yours.
Learn How to Camouflage
Your apartment may come with eyesores that can be quite annoying, such as small cracks in the paint or ugly light switches. You can learn to camouflage these ugly aspects of your home. For example, you can touch up any paint that’s cracked or peeling by telling your landlord about it and asking what color the paint should be. Many landlords will be happy to tell you since it means one less crack in the paint to fix when you finally move out.
An ugly light switch can be decorated with peel and stick wall decals, while ugly tile and carpet can be covered up with beautiful rugs.
If you don’t have any wall decals, but you do want to hang some art, check your lease. Most landlords won’t allow you to put holes in the walls, but some might, depending on the number of holes. You can also use command strips to hang your art, which won’t peel off the paint and can hold different weights, depending on which strips you buy.
If, for some reason, you absolutely must put a hole in your wall, make sure you fill that hole when you move out so you won’t be charged for any “repairs.”
Many rentals are just one open space, making decorating difficult. However, you can divide the space by grouping your furniture well. For example, if you have a large living room but no dining room, you can put one sofa between the two spaces to give you a more defined living area. Then, you can add a small dining table to break up the spaces even more.
Your rental space comes with a few sets of rules, so make sure you never make any design decisions that can impact whether or not you get your deposit back. Luckily, most of the ways you design your apartment depends on your creativity.
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.