Congratulations! After so much dreaming and planning, and a little bit of luck you finally moved in. It’s hard to be creative and decorate a rental apartment without spending too much money or making too many changes. How will you show off your brilliant sense of style and still keep security deposit?
A fresh coat of paint never hurt anybody. But stay away from that forest green on the walls. I remember covering it three times at my daughter’s dorm. I was a living Christmas in July-covered in forest green paint from head to toe. Never again. Use neutral paint colors on the walls and ceilings. Don’t worry, you still can have some color and pretty patterns.
Color swatches from Benjamin Moore. 1. Alpine White; 2. White Wisp; 3. Decorators White; 4. Cliffside Gray; 5. Moonshine; 6. Touch of Gray
Create ambiance with over the table lighting.
Be creative with lighting. If you really want a unique lighting fixture, Little Green Notebook blog has an awesome tutorial. If you don’t feel like it, I understand. Go back to my previous post about orb lighting, and you will see how beautiful a seventy-nine dollar IKEA fixture can be.
3. Floor lamps.
The floor lamp’s cord can be annoying. But instead of trying to hide it, put it on display.
Ditch builder’s ugly blinds (I wouldn’t if they were operated by someone that looks like him 🙂
Otherwise, use architecturally inspired solar shades instead of dull curtains from your mom’s old living room.
I love Delia Shades for their visual lightness, versatility, and sturdy hardware. They are solar shades that are custom-printed with proprietary patterns inspired by architectural traditions from all over the world. You can use them for windows, sliding doors, French doors, and screens. They are American made in New York. I have to say, they have state of the art workroom where they work their tails off. No middle man, so the price is not as bad.
Or, if this is too much, use IKEA blinds and decorate them with stickers, hand painting (if you are artsy) or decals.
5. Change boring cabinet hardware.
Or, if this is too much, regular paint should save the day. It is easy and fabulous.
Get a color strip from a paint store (I like Benjamin Moore). Select three or four colors that are close to each other (it does not have to be pink). Paint the IKEA cabinet by following Babble tutorial. Now you’ve got a fashionable ombre painted custom furniture that everyone will love.
6. Use temporary wallpaper.
You probably heard a million times a cliche, “It is all in the detail”. Well, it is true.
Use a gorgeous temporary wallpaper from Tempaper for the kitchen backsplash. It is self-adhesive and removable. No paste or water. Simply remove its backing and adhere to a smooth, primed and painted surface. The company recommends to paint the surface with semi-gloss paint first. Then just peel off to remove. It is green (not the color, it is just healthy, lead-free product). The company claims that it will not be affected by steam, humidity or indirect moisture from a bathroom. It is priced between $98-$125 per 56 square feet. So if the wall is 8 feet high and 7 feet wide, you will need one roll. To get a better price, contact me at 732 977-7686.
7. Have fun with stickers and decals.
Wall Decals are not just for kids.Elephannie makes beautiful, high-quality decals that are not clip-art. The one above comes in different sizes and as large as 22″ x 27.5″. Each sticker comes in many colors including metallics. If you never used a decal before, no worries.They will send you a sample to practice.
8. Organize your jewelry.
Is there anything more irritating than looking for those perfect studs at 6 am? Put your pretty jewelry (not the engagement ring) on display. Now you can have another cup of coffee in the morning instead of pulling your hair trying to find stuff.
9. Test your patience working with Washi Tape
Hint: laser beam will help.
Want to jazz up a boring living room? Use washi tape for a unique look, like the one above.
Note: When applying the tape, make sure that you get a laser beam from a contactor-friend. It will save tons of time when drawing straight lines.
10. Get inexpensive area rugs in some pretty or bright colors.
The truth is that it is not worth it to invest in a pricey rug right now unless you can use it for many years. Kids, pets and extra fun guests will ruin it, anyway.
Solution: Get a remnant from a carpet store and bind it with Instabind for DIY Here is how-to video. If this is not an option, it is still cheaper to have it bonded by the carpet store.
11. Buy some fun accents, such as pillows, vases, and artwork.
Show off your sense of humor with art and accessories. There are enough of boring vases falling off the shelves! Get something that would put a smile on your face.
12. Get plants that you can’t kill.
Not only are they uniquely pretty, succulent plants don’t even need too much water to grow! The are hard to kill. Simply soak them at least once every two weeks and keep them indoors in indirect light.
Whatever you do, just remember not to take decorating so seriously. Have lots of fun with it! Use online decorating tools or apps, such as Picture Collage or Pic Monkey to create mood boards and see all the elements together on paper first before you buy.
Now, your turn. Share your ideas on how to decorate a rental place in the comments below, post your dilemma with pictures attached and I’ll be glad to give you some tips. If you know anyone that can use this post, please share this post and they’ll thank you.
Please post your questions here below. I’ll be happy to help you!