Many of us make the mistake of not investing time or resources in turning our rentals into places that make us happy. It's like there's something about knowing you won't be there forever that makes it just not seem worth the time or resources. But that is such a tragedy! You should love your home, regardless of whether you write a mortgage check or rent check. It's still yours, and the place you spend valuable days of your life. Fortunately there are some quick and easy ways to make it your own that don't require your landlord's permission (or the risk of losing your security deposit). Here are a few ideas.
There must be a landlord school somewhere, and on the first day they teach landlords-to-be where to buy vertical blinds, because I do not know a single other application where verticals, as they are lovingly referred as, are so common.
What to put in their place? I think that matchstick shades are a great economical alternative, whether you are going rustic or modern. They are available from a huge number of resources at all price points. If you are looking for more decoration, some fabric hung by the window as panels can give you a softer look without springing for full on drapery. Look for interesting pieces. One of my favorites DIY approaches is to use antique saris.
When you are renting, versatility is the key. Buying large pieces of artwork may work in one place but be totally wrong in the next. That’s why I like collections, as I can edit, switch around and rearrange to my heart's content as I move from one place to another. Try collections of vintage postcards, cool plates or even kids drawings. Anything hung in a group can look great.
If you are lucky, you may have a wood floor or even polished concrete. But if you have carpet this will still apply to you. Adding a rug will give your space a much more custom feel. If you have carpet already, go with a hide or a low pile rug. If you have a hard surface, something more plush will work well. Just don’t forget the pad or else you are creating a huge slip hazard.
I know the impulse, you have just moved into your new place and you want it DONE, NOW! Please try and resist that impulse. Buying all your furniture in the same suite or even from the same store will create uniformity for sure but you will end up with a stale, uninspired look. So try playing a little with style, like a rustic table with modern chairs, or a contemporary headboard with industrial style lighting. Try the NousDecor quiz to see what your favorite styles are.
Nothing says “home” like the feeling of good quality bedding. Take a look at our Master Class on sheets to learn a few tips before you head out. Remember quality is not always tied directly to price, so this is one place where being a savvy consumer can get you a great quality product without blowing the bank.
Still having trouble making your rental the home of your dreams? NousDecor can help. With affordable design packages and an experienced team who specializes in creating solutions for any space, right down to a shoebox-sized rental apartment with (gasp!) brown wall-to-wall carpet, we're perfect for the renter looking to upgrade their space, no move required. Get started with our fun style quiz here.
While you're waiting for your big break and that penthouse loft of your dreams to come through, here are some frankly genius ways to take your apartment bike storage to another level. Read
How three of our staffers would each recreate this bold space. Read