Dorm rooms…rentals…your in-laws’ basement…Whatever the residence you won’t live in permanently, the rules remain the same: you are “borrowing” the space and cannot make any big changes to how it looks. Though I am currently a homeowner, many years of my adult life were spent in rental properties. There are, of course, pros and cons to renting. One pro for me was that if something broke, I could call someone else to deal with it. Yet my major, glaring, unavoidable con: I couldn’t do anything permanent to decorate it. No paint. No knocking down walls or elaborate shelving installations. No altering the property in any way. Don’t let that be an excuse not to personalize it!
Check out our Top 20 ways to brings (non-permanent) style to your temporary residence:
1. Washi Tape: Can be used to make frames for photos and posters without putting any holes in the wall. With some patience, creativity, and a level, you can also create a faux wallpaper design (stripes, squares—or something more elaborate) out of washi tape.
2. Command Strips: Speaking of hanging things without creating a hole in the wall…that’s exactly what these guys were made for. Check out the packages for the large variety of sizes, weight limits, and shapes.
3. Open shelving: Rentals are notorious for never having enough places to store your items. Buy stands and shelves that you can use to store and organize your things, while also bringing a level of design to your space. Incorporate baskets to conceal what you’re storing, or display your objects out in the open according to color or size.
4. Plants: Talk about bringing life into your space! Plants (and even the pots they live in) are a great way to incorporate color and design into your rental.
5. You can’t paint your walls…but you CAN paint your own furniture. Do it! Whether just the legs, or the entire piece—this is an excellent way to bring more color to a room that likely has white walls.
6. Rugs: Just by unrolling a rug in your rental space, you will instantly add color and warmth. You can even use them to cover up unsightly or boring carpet.
7. Ladders: What a simple way to bring functional style to your space without leaving any evidence of it behind when you’re gone. You can use ladders to hang blankets, towels, magazines, lights, plants—and more.
8. Change out the hardware on the cabinets…the impact will be astounding. Just remember to keep the original pieces to swap back before you move out.
9. Lighting: Most rentals come with pretty basic looking light fixtures. Bring in your own lighting—floor and table—to offset the bland and transform it to fab.
10. Go one step further with lighting and just swap out the basic fixtures with your own more stylish ones. Keep the original lights so you’re able to switch them back later when you leave.
11. Accessorize: You can easily infuse some of your own personality into the space with pillows, throws, accents, etc. It will allow you to incorporate color and personal style to your rental.
12. Spoonflower Peel & Stick Wallpaper: For those folks that can’t possibly live with the white walls as they are, Spoonflower has created a rental-friendly style of wallpaper that allows you to choose your own design and peel it right off before you leave.
13. Mirrors: Free-standing, leaned against a wall, or even hung—mirrors are a great way to incorporate style, light, and personality in your rental. Furthermore, mirrors create the illusion of a larger room, which is often helpful in small rental apartments.
14. Bookshelves: They don’t have to be just for your books! Instead of nailing shelves into a wall, use a bookshelf as a focal point and style it accordingly…add trinkets, photos, and other mementos that will make your place feel a little more like home.
15. Cover those ugly blinds your landlord chose with curtains—you can always use a tension rod to hang them if holes in the wall are an issue. If you go the distance and just take the original blinds down completely, be sure to keep all of the parts so you can put them back up and get all of your security deposit returned when you move out.
16. Get furniture with more than one purpose or with wheels so it can be easily moved around. Pieces that function in more than one way will be the most useful in helping you eliminate clutter—space is crucial when it is limited.
17. Room Dividers: Redefine your rental space by using room dividers. They can be easily moved around to create more intimate gathering spaces where needed.
18. Contact Paper: Can be used to spruce up the fronts of cabinets, shelves, your own furniture, and more—and then peeled off when you don’t need it anymore.
19. Go ahead and hang a few pieces of art! Patching a hole in the wall is easy in comparison to the impact it will create in your space.
20. Stay organized: This is essential when you are renting a place. You won’t have a lot of storage or space, so keeping organized will go a long way in keeping your rental looking fantastic.
The designers at Curtain Call Creations are happy to help with a variety of your design needs—from homes to rental properties. Give us a call for your free consultation today!