8 Ways to Decorate Your Apartment Rental

[ 2 ] October 20, 2010 |

Most rental units are the same. They’re box-like with off-white walls, dull carpets or laminate flooring. But you don’t have to wait until you own a place to make it your home. Check out these 8 simple ideas of how to decorate an apartment so you’ll feel right at home – without angering your landlord.

  1. Paint. First, confirm that your landlord allows painting. Now, don’t spend a fortune painting the whole place. Painting one wall a darker color quickly adds appeal without breaking the bank. And don’t forget to paint it back when you leave to avoid losing your deposit.
  2. Window Treatments. Treatments are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they’re a must unless you want the neighbors to watch your Turbo Jam sessions and pajama days.
  3. Hang Pictures. Before you unpack, hang a picture or two right away to instantly feel at home. If you can’t put holes in the wall, look for adhesive putty at your local craft or hardware store.
  4. Add a Rug. Sometimes all you need is a splash of color! You don’t have to get an expensive or large rug, just one that adds a little funk. You can even put your rug over that dull carpet. This is especially handy if the last tenant left a few stains.
  5. Go Green. Environmentally, of course, but also literally. They say adding plants to your home can relieve stress, improve your chi and even help reduce noise if placed by a window – perfect if you live near a highway or train tracks.
  6. Add Lighting. Nothing sets the mood quite like the right lighting. Most box apartments don’t even have lighting in the living room, so it’s time to shop. Softer lighting is cozier, and a cute shade can add some personality to the space.
  7. Create Rooms. When it comes to how to decorate a studio apartment, the key is to make a separate room for your sleeping area. Get some privacy by purchasing a cheap screen, or if there is a semi-nook, hang flowing curtains – the gauzier the better, as this will give you privacy without making the apartment appear smaller.
  8. Floating Shelves. If you can put holes in the walls, install floating shelves for storage. Unlike other shelving units, these don’t need a lot of space and can hang just about anywhere. Floating shelves are also very in right now, so you’ll be right up on the times!

I’ve lived in my fair share of boxy apartments. Before I learned to make the place my own, I always felt like I had one foot out the door. With these simple steps, you can make any apartment feel like your own little home-sweet-home.

A few ideas:

Left to right: Soho Thermal Grommet Panels, $14.99, Brylane Home; Golden Lotus, $43.16, Novica; Christy Prism Luxurious Rug, $14.99, Designer Linens Outlet; Blatt Series Floor Lamp with Printed Shade, $53.10, Lighting Direct.

Coupons to use: Brylane Home, Novica, Designer Linens Outlet, Lighting Direct.

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Category: home shopping tips

About Lindy: Lindy started writing at age 8, when she completed her first story entitled Clio the Talking Cat. Fast-forward a few years into the future, and she’s happily moved on to writing celebrity shopping and frugal posts. Lindy lives with her cat (who doesn’t talk), enjoys lazy weekends at the cottage and old episodes of The Golden Girls. View author profile.

Comments (2)

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  1. Great piece! I live in a teeny NYC apartment and I can attest to the difference some paint, lighting and room dividers can make.

    • Lindy says:

      It doesn’t take much to give any apartment a little style, no matter how small or drab it may initially look. :)

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