When you rent an apartment, you sometimes inherit other people’s problems. There could be holes in the wall or stains on the carpet, but since you’re renting you’re not usually allowed to make any major decorating or home improvement decisions, you have to get creative with decorating decisions. And you wouldn’t want to make the monetary investment either of course, since you don’t own the property.
There are ways to spruce the place up a bit though, and it can be done quite inexpensively.
1. Hang posters or inexpensive art prints on the wall. If you’ve got a few extra dollars you can frame these, otherwise simply use small finishing nails or thumbtacks to make sure they’ll stay in place.
2. If you rent a fully furnished apartment, cover the furniture with your own cloth or slipcovers. This will serve two purposes: It will prevent damages that the owner might charge you for later, and it’ll allow you to have your own personal decorating touch in the living space.
3. Try getting a few throw rugs or area rugs to place in high traffic areas. This will again allow you to keep from damaging the apartment’s carpet, and you’ll be able to match the design and color scheme with the furniture to your liking.
4. Buy inexpensive throw pillows to scatter around on the chairs, couches or floor. Even better if these are machine washable, so you can clean them up easily and inexpensively as needed.
5. If there are holes or cracks in the walls, you can either paint or wallpaper over them if the landlord allows. If not, simply hang pictures or posters strategically to keep the problem areas hidden.
6. Some apartment owners will allow the tenants to repaint as long as they use a specified paint color. This generally tends to be either white or off white… a.k.a. Boring. Any fresh coat of paint makes a room look nicer though, so do this if you’re allowed to and be sure to save a little extra in case you need it for later touch ups.
7. Inexpensive rugs or fabric are also wonderful for use as wall hangings. Pick one or more that compliments your furniture and floor coverings, then hang them stategically around the walls. Alternatively, buy or cut strips of fabric and attach them to the top of the walls to create a decorative border that’s easily removed. Apartment owners usually don’t want wallpaper installed, and they don’t want any fancy stenciling, painting, or other decorative touches. So by using fabric instead, you’re not causing any damage to the walls, and you’re not violating the owner’s decorating rules.
8. If you need an area of your apartment to be more private, hang curtains on spring tension rods or buy inexpensive decorative screen dividers. In a pinch you can simply string a rope from one wall to another, and use cloths pins or clamps to hook an extra sheet or bedspread to.