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Decorating Rental Spaces

7 tips for decorating your rental space

If you’re living in an apartment or rental house, it can be difficult to feel like you’re truly living at home. Most property managers opt for bland, cost efficient design elements rather than prioritizing your comfort, and rental homes often have strict rules surrounding the decor you can choose. You may be afraid of jeopardizing your security deposit by making any major updates, such as papering the walls or painting the kitchen cabinets, but you should still feel comfortable in your own home! Here are seven tips for sprucing up your rental space:

#1: Before you make any changes, get permission in writing.

Rental agreements usually outline some of the property managers’ restrictions on your decor. For example, your apartment complex may allow you to paint the walls, as long as you agree to prime them before you move out. Your lease agreement may also contain restrictions on landscaping, upgrades to light fixtures, and even which colors you can use in window treatments. If you want to change anything about your rental space which isn’t outlined in your lease agreement, be sure to check with the landlord first so you won’t be surprised by an unexpected invoice after you move out.

#2: Add color to the walls.

Most property managers allow tenants to paint their walls, as long as they help repaint them back to the original color or pay to have this done at the end of their lease. If this sounds like too much trouble to you, here are some other options:

  • Only paint an accent wall in each of your main rooms. You would be surprised at the warmth you’ll feel in a room when even one portion is painted!
  • Use removable wallpaper or wall decals to incorporate some of your personality without leaving a permanent mark. These can easily be peeled off at the end of your lease.
  • Hang colorful floor length window curtains. (Just be sure to check your lease agreement first—some apartment and condominium complexes require window treatments to have white lining to create a uniform look from the outside of the building.)

#3: Find alternatives to mounting art on the walls.

If you’re afraid of losing your security deposit, there are plenty of other ways to display your art without adding holes to the walls! You can use removable adhesive strips instead of nails, use a ladder shelf to display your art and photographs, or even prop up large art prints against the walls for a bohemian look. Also, keep in mind that not all art is flat! Keep an eye out for sculptures to set on your end tables, or decorative floor lamps to add more character to your room.

#4: Add mood lighting.

Have you ever moved into a rental space and just loved its lighting options? No? Well, we haven’t either. We recommend adding a few lamps to each room so you can have multiple lighting levels to choose from.

Keep in mind that the lamp shades and light bulbs you use will affect the way a room is lit. A room without much natural light could probably use more translucent, light colored lamp shades as opposed to something dark and heavy. Also, white LED bulbs produce a bright, almost bluish type of light, which may be great for a home office, but probably is not preferable for a bedroom.

#5: Cover ugly floors.

Apartments are known for their unattractive laminate flooring and nubby beige carpets. Don’t feel obligated to simply deal with your ugly floors! It’s very easy to change the look of an entire room by adding an area rug.

#6: Think about small, easy upgrades you can make.

Even though you may not be able to renovate the kitchen or change out all the overhead light fixtures, there are easily reversible upgrades you can make to cozy up your rented home. Here are some suggestions of pieces you can change:

  • Door knobs and handles
  • Cabinet handles and drawer pulls
  • Sink faucets
  • Your shower head

Just be sure to keep the original fixtures stored somewhere safe so you can switch them back before you move out!

#7: Personalize your space with custom furniture.

Whether you’re renting or own a home, it’s what you put inside that really counts! You’ll start to feel at home when you have a place to kick up your feet and relax at the end of the day. With Sofa Creations, you can customize your sofas and sectionals using the exact dimensions, colors, and styles that make you feel most at home. Start browsing our most popular styles now for inspiration, or request a free quote for your dream couch.