"I've been a renter for many years before I owned this house. I'm lucky now coz I can spruce my area anyway I want, I can fill my space with whatever I like."
"I don't have a security deposit to lose, just a bruised ego if I do a whack job on my interior.
That was my mum going on about her new suburban home after a grueling journey to homeownership."
We were on her lawn, sitting leisurely, feeling majestic as ever.
I was so in the moment, being happy for her, plus enjoying a cup of tea in the afternoon breeze-don't judge me, I love tea, milk no sugar thank you!
Later, when I got to my rented apartment, instantly, I realized how limiting these spaces are, there is only so much to work with.
But then I thought, maybe it was time I get creative and figure out ways to make my rental homey.
The weekend after next I sat on my desk and scaled the depths of the interwebs.
I was looking for landlord-friendly ways to jazz a rental space.
Here is what I came up with.
Go With the Flow
This is an idea I got on Youtube. Ideally, it's best to stick to the aesthetics that already exist in your space more so the furnished apartment.
One aspect that informs the flow you adopt is the interior colors.
Hues on the walls, ceiling, and floors are a ticking time bomb in any rental space. Touch that and you'll very likely lose your deposit, or have to work something out with your landlord.
That's what goes down in my neck of the woods, atleast
So, let the walls and the ceilings guide you. Figure your add-on and decide which shades to match the main color and which ones to contrast.
Most apartments have neutral walls and ceilings, especially in bedrooms. Blends larger fabrics like duvets and bedsheets with a shade of the mains colors while contrasting smaller accents like throws, pillows, and towels.
Blend wooden floors and beds with light furniture accents like free-standing wooden racks or accent chairs.
However it's not a must you match bedding with wall paint. In fact, it's sometimes better to use light shades of two different colors. Lights blue bedroom wall work magic matched with a mix of navy blue and blush-pink bed fabric.
Ive also seen people touch up with a little of mid-range grey, and I'm always impressed.
Hell: Paint Your Wall
Probably this is bad advice, but rules are made to be broken or are they?
Paint is the only option that allows you to splash your character on the most expansive space of any house.
So don't let me scare you into not painting your wall, contact your landlord and see what he thinks or revisit the lease contract and examine the painting clause if available.
Another approach- if you opt to paint your wall- is to make sure you paint back the original shade and quality before moving out. Just remember this equals playing roulette with your security deposit, but HELL! life is too short to live in boring spaces.
I did opt for a trendy-chick peel and stick wallpaper though, despite the bittersweet reviews. These wallpapers are mostly made of woven polyester; self-adhesive - You don't need to use wallpaper paste- they stick smooth, remove clean and are easy to reposition.
Unlike other wallpapers, peel and stick removable wallpapers rarely crease or tear. However, the quality depends on the maker or source. Personally, I prefer buying items from reputable sellers who are at times more expensive but you are sure of quality.
Replace Small Hardware: Knobs, Handles, and Faucets
Sometimes its the small things that matter. You will be surprised by how much impact your kitchen cabinet handles create or faucets style and color on your bathroom interior.
Replace the small hardware with character pieces. It's in the offing to follow market trends and styles, however, this means changing the fixtures once the trend fades away.
In this period brass and copper elements are the-in-thing and then there is a perfect mix and match storm brewing. Make a statement with classic-rustic or modern-rustic handles and door knobs. Then adorn copper or brass faucets.
But before hummers and tongs...
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
How frequently do you use the hardware you are replacing?
Who else lives in your space?.
The ensuing answers to the above question go a long way in helping you choose replacements. For fixture used frequently, you need strong doorknobs or cabinet handles with easy grip.
Also, before purchasing any knob, handle or faucet make sure they work with the existing fixtures. This is especially with bathroom and kitchen faucets which come in varying styles and design hence what you buy might not necessarily fit with existing designs.
Price vs Quality
Focus on the price, but keep in mind cheap is at times expensive in the long-run. Small hardwares have a ridiculous price range like you won't believe. Of course, a lot has to do with style, make and brand but mostly its pegged on quality.
Try not to dwell entirely on the pricing, attempt trading off with quality, style, and desire: settle for items with modest pricing and perfect quality.
Choose What You Like
If you go to lengths of redecorating a rental you better be sure to do you. The idea is to make a home for yourself, it's about creating a sense of ownership.
Choose things you like to make your space relatable, it's a sure way to own a home when you literally don't own the walls and floorboards.
So, when you go shopping the first item to Wow you should be where you begin.
Replace Boring Dome Lights With Stylish Pendants
Since rented apartments and homes are usually not very broad, replace your dome or boob lights with stylish pendants.
Boob lights are old and boring light fixtures, that mount flush on the ceiling and look a lot like...well! boobs. They are massed together with no jazz flowing down the height. Pendants options hang low from the ceiling and are sightly and appealing.
Pendant lights come in different sizes and shapes, very often in a set. They are more of accent lights than ambient fixtures hence fall deep in decor territory.
Whereas pendants are an option especially in kitchen areas consider lamps in the living room and bedroom where there is little need for bright ambient lights.
Lamps accent you spaces while still adequately functional. I used two lamps in my living room one on each end of my wall unit area. This way I get light at the front with the area around the couch remaining slightly darker to create some unique ambiance.
The setup is perfect with open kitchens coz soft pendant light will also sip through the open space to the living area, subtle enough to create a mood that is not overly bright but quietly calming.
Ideally two bedside lamps are perfect in the bedroom.
Finally, given your lighting needs, opt for LED bulbs both on the pendant and lamp lights. Led warm white torpedo bulbs are available for pendant lights fixtures, whereas with lamps use LED Filament globes.
Both of these products are available on Amazon in dimmable and non-dimmable options.
Pinterest Your Walls:Use Removable Picture Hangers
Since I'm an avid Pinterest lover this idea didn't come as surprise to me, but, it is inspiring and overly sufficient, I must say.
The Same way we have pins and boards on our Pinterest page, think of your wall as the board and your art as the pins. Pin your fondest memories, desires, people and things you love, this way you keep in touch with yourself both in memories from the past and the future in mind.
Then remember to use removable picture hangers rest you ruin your walls with annoying nail holes. Velcro's removable picture hangers allow you to securely hang, easily adjust and cleanly remove pictures and frames without worry.
How Removable Picture Hangers Work
- On a dry and clean surface apply the hook straps on the picture frame making sure the arrows are pointing up.
- Mint the loop square to the stip and position your frame on the wall where you want it and press firmly into place.
- Remove the frame by sliding up then smoothen the fasteners left on the wall and later position the frame back in place.
- If the frame is not straight slide it to position and press it firmly at the desired spot.
- To permanently remove the picture, pull it by the frame from the wall then you can remove the fasteners cleanly with no damage to the wall .
How To Work Your Wall Decor
Wall art will entirely depend on choice and though most of us are the furthest thing there is to an artistic eye: we try. This is of course amid a few basic rules.
...choose wall art that takes up the width of the wall minus six to twelve inches on each side, to make it stand out against the wall. This is especially with canvas prints and paintings.
...when wall decor sits behind a headboard or sofa-back make sure the print is not longer than the furniture. Preferably use art pieces that are 3/4 the length of the headboard or sofa-back, this way art does not overpower the bed or couch.
And because art decor options are endless, I'll leave my suggestion here, think of it as picking my brain.
Capture,Print, and Frame You're Fondest Memories
One item that you must absolutely invest in is a good camera. Not necessarily the professional kind just a nice DSLR gadget for those once in a lifetime moments, which is every single day of your life apparently.
There are a lot of nice entry-level DSLR cameras but I'm a sucker for Canon products.
Just in case you were wondering, an entry-level DSLR is the natural progression when you feel like you've outgrown your point-and-shoot compact camera or are no longer satisfied with the snaps you get from your smartphone.
Personally I'll vouch for the Canon EOS Rebel T7i for the USA market and Canon EOS 800 outside the USA. It is the same Camera just a difference in naming, its soccer and football all over again.
Then consider investing on a photo printer. On this, I'm working with a Canon Pixma Pro-100 which can print up to 13" by 19" images.
Honestly these are items I already had and thought they'd come in handy while making pictures which I later frame. There is a chance you already have different gadgets which is perfectly A-okay.
Now all these items can be rented when you have moments you need to capture, all I'm saying is I find it better when you make your own images coz it adds the much needed personal touch.
Get Awesome Custom Free Photographs Online
Now this doesn't require expensive hardware just to make a picture. It requires a computer and awesome websites dedicated to sharing copyright-free photography.
My two go-to sites are Unsplash.com and Pexel.com. Here you get awesome printable pictures which you can print and frame.
Canvas Printing and Paitings
This I find very useful when you have larger walls that you need to stand out. They are definitely better and more character than pictures.
Canvas art pieces are available online but also in most local art galleries. Just be willing to get venturesome especially when you crave unique art for your wall .
Free Foam Art Decor
These are mostly handmade and vintage imaginative pieces. They are a great way to brighten up any room and can be displayed alone or grouped.
They also come in different sizes and forms providing a really wide array of options.
Mirror! Mirror! on The Wall
I could give a lesson on symmetry and how mirrors come in handy, but then I would need the whole day.
So I'll cut to the chase.
Mirrors bring light and depth in rooms, they are like decorative windows which reflect and emphasize views and colors. Mirrors create reflections of art on adjacent walls creating unique effects.
No matter where you place your mirrors, they are an easy way to embellish your space making areas look bigger and lovely throughout
Use framed mirrors to accentuate prominent walls the same way you use canvas wall art. Ideally place the mirrors in well-lit areas to improve the general sight, depth, and lighting of the room.
In small kitchens use mirrors on cabinet doors to reflect light coming from the windows. Coupled with bright countertops and backsplash they create spacious impressions.
Still in the kitchen, mirrors either on cabinets or walls will make a statement since they are not expected. They will make the space uniquely lively and more so reflection will help light up darker portions of the space.
In the bedroom best place to have mirrors is on dressers. This is especially when you have to purchase one yourself. Use mirrors behind bedside tables, on either side of your bed to create symmetry with the bed being the center.
Disguise Bad Flooring With Rugs
"You might be tempted to take a jackhammer to whatever awful flooring your house came with, but you can disguise it to save money and not do anything permanent, while still improving the look underfoot."-Adrienne Breaux
Use unique rugs to cover up a mess of a floor that you can't change. Choose rugs that blend with your general theme. Its okay if your rugs adopt the secondary color but when decorating an already limited space go crazy with heavily accented pieces.
However try to blend the rugs to the existing floors rest you make an even bigger mess. One idea would be to create flowing shades. Up from furniture like seats through the rug down to the flooring. However, this is not to say contrast no longer work, taps you creative buds see what you come up with.
Pop Some Color with Throws: Blankets and Pillows
Keep your sofa simple and layer without going overboard. Consider the size of your couch and start with the bigger pillow at the back and smaller cushions towards the front.
It's recommended using an odd number of pillows on your couch to stylishly and effortlessly decorate.
Hang throws from the diagonal corner to keep them dynamic when placed on the seat. Use two pillows on one side with a like shade but different texture throw below the second pillow nearest to the center of the seat. Use a slightly different shade throw on the other side and place a similar texture pillow but a shade closer to the first two pillows.
The secret is to embrace raw textures and colors. Lay mixed and contrasting textures on both the pillow and throw blankets. Try chunking knits with smoother textures like linen.
Also put emphasis on your color palette. If you need pop and vivid colors to spruce neutral furniture try using the sofa as a blank canvas. Introduce pop colors using cushions and throws and ground them with midnight textures. Keep colors within the same cool or warm palette and mix with white clashing tones.
For laid-back minimal feels use monochrome schemes then go heavy on textures. Knitted pieces adorn heavy texture and deep contours best for accenting.
Monochrome doesn't mean working with black and white, create depth with deeper shades of grey all the way through to white to build layers. Remove color and play with tones, try levels of grey with white accessories to create harmonious impacts.
Still with monochrome schemes you can use colored pallets like blue, just remember to keep it within the blue shades and tints territory. Only touch up with neutrals like greys and whites to create layers.
Keep in mind monochrome schemes don't equal achromic schemes rest you limit yourself to whites, greys, and blacks.
Beautiful patterns and painted designs will elevate the room. Consider new shapes and sizes to break traditional square cushions trends.
Decorate Your Home With Plants
First thing to learn about house plants is where to place them, this helps you decide which plant are best for your home. You also want plants that are low maintenance and can survive in case you forget to water them or in spaces with limited sunlight.
One option to consider would be spider plant, with long grassy leaves it's supposed to be tough and hard to kill which is what we want given plants are not supposed to grow indoors.
Another option would be Red Aglaonema plant which is easy to grow and is super stylish and elegant.Also, consider a few succulent, but you will want to stay away from colored ones and stick to green and lightly colored options. Deeply colored indoor succulents require a lot of sunlight rest they etiolate
Place some of the plants on your coffee and bedside tables, use smaller plants with slow development on this areas. Bigger indoor trees like Dragon tree or the beautiful Norfolk Island pine are best to spruce bare corners inside your living room.
To accents window areas place plants on window seals, especially plants that need plenty of sunlight like succulents. Use plants on floating shelves to embellish and texture you walls.
Finally use hanging plants when you need to add beauty to the heights around your space. Plants in colorful pots suspended on coded ropes or planters hanging chains which makes an awesome DIY project.
Also consider illuminating your planter with LED lights; you won't be disappointed.