Calling a rental apartment home doesn't have to mean living with ugly light fixtures, hideous appliances and blah white walls.
Lots of people in their 20’s and 30’s are renting rather than buying. They need budget-minded decorating advice," Seattle designer Kerra Michele Huerta says. "They want their place to look good now. But they also want to be able to take the stuff with them and use it wherever they go."
Here are some useful ideas for almost anyone looking to create a happy space on a budget.
1. Dump the mini-blinds. Nothing says temporary rental like clacking blinds. Most apartment buildings have standard size windows, so it's easy to find ready-made fabric or woven shades, or even curtains. If you can't use them in your next home, you can often sell them to the next tenant because they probably don't want those mini-blinds, either.
2. Maximize empty spaces. Every inch counts in a rental, so that awkward foot of space between the top of your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling can be put to good use. Arrange a row of chunky rectangular baskets on top of the cabinets to store household supplies such as paper towels and coffee filters.
3. Upgrade light fixtures. Check with your landlord first, explaining that you want to change them out and that you will put back the original ones when you leave. Replace ceiling lights with something more modern, such as a pendant with shades or a blingy chandelier.
4. Don't be afraid to paint. Understanding some landlords will let you paint if you agree to repaint back to the original color, usually builder white. Maybe you could also make a deal that if the new tenant likes your color scheme, you don't have to repaint.
5. Camouflage the unflattering. Is there something in your rental that you can't stand yet can't change? Adhesive paper can be your new best friend. It's inexpensive and easy to apply, plus it peels off when you're ready to move.
6. Treat the bathroom like a real room. You can't renovate it or change the tile, but you can add some interest. Try a vintage wooden grape crate and hang it on the wall for extra storage. A tiny Oriental rug instead of a pastel cotton bath rug classes up the place.
7. Create the illusion of architectural interest. Looking for built-in shelves in the living room? Ikea's popular Billy bookcases with glass doors work great. To personalize the basic bookcases, cover the back of the shelves with wrapping paper. You can attach it using spray adhesive.
8. Speak up. Want to make changes to your rental space? Don't be afraid to ask, whether it's changing a doorknob or painting a room. The worst thing that could happen is your landlord says no. You can offer to share the cost of an upgrade or pay a bit more in rent.For information on apartments in Lynchburg, VA, contact Walden Pond Apartments.