According to Pew Research, 36% of Americans rent their homes. Renting a home can be convenient and easy, but landlords are often not keen on tenants making changes in the property, especially when it comes to decor. A lot of rentals are painted in neutral colours, with plain flooring, and often it is specified in the tenancy agreement that these colours are not changed, otherwise it can sometimes be difficult to get your deposit back. There are however, some great ways that you can personalize your living space without causing damage to the walls and flooring, so that you can give your home a sense of your own style.
Even though the walls may be white, you can still add colour by hanging some pictures. Putting up framed artwork is simple, and you can have the frames customized to the right size if your photos and paintings aren’t standard sizes. Smaller picture frames that are under 8 lbs in weight can be hung up using an adhesive wall hook, or if your picture is larger, you can use multiple wall hooks. Alternatively you can use sticky Command strips to hang up your pictures – these are strong, but won’t damage the paintwork when they are removed. You can also put pictures and artwork on any shelves or the mantel above the fireplace to make a statement.
Even if your rental apartment is furnished, you can still use textiles effectively to add some of your own personal aesthetic to the space. A well-draped throw over a sofa can give it a punch of colour, and you can change your throws and blankets seasonally to give it a different look. In the winter go for velvet, suede and faux fur in rich colours, and in the summer you could go for brightly coloured patterns and prints. Changing the blinds or curtains is also an extremely effective way of adding style to your apartment – just make sure that you keep the landlord’s original window hangings to put back up when you move out.
The flooring in your apartment can make all the difference – a beautifully soft rug will not only look good, but feel comfortable and warm underfoot. You can lay a rug over the existing carpet or on top of floorboards. If you are putting a rug over floorboards or a tiled floor however, make sure that you use some heavy-duty double-sided tape to secure it. In areas with linoleum like the bathroom or the kitchen, you can actually lay some self-adhesive vinyl tiles. These are available in some beautiful patterns and colours, including a Mediterranean style or the Moroccan geometric pattern called Zellij.
Just because your apartment walls are painted in a neutral colour doesn’t mean that you can’t add your own style aesthetic to your living space. With some clever use of prints and textiles you can have a beautiful home that reflects your own personality.