What if you are renting, and renting in some scary finishes that you are not allowed to change? My job currently has an aspect that lends itself to this directly. We design model apartments to show the potential renter how glamorous you could make that space, hopefully in a way they have never thought of. Here are some tips for decorating in a restricted environment:
Sure, maybe you’re not allowed. I always paint. Restricted or not. Make sure you know the original paint color and paint it back prior to moving out. Yes, I’m telling you to break the rules. However, paint is such an easy (and cheap) way to warm up a space, especially when you throw in the sweat equity and do it yourself.
RUGS ON TOP OF CARPET
Most apartments have a shaggy carpet called Powerball. It’s not the greatest, but cheap and easy to replace. You can ALWAYS throw a rug on top of carpet. No, that’s not weird. It’s a great way to add pattern and interest, and potentially cover up some gross stains from the previous tenant.
One of my friends in college lived in a cute town home in Searcy when she and her husband were first married. Unlike me, she was a rule follower when it comes to no paint. Her solution, however was fantastic. In the master bedroom, she hung curtain rods and placed some bold drapery behind her bed for a punch of color. She then placed her bed in front of the drape. It looked awesome. Then, all she had to do was throw some putty and touch up paint over the holes upon vacating. GREAT idea.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO HANG SOME ART
For me, the more the merrier. Hang away my friends. This is also a great solution if you’re not brave enough to paint.
CHANGE OUT LIGHTING
What? I can do that? Girl yes. Store those tacky brass pendants in the basement (or if you’re in the south, your garage) and invest in some pretty lighting. This is something you can take with you to your future home, just throw the ugly originals back up before you leave. None will be the wiser and you will have made an investment.
CHEAP RENTAL DOESN’T REQUIRE CHEAP FURNISHINGS
Just because you’re in temporary housing doesn’t mean you need to go cheap on furniture. You don’t have to wait for your dream home to buy that Chesterfield sofa you’ve been lusting after for months. Spending money on low quality furnishings that you are not going to keep is essentially throwing money away. Buy the things you want to keep forever. This also requires not buying something specifically to fit an environment. If you have a weird living room, consult a designer on how to space plan. Don’t buy an awkward shaped sectional to accompany somewhere you’re only living for a year.
Let accessories be your trendy cheap purchases and your upholstery always an investment.
What are your thoughts? Go bold my friends. Rip out the bad lighting and grab your paint brush.