So I have always had this dilemma with living in apartments or rentals. I have all these design and decorating ideas in my head but I am always limited to what I can do to my place because I rent. Since I am not purchasing a home anytime soon, I have come up with some design solutions for myself and all you renters out there. Here are a few things you can do that can spruce up you rental and make it feel like home.
Wallpaper- There has been a lot of advances in wallpaper, and it is definitely more stylish than it used to be. Good news is, there is a wallpaper made specifically for renters. Its easy to put on and easy to take off, and will not damage your walls or risk you losing out on your deposit. There are several different companies that offer this kind of wallpaper, and the prices range as well. The lowest I found was $30 a roll, and I saw it go up to about $200 a roll. Do your research first to find the best patterns and the best pricing. Doing a focal wall or an entire room will completely change the feel of the space and make it more unique to your personality.
Hardware - Most apartments, if they aren't updated or brand new, have ugly, old school cabinets and hardware. Even if they are updated they probably have the "plain Jane" builder's special cabinets and hardware. Solution: update your kitchen and bathrooms with new hardware. Not very expensive and can make a big difference. You can find all different styles and price ranges at your local home improvement store. And when you move, all you do is unscrew the new, and replace with the old. One of the simplest fixes we can do, and definitely updates your space.
Wall Art/Wall Coverings - Super easy decorating tip, add art! Whether it's, pictures, canvas's, framed artwork, metal decor, fabric tapestries...add some art to your walls! This is the easiest way (besides painting) that you can add color to your rooms. Oh, one of my favorite ways to do DIY artwork is with fabric. Go to the fabric store and pick out your favorite patterns and colors(I love the African fabric), cut to whatever size you like, and either wrap around an old canvas (thrift stores are great place to find old canvas's) and hang, OR frame. Also, check around with local artists, usually artists that are getting started have good prices on original art.
Curtains - Say goodbye to cheap, ugly, vinyl blinds. Ewww. Well I don't suggest removing them if you are renting, but I do suggest covering them up. Find some curtains to liven the space up. Curtains and rugs are another great way to add some color and soften the space. Curtains can sometimes be pricey, I suggest trying Target or Wal-mart first, they have affordable curtains in all kinds of cute patterns and styles. Tip: Hang you curtains from floor to ceiling, even if your window doesn't go to the ceiling. It makes your ceiling look higher and the space look bigger.
Now go and make your rental, your own!