If you’re renting your home or apartment, you may have despaired at trying to design a renter-friendly home that you can still love — and still get your deposit back! Especially now that I’m on the landlord side (since we decided to rent our Texas house), I see some ideas that are toted as renter decorating and I just cross my fingers that my renters aren’t doing that to our house (duct tape on walls, oh my!). Help keep your landlord happy while still loving your space with a few design ideas and tips for renters from our friends at ForRent.com and Rent.com.
I asked our awesome Facebook fans for their favorite renter-friendly tips — see what they had to say (and if you’re not already a Facebook fan, we’d love for you to become one! We have a great community of readers who are SO helpful if you have questions.)
Often an apartment renter’s struggles come from space issues — weird nooks and crannies, small kitchens or bedrooms or living rooms, etc — and trying to get your stuff to fit your space. If you’re going to be in your rented place for an extended period of time, you might consider swapping some of your larger pieces for more compact or dual-duty furniture, such as a loft bed. And you definitely want to think vertically and use that space! Check out this infographic for more tips for making small spaces work for you (and keep scrolling for some renter style tips).
When you’re renting, you definitely have to be creative, and you can’t always be a perfectionist, but it really helps if you can find a style that fits for you. When you’ve got a style you love, you’re more likely to love an apartment even if it’s tiny! Try this “What Is Your Apartment Decorating Style?” quiz from Rent.com to discover how your personal style can translate into your apartment décor. Style Expert and Rent.com Contributing Editor Katrina Szish has been renting and decorating for a decade and a half. Here are some of her tried-and-true tips:
Apartment Design and Style Tips
A single neutral palette (white, gray, taupe) will unify your apartment and make it seem more expansive, without making it feel sterile or cold.
Accessorize each room with a single pop of color, for example pile bright yellow lemons into a sleek kitchen sleek bowl, or place fresh-cut red Gerbera daisies on an end table.
Channel your inherent love of all things fashionable to create easy-yet-elegant artwork. Cut out select pages from fashion-themed coffee table books and hang them boldly in a uniform grid pattern for striking wall art.
Clear furniture goes with everything and is quirky, like an acrylic console table, a glass-top coffee table, or clear barstools. I have used this trick in nearly every NYC apartment I’ve rented to make a small space feel more open and airy.
Create patchwork pillow covers with an Americana effect. Scour vintage/craft stores or flea markets for classic red and navy bandanas or even worn-in blue jeans. Use as accents on your couch, bed or chair.
General Decor Tips
Wallpaper is usually taboo for a rental, but removable wallpaper can make a dramatic personal style statement. Cover an entire room or just a single wall for visual impact.
Change the Fixtures
Replace cheap drawer pulls, switch plates and old-fashioned faucets with chic, affordable alternatives! Consider hiring a plumber or handyman so everything is properly installed, and carefully replace originals before you move out.
Let There Be Light
Overhead fixtures tend to make any otherwise acceptable space look like a prison, especially old-fashioned fluorescent bulbs. Even if you can’t remove the overhead light, several accent lamps will provide instant atmosphere.
Camouflage the TV
Unless you have a room completely dedicated to your massive flat screen and all of the wires/remotes that go with it, invest in an armoire that lives in your main living area, but has doors that can close to camouflage the TV.
Stylish storage is all about consistency. A bunch of mismatched boxes, bins and containers scream “hodge-podge lodge.” Streamline and stylize even your most mundane necessities
Alternatively, curate a collection of natural baskets throughout the apartment to chicly hold linens, throws, magazines, mail, paperwork, pet toys, etc.
Looking for more apartment inspiration? Check out this gorgeous Art Deco style apartment in NYC.