Apartment Decorating: Non-Permanent Ways to Make It Home
Apartments generally have white walls, white blinds, beige carpet, and neutral toned cabinets. This makes for a stark, sterile, and bland environment. It won’t feel like home until you make your mark on it. But wait — it’s an apartment, and you have to leave it in the same condition you found it. That sure makes it tricky to leave your mark to personalize your place. Here are some non-permanent ways to make your apartment reflect your style.
Curtains: The fastest way to make a dramatic change to an apartment is by adding curtains. Most apartments require that you leave the standard blinds in place, but there’s no reason you can’t install drapes atop of them. Since all it takes is a drapery rod to hang curtains, the installation is as simple as a few screws in the wall. These holes can easily be patched up when you move out with a little drywall compound.
If you do not want to use screws, you can adhere the drapery rod brackets to the wall with some 3M strips. They come with a hook, but you can use those strips on most anything (though keep in mind the 5 pound weight limit per strip). Simply remove the plastic covering, adhere to the bracket, and then adhere to the wall. Be sure to leave the tab exposed, because when it’s time to move you need to pull the tab slowly to release the strip from the wall without damage. There are also generic versions of these adhesive strips available at dollar stores.
Artwork: Personalizing your walls is easily accomplished by hanging artwork. You can hang posters using thumbtacks; each leaves a tiny and often undetectable hole. Framed artwork can often be hung with just one small nail. Let’s not forget, those 3M strips can be used on framed artwork as well.
Furniture: Most apartments come unfurnished. Your furniture can say a lot about you as well as create valuable functioning areas within your home. Besides, tables, desks, shelves, etc. do not require any apartment-damaging installation. So if your apartment needs livening up, add in a piece of functional or decorative furniture.
Slip Covers: Often when living in an apartment, the occupant is on a budget. They will buy cheap furniture that meets their functional needs without concern for the aesthetic appeal. A simple solution is to buy or make slipcovers. This will provide the opportunity to get mismatched furniture to actually look alike. It also makes worn-out furniture look new again. Even just throwing a sheet over the furniture and then tucking it into the corners will do wonders as a makeshift slipcover.
Mirrors: A practical addition to an apartment is a full length mirror in the bedroom or bathroom; it makes the room look larger and brighter. However, the screws to install the mirror can be highly damaging to an apartment door. There are over-the-door hanging mirrors available at many department stores. Simply screw the hanging hardware to the mirror, then hang over the door. Another option is to adhere the mirror to a door or wall using those multifunctional 3M strips. Be sure to use at least 4 to support the weight of the mirror and to keep it secure on the door.
Tablecloth: Apartments often lack color. A quick and affordable way to add a splash of color is to buy a new tablecloth for the kitchen table. Plus, you can change it out as often as you want to renew the visual appeal of your apartment.
Throw Pillows: You may have a neutral looking couch, but you can spice it up with colorful throw pillows. Not only will you be adding a fun accent to your sitting area, but also cushy support.
Throw Rugs: You may be stuck with boring beige carpet or laminate flooring, but you don’t have to be limited to it. A throw rug allows you to change the look of your floor without changing the floor. Plus, a throw rug will protect the apartment carpeting, which may help to protect your security deposit from being used to replace the carpet when you move.
As you can see, there are so many ways to easily turn your plain apartment into your home. It doesn’t even take much money, just some creativity, a little effort, and plenty of personality. And to think, when you move on to a house you’ll be able to take all of it with you, since these are non-permanent solutions!