Moving into your first apartment is an exciting experience, but figuring out how to decorate can feel overwhelming. Most first-time renters have two main things to consider: Permanent changes are a big no-no when living in rental homes; and shelling out big bucks on improvements is not always a good investment. Fortunately, there are things you can do in spite of both of these restrictions. Check out these renter-friendly decorating ideas that are easy on you and your pockets.
1. The right curtains can have an incredible impact
There may not be a single thing you can buy that will have a bigger impact on your overall décor than window treatments. They can help tie together various colors used throughout your room or they can be a focal point in themselves. Consider using attractive rods and mounts to make them look even more like the finished article. Also keep in mind the utility saving advantages of blackout curtains that help keep heat in during the winter and cool air in during the summer.
2. Hang as much art as you want without ruining your walls
Hanging wall art is one of the easiest ways to instantly beautify your apartment while showing off your personality. However, adding too much can damage the walls and cause problems of its own. One simple, affordable solution is to hang some metal caging to then hang your art from. While this option does require adding a few screws to the wall, the trade-off is you avoid making a dozen nail holes.
3. Create your own entryway
Many apartments lack designated entryways, but that doesn’t mean you have to live without the benefits of having one. Start with an unused bookcase. Just take off the top shelves, add hooks into the back wall, and hang your coats from them. You can add even more hooks to the sides for umbrellas, purses – anything you want. The bottom shelves are perfect for storing sunglasses, gloves, and other small items you need to grab when you’re walking out the door.
4. Avoid the temptation to match
One of the biggest mistakes first-time decorators make is to try and match everything. Not only is this difficult to pull off, but it’s expensive to be so rigid with your decorating palate. Instead, use mismatched lamps on either side of your couch; turn to original DIY art to adorn your walls; and mix patterns, colors, and solids. It’s important to have an inspirational center-piece to pull from – whether it’s your curtains, a rug, or your furniture – and complementing that is all the matching you’ll need to do.
5. Layer your rugs
There are many advantages to investing in a few high quality rugs: Reducing wear and tear on your floor, adding a bright splash of color, and making your home more comfortable. While most renters pick a single rug and stick with it, a recent trend is to layer rugs or to use numerous rugs fitted together in a puzzle design. This adds tons of visual interest and your own unique touch to any room in the apartment.
There are an endless number of options available for savvy renters who want to make their apartments their own. These five decorating ideas are a great place to get started, for sure, but if you’d like to add your own, we’d love to read them – and I can’t think of a better way to put the comments section to good use.
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