Decorating Apartments on a Budget
by Kathy Burns-Millyard
When you rent an apartment, you sometimes inherit other people's
problems. There could be holes in the wall or stains on the carpet,
but since you're renting you're not usually allowed to make any major
decorating or home improvement decisions, you have to get creative
with decorating decisions. And you wouldn't want to make the monetary
investment either of course, since you don't own the property.
There are ways to spruce the place up a bit though, and it can be done
1. Hang posters or inexpensive art prints on the wall. If you've got a
few extra dollars you can frame these, otherwise simply use small
finishing nails or thumbtacks to make sure they'll stay in place.
2. If you rent a fully furnished apartment, cover the furniture with
your own cloth or slipcovers. This will serve two purposes: It will
prevent damages that the owner might charge you for later, and it'll
allow you to have your own personal decorating touch in the living space.
3. Try getting a few throw rugs or area rugs to place in high traffic
areas. This will again allow you to keep from damaging the apartment's
carpet, and you'll be able to match the design and color scheme with
the furniture to your liking.
4. Buy inexpensive throw pillows to scatter around on the chairs,
couches or floor. Even better if these are machine washable, so you
can clean them up easily and inexpensively as needed.
5. If there are holes or cracks in the walls, you can either paint or
wallpaper over them if the landlord allows. If not, simply hang
pictures or posters strategically to keep the problem areas hidden.
6. Some apartment owners will allow the tenants to repaint as long as
they use a specified paint color. This generally tends to be either
white or off white... a.k.a. Boring. Any fresh coat of paint makes a
room look nicer though, so do this if you're allowed to and be sure to
save a little extra in case you need it for later touch ups.
7. Inexpensive rugs or fabric are also wonderful for use as wall
hangings. Pick one or more that compliments your furniture and floor
coverings, then hang them strategically around the walls.
Alternatively, buy or cut strips of fabric and attach them to the top
of the walls to create a decorative border that's easily removed.
Apartment owners usually don't want wallpaper installed, and they
don't want any fancy stenciling, painting, or other decorative
touches. So by using fabric instead, you're not causing any damage to
the walls, and you're not violating the owner's decorating rules.
8. If you need an area of your apartment to be more private, hang
curtains on spring tension rods or buy inexpensive decorative screen
dividers. In a pinch you can simply string a rope from one wall to
another, and use cloths pins or clamps to hook an extra sheet or
Decorating an apartment can be a little challenging, but it's
definitely possible to do well while still having room left in your
budget for food, bills, and fun things. So if you have to live in an
apartment, try a few of the tips above and you'll be much happier,
comfortable, and feeling more at home. And as a bonus: You'll be able
to move your decorating touches with you as needed!
© Kathy Burns-Millyard. Do you love getting
home decorating, or seeing
design pictures? Come on over to HouseDesignIdeas.com to get all that and
more for free!