Trying to come up with decorating ideas for your apartment or dorm can feel too complicated when you have rules like no paint or no nails. You may even wonder what’s the point of decorating if you’re probably going to move out at the end of the year. However, adding some color and personality to your rental can help you feel more relaxed and at home. These simple tips will help you give your temporary dwelling space a quick and easy design upgrade.
1. Wooden Crates
The versatility of wooden crates will never disappoint you. You can find them at places like Home Depot, and you can pick up some paint for the crates while you’re there. The crates can store blankets in your living room or shoes in your bedroom. You can also stack them vertically and use them as an inexpensive, makeshift bookshelf.
Maybe you dream of one day doing your dishes while gazing out of a cheery kitchen window, but for now, you’re stuck staring at the dingy apartment wall. Or are you? Kitchn suggests brightening up your apartment kitchen by hanging a mirror above the sink. The mirror helps the room appear bigger, and you can hang brightly colored dishes on the wall opposite of the mirror to reflect more color around the room.
3. Peel-and-Stick Floors
You may love the cheap rent that comes with your apartment, but you probably hate the grimy, out-dated bathroom floors. Even after a deep cleaning, those floors may still look unappealing. Instead of giving up, take Society 19‘s advice and order some vinyl peel-and-stick floors from Amazon. Peel-and-stick floors are renter-friendly because you can easily remove them once move-out day arrives.
Bookshelves can do much more than simply display your literary collection (although they sure do a great job of that). Brit + Co shows how you can use them to add storage space in the kitchen. Find some simple bookshelves, such as the Billy bookcase from IKEA, and push them together. You can now use them as open storage for pots, spices or dish towels. If your kitchen lacks counter space, you can also buy some plywood to fit across the tops of the shelves. Now, there’s more room to chop up fresh veggies.
A unique alternative to temporary wall art, washi tape gives you the freedom to choose your own colors and design your own pattern on any wall in your apartment. Don’t limit yourself to just walls, either. Washi tape can revitalize your kitchen cabinets, doors, window blinds, lampshades and ceiling fans. It easily peels off and leaves no marks or residue.
6. DIY Headboards
If you relocate frequently, you’re probably not interested in packing up a heavy headboard every time you move. Thankfully, the DIY network provides some ideas for adorable, easy-to-make headboards. One of the lightweight options involves spray painting PVC pipes silver to create an industrial illusion. After you fashion the pipes into a headboard outline, string twine along the bars and hang your favorite photographs with mini-clothespins. This type of industrial urban look complements the interior of many Birmingham apartments such as Iron City Lofts.
Nothing makes a rental home seem cozier than personal photographs strung on the wall along with some warm LED string lights. To avoid using a hammer and nails, use your forever-friend, washi tape, to keep the string on the wall. Depending on the amount of pictures, you may need to use adhesive command hooks. If you’re not the type to take lots of pictures, you can always order some inexpensive, decorative art prints from Amazon.
You may be afraid to care for another living thing, but have no fear, indoor succulents and cacti require minimal watering. You can also look into peace lilies, which do not need lots of light, for rooms without windows. Buy clear containers for the plants and create a bottom layer of dry white kidney beans and then a top layer of soil for the plant. This will help you create a decorative urban garden that you can easily take with you the next time you move.
9. Rolling Cart
The ultimate storage companion, a simple rolling cart can help you decorate and organize at the same time. My favorite rolling cart, the Råskog utility cart from IKEA, fits in small spaces and can be used in any room. You can use the three tiers to store hair products and styling tools in the bathroom or spices and cooking utensils in the kitchen. You can decorate the cart by placing cute succulents on the top tray to bring more life to the room. It can also become a makeshift bedside table to keep extra blankets, books and anything else you might need.
10. Chalk Contact Paper
Interior designers love chalk paint because you can use it anywhere and everywhere, but unfortunately, paint is usually not an option for apartment tenants. That’s when chalk contact paper comes to the rescue. Although contact paper is amazing itself, chalk contact paper is even more amazing because you can write on it! Put the paper on a wall in the kitchen to keep up with your meal planning for the week. Or, you can put it in your bedroom and create a to-do list. The possibilities are endless.