How to

How to Make Your Rental Really Yours?

In our dreams and not even the wildest ones, we all have a sprawling, characterful apartment in the city, an airy place by the sea for sun-drenched summer evenings, and maybe even a cosy cabin up in the mountains. But in reality, many of us are shoe-horned into rental apartments that don’t truly reflect who we are. Though some of us are lucky enough to have lenient landlords who don’t mind a few tweaks here and there, the threat of losing hefty deposits often keeps the rest of us from letting our creativity run wild. So, what’s a design-lover hemmed in by rental rules to do? Hack the system!

Here are eight of the easiest, most impactful ways to upgrade your rental and really make it yours.

A commanding presence.

Many landlords balk at the thought of renters hammering away at their walls to hang pictures. Art is one of the best ways to make a space feel personal, so opt for removable command strips to hang your favourite pieces. They’re a long-lasting, mess-free alternative to nails. Still worried about nicking the walls? Layer a mix of larger and smaller pieces on the ground so that they only lean against the walls. This will create visual interest without doing any damage.

On a roll.

While you’re unlikely to have a landlord who’s gung-ho about you wallpapering the whole apartment, we have a genius solution for all the pattern fanatics out there: removeable wallpaper. Mix and match different styles or go big and bold with one all-over style. You’ll be able to peel it off before you move out. Just remember to wipe down the wall with soap and water afterwards.

Lean in to less.

Ok, so this isn’t exactly a hack, but if you’ve got a particularly inflexible landlord, embracing the idea of minimalism can free you from design boredom. Instead of feeling like you can’t decorate the space as you’d like, get excited about the prospect of paring back and keeping things fresh and clean.

@marialemesurier

Hardware isn’t hardwired.

This is something we almost always do, whether or not we hate the hardware in our apartments. It’s cheap and easy to swap out knobs and handles in the kitchen and bathroom with something that speaks to your design sense. Store the old hardware so that you can replace it before you move out.

Curtain call.

Adding gorgeous textiles throughout your apartment will warm up the space in no time. One of our favourite places to add texture is at the windows. Even if your place has blinds or Roman shades, bring in some lovely curtains to add dimension to your space. Make sure to hang them higher than your windows to create the illusion of bigger windows!

Step into the light.

So many apartments are riddled with unsightly lighting fixtures like the dreaded ‘boob light’. Replace generic overhead fixtures with something stunning and dramatic like The Precious Pale Pendant Lamp. It will instantly transform a space.

Floor ‘em!

Hideous, dingy carpets abound in rental apartments, but don’t let that get you down. A big, beautiful rug will cover all manner of flooring sins while bringing warmth, colour and texture to a space.

Fairer faucet.

If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can work a little magic in your kitchen and bathroom by replacing the fixtures. It’s simple enough to swap out an unsightly chrome faucet or rusty shower head with something a bit more elegant. As this can only improve the value of the property, landlords are unlikely to mind, but you can tuck the originals away for safe keeping just in case.

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