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Transforming a sterile cookie-cutter apartment

Painting rentalHunting for the perfect apartment in Phoenix equipped with just the right square footage, closet space, set in the perfect location and still falling within your price range is hard enough to come by, let alone actually liking the place.  The rental market is ultra competitive these days in Phoenix. If you’re lucky enough to find a place that meets most of your criteria you should probably sign the lease right away and worry about liking it later.

There are a few inexpensive and apartment friendly tricks to bring that sterile, tract-home feel of most Phoenix apartments into something that will feel more like home and won’t be a nightmare on move out day.

  • Paint – Most valley complexes will allow the renter to paint the walls of their apartment as long as the original color is restored upon move out.  Most don’t even bother with the headache of painting the walls just to paint them back to hospital white after you’ve experienced the joys of the moving process.  Consider painting small accent walls here or there around your new place.  The small pops of color will really stand out against those likely white walls and won’t be agony to paint over later on.
  • Completely take over the walls – Now that you’ve accented a few walls around your place you are likely left with expanses of glaring white stucco walls everywhere.  Take over these walls by selecting; say, the wall behind the television and the wall behind the headboard of your bed to hang drapes. Yes, drapes.  Armed with a long curtain rod, place the drape or fabric of your choosing just as you would a window treatment flush against the wall.  The effect here is similar to that of paint or wallpaper by visually breaking up that white walled vastness and adding some warmth to the room at the same time. Even better, it’s all done with only two to four screws in the wall. No big clean up later!
  •  Switch up the lighting – Proper lighting is a top play out of the home decorators handbook.  Switching up those horrific fluorescent lights to a softer hue will make the room feel less stark.  For the bedrooms you may want to consider soft pink bulbs to warm the room up.  Your apartment likely gets quite a bit of daylight thanks to our 300 of the 365 cloudless days a year in Phoenix; the last thing we need is the ultra-intense fluorescent lighting scalding our retinas even further.  This simple fix is likely to cost around $30 and can always be taken with you when you leave. You could call this an investment!

By making a few of these subtle changes you’ll lessen the risk of accidentally walking into your neighbors apartment and confusing it for your own. Changing up a few simple things around your new place can make a huge difference. It won’t cost much money, they are easily remedied when the lease is up and will probably make that lease term much more comfortable than you’d expected.

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Amalia Otet
Amalia Otet
Amalia Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time.

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