When moving into your first rental apartment, the excitement of a new journey and an independent lifestyle can quickly make way for a common dilemma: how do you take the blank canvas of the unit and make it your own? Being a renter doesn’t mean that you need to wash out your personality and stick to a generic, impersonal décor style; and while fitting personal preferences, memories and passions into a new space can certainly pose a challenge, there are always easy and affordable ways of spicing up your new living space and truly make it feel like home.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to make the most out of your new rental apartment, without breaking the bank or doing any permanent damage to the unit:
Add a Breath of Fresh Air
Plants have a unique way of breathing new life into any space and they’re one of the most affordable ways of adding a pop of color, not to mention a literal dose of fresh air. Use spaces with good light, like a windowsill or a corner near the window to place a couple of plants and notice how the room will come to life in a heartbeat. If you’re not sure whether you can keep a real plant alive – no shame in that -, you can always spruce things up with a faux succulent or a colorful bouquet of higher quality fake flowers.
Use Textures and Colors to Create a Mood
Curtains, tapestries, mirrors, paintings – these are all inexpensive accents that can turn a space around and help reflect your unique personality. There are even peel-on tapestries that you can talk with your landlord about adding, which won’t damage the walls but will allow you to express your preferences while you live there. A geometric mirror placed in a well-lit corner can open up the space and a colorful painting can easily become the focal point of an otherwise generic room. If you have a little budget to spare in terms of décor, make sure to invest it in sturdy pieces that you can take with you in case of a future move.
Make It Cozy
Home is where the heart is and the heart needs that feeling of coziness to be at peace. Maximum coziness is usually reached during the colder months, but there are little touches that can get you year-round “hygge”. Make use of pillows, candles, fairy lights and all those Pinteresty accents that are affordable and easy to come by. Try to stick to a color palette or style in each room and let your creativity dictate the way – you can even create a little cozy corner in which to escape the world and decorate it with a bean bag, some fluffy blankets and pillows, a stack of good books and your favorite scented candle.
Celebrate Every Occasion
Seasonal décor is one of the most exciting parts of the holidays and you don’t have to skip that if you’re renting. While the storage space can be an issue in smaller apartments, there are ways to hide a few boxes here and there. You can assess the situation of your own apartment and see if there is any way to create extra storage, either by adding affordable pieces of furniture, like an ottoman with hidden space, or to create a vertical storage system, by placing colorful boxes on top of existing furniture. If the space allows, you can pile up a few boxes made of seasonal décor items in a corner and hide them with a stylish room divider. In terms of the décor itself, try to stick to smaller pieces that are easier to deposit, like a mini-Christmas tree, a few ornamental pumpkins for fall or little baskets of pastel Easter eggs, and make sure they are not on the fragile side.
Honor Your Best Memories
Our memories and past experiences make us who we are; and what better way to personalize your rental than by displaying visuals of your best and most significant life moments? You can hang a pin board on an empty wall and fill it with your favorite pictures or turn it into a vision board, to visualize your personal dreams and goals. If your apartment has an empty or impersonal corner, hang some strings or lights from one wall to another and attach your favorite pictures to create a hanging photo album or a succession of your favorite milestones.
Looking for a new apartment to call home? Browse through hundreds of verified listings on RentCafe and choose the perfect one for you.