Perhaps you've just moved into a new rental apartment and feel a bit stumped as to how you should decorate the space, or maybe you've been renting a home for quite some time and have noticed that it just doesn't seem to reflect your taste or personality.
We spoke with longtime renters to gather their insights on how to best design a rental space that is welcoming, cozy, and full of special touches.
Meet the Experts
Brigette Mulle is a New York City renter and a home decor content creator.
Sarah Horton is a renter in Newport Beach, California and a content creator.
Imani Keal is a home decor content creator and renter based in Washington, D.C.
Hang Digitally Printed Art
No home is complete without art, but Brigette Muller, a New York City renter and a home decor content creator, understands it can take quite some time to build a substantial collection of pieces. Muller is particularly drawn to vintage oil paintings, which she has printed out downloadable files of vintage artwork to incorporate within her space.
She recommends printing the files on textured paper to make them appear more authentic and then placing them inside ornate frames—sans glass—for a museum-quality look. Muller emphasizes how you won't be able to tell the difference once it's displayed.
Sarah Horton, a renter in Newport Beach, California and a content creator, agrees that artwork is a must in any rental home.
"The absence of personal art and objects can make it feel like a hotel," she says. If you want, shop for art that reflects your locale.
Horton explains how all her pieces reflect a cozy, collected life on the water. Take to a neighborhood flea market or thrift store in search of affordable pieces that speak to you and don't break the bank.
Incorporate Green Friends
Plants will make any space feel more like home in no time. Muller has come to appreciate the power of fewer but more substantial—and thoughtfully positioned—plants in her own apartment.
"Don't be afraid to get a full tree," she says. "My weeping fig is one of the best things I've ever brought into my apartment."
If you travel often, consider incorporating fake plants into your space; there are many realistic-looking styles that will fool most of your guests.
Part Ways With Bland Blinds
Horton has one key piece of advice regarding window treatments.
"Ditch the blinds," she advises. "I typically opt for light and airy white linen curtains, they really can transform a space and add a lot of texture."
Oftentimes, the blinds that exist within a rental unit look impersonal and bland, Horton notes.
Don't Shy Away From Paint
Imani Keal, who is a home decor content creator and renter based in Washington, D.C., encourages others in rental properties to experiment with paint, assuming the landlord approves.
"Nothing says 'rental' like a bad paint job with an off-white or gray color,'" Keal says. "It's awful and very hard to counteract."
Instead, she recommends opting for a moody hue, such as Valspar Coconut Husk or Benjamin Moore Black. Keep in mind that you may need to repaint your space before moving out, so make note of the original color.
Swap Out Your Bulbs
The existing light bulbs within your rental apartment may not be up to par—so change them. Keal has noticed that apartment lighting can simply feel too stark.
"As soon as you move in, switch things out for a warm or amber bulb instead," Keal says.
Creating ambient lighting will help bring warmth to your space. Consider bringing in some lamps and filling any empty corners to illuminate your home.
Lay Down a Rug
A rug will immediately make your rental apartment feel cozier, but it will also help conceal noise, Keal says, noting that it's also much more pleasant to walk around on a rug than step directly onto hardwood floors, particularly when it's cold out.
You can even layer rugs if you wish. A colorful Turkish rug will add dimension to any living room and can easily be layered over a larger jute.
Be Open to Rearranging
It may take some time to arrange your rental space so that it best accommodates your everyday needs. Some trial and error is normal as you determine which furniture items are serving you and which are less conducive to your lifestyle.
Horton ended up trading in her at-home workspace for a large kitchen hutch, which she uses to store entertaining essentials and trinkets.
"I wouldn’t have known that during my first couple months of living there," she says.
Read the original article on The Spruce.