When you rent an apartment, you’re often restricted by the changes you can make to the interior. You don’t want to spend a lot on decorating, but you also want to make the place feel like home. The good news is that we’ve created 20 hacks you can follow to create a dream interior and without the risk of losing your deposit!
Did You Know That Interior Design Can Affect Mood?
Also known as the “psychology of interior design,” the style, flow, and color of a space all affect our mood. If you walk into your apartment after a long, tough day and you don’t feel the slightest ease or relaxation, then your four walls could be calling for a makeover!
Of course, living in a rental it’s not always possible to change the wall color or fixtures because that could mean a break in the lease and the possible loss of your security deposit. Fortunately, with a little bit of ingenuity, you can quickly create an attractive, functional space that makes you feel good too.
Now that we know there’s a science behind the look and feel of your apartment, it’s time to get creative and to start decorating!
Start by Changing the Window Treatment
One of the easiest ways to improve the look and feel of your home is to change the window treatment. A window treatment consists of the curtains, blinds, and drapes you hang on the window. If your apartment does not have a permanent fixture or a blind you cannot remove, you can easily add your own curtains or blinds. Bamboo blinds are on trend and add a natural look to your home. It is also easy to regulate light and goes with any color scheme.
Have you heard of removable wallpaper? Removable wallpaper works with a sticky adhesive that is easily secured and removed without leaving residue behind. This type of wallpaper is great to add a feature wall in a bedroom or a living room. It does not use glue, making it a good choice of décor for the rental apartment.
Many apartments and rental homes may not have an updated tile in the kitchen. If you feel that the backsplash is not making a big splash for your personality and preference, then a removable tile backsplash is a great choice. These sticky tiles can be peeled off the wall prior to an inspection or the end of the lease without leaving a trace.
Changing the Cabinet Knobs
Many apartment kitchen cabinets and bedroom cupboards have old or outdated knobs that can leave a room feeling drab and dreary. If you check the cupboards, they may have a screw-on knob. You can easily purchase modern knobs with the same size thread and replace the old ones with the new range. By the end of your lease, all you need to do is unscrew the knobs and replace them with the original ones.
Get Smart with Accessories
The easiest way to decorate an apartment without permanent fixtures is to use accessories. Many features can be hung, placed on a stand, or on a counter. You will be surprised at the difference a framed picture or scented candles can make to the warmth and the attractiveness of a room.
If you need to feel inspired when it comes to accessorizing, our DIY Tips to Make Your Small Apartment Look Amazing will help you make the most of your new space!
From the bedroom to the bathroom, we explore a few temporary upgrades you can make to your next rental apartment.
You Can Freshen an Apartment Bathroom with these Simple Hacks
The bathroom can be a tricky space to upgrade without applying anything permanent. We look at cheap and simple bathroom enhancements for any rental apartment.
Add Fluffy Towels
A simple way to keep your bathroom looking clean, contemporary, and fresh is to add some beautiful linens. Thicker towels in bright white, soft peach or baby blues create color and crispness. You can also layer towels on a rack or neatly fold and place your favorite towels on the corner of the bath.
Candles, Vases, and Indoor Plants
Bathrooms and bedrooms can be enhanced with candles, vases, and indoor plants.
There are many types of accessories you can use a rental apartment; it all depends on what you prefer. Accessories are not fixtures. It is the simplest way to add your personality to a space that you love and it can be taken with you when you move.
Bookshelves and Racks
Modern and freestanding bookshelves and racks designed for moisture-prone areas provide the extra storage you need. Forget about adding shelves to a wall, which is not often possible in a rental apartment. The freestanding furniture offers a simple and effective way to organize your home.
Focus on Improving the Lighting
When you walk into a room that lacks lighting, it immediately affects your mood. In a rental property, you cannot change the light fixtures, but you can change the globes. Cool white can be changed to warm white bulbs creating a softer feel to the interior.
You can also add nightstands, lamps on a side table, and decorative features that improve the amount of light in a dimly lit room.
Another great feature is to hang solar-powered fairy light across a balcony. If you have a spot that is exposed to sunlight, solar lighting that won’t annoy the neighbors adds a soft touch. If you don’t have sunny areas, you can use battery-operated rope and fairy lights outdoors and indoors.
Clear the Counters
Some rental apartments and houses have utensil holders, containers, and other types of nick-knacks on counters. Pack these items into a box and store them so you can replace them when it comes to the end of the lease.
In fact, any type of clutter and items that you won’t use you can clear out and store until the end of the lease. Simply replace the items prior to the property inspection and you can prevent risking your security deposit.
Upgrading a rental property or apartment can be tricky. Always ensure that the accessories you remove can be replaced to their original condition. If you decide to change the knobs on the kitchen cabinets, you shouldn’t have to tug and damage features to alter it. Simple steps to replace cabinet knobs or add removable wallpaper can help you temporarily customize the space and without damage. Do not risk your security deposit with unnecessary alterations.
How to Upgrade and Protect Your Security Deposit?
Making temporary improvements to the rental and adding accessories that you can take with you are well worth the time and the effort if you know what you are doing. Remember, any damages or losses could compromise your security deposit. Temporary upgrades to a rental are just that, quick and easy improvements you can remove when your lease expires.
Let’s take a closer look at the steps you can take to upgrade your apartment and protect your security deposit.
Take Pictures of the Apartment on Move-in Day
The best way to prevent risking your security deposit is to take a few photos of the apartment interior when you first move in. This helps you record the original condition and arrangement of the rental. If you are considering a few temporary upgrades, the images just provide a reminder of how to restore the apartment.
Read Your Lease
While it’s great to move into a new place and feel inspired to change the interior, always read your lease. Understand the terms and conditions before you add any stickers or remove the cabinet knobs. It is the best way to protect your security deposit.
When to Speak to Your Landlord About Apartment Alterations?
If you want to add shelves to the space or wish to change the wall color, always speak to the landlord first. Many landlords and property managers will be open to minor improvements in the rental but within limits. Perhaps you can change the color on the wall or add a floating shelf, but it should only be performed if you get the go-ahead.
What to Do in an Apartment Emergency?
An apartment emergency includes plumbing problems, HVAC damage, and electrical issues. While not a part of a décor problem, emergencies can happen at any time. Knowing who and when to call can make the difference between a disaster and a situation that I easy to rectify.
If you face a major clog, burst pipe, or similar plumbing issue, do not attempt to fix it yourself. A DIY approach to an apartment emergency could leave you footing the bill!
When you move into your new apartment, ask your landlord for the contact details of the complex’s maintenance team. Ask him or her who you should call in the event of an emergency situation. By contacting a recommended plumber or maintenance technician, you can avoid any deductions from your security deposit.
If you cannot get hold of your landlord or technician should an emergency occur in your apartment, you can call on your own plumber. You will have to show the landlord that you were not the cause of the emergency and have practiced fair maintenance to keep fixtures and systems working without fault. A private plumber can offer a record of the reason for the disaster. This should help you receive a deduction for the bill from your rent or have a refund issued by the landlord.
Why Is It Important to Maintain Your Apartment?
Whether you are interested in a few temporary upgrades or you need an emergency plumber to address a clog, one thing is for certain, maintaining your apartment can prevent the cost of your security deposit!
Although it’s easy to rely on the scheduled maintenance team, there are things you can do to keep the unit in tip-top condition. This way you can prevent the possibility of high costs to perform a repair or restore a fixture owing to negligence.
What to Do if the Landlord Doesn’t Perform Repairs?
If you notice that your tap is leaking or your toilet is showing signs of a blockage, you must contact the landlord immediately. Send a follow-up email to ensure you have the query in writing. The next step is to provide the landlord with a reasonable amount of time to respond to the query and to have the right service resolve the issue.
Remember, landlords have an entire complex to manage and may not get back to you immediately after you send your request. As long as you have spoken to them and followed up with an email, you have a record of trying to resolve the issue.
Apartment Decorating Can be Fun!
There’s nothing better than walking into a space where it feels like home. Fortunately, even if you live in an apartment you can still have the “at home” feeling with a few personalized design choices.
Consider changing the window treatments (where possible), add a stick on-tile to the backsplash, or simply fill your new home with the things you love. From your family portrait and some beautiful glass candles to scatter cushions, throws, and temporary upgrades, you can affordably update an apartment. When you have a plan and you understand your lease, it becomes easier to make the desired changes while protecting your security deposit.
If you aren’t sure about making a change or you wish to add a permanent fixture such as a shelf, always speak to your landlord. You should also send them an email with approval for the request to prevent any confusion.
When you understand how to temporarily upgrade an apartment it becomes easier to add your magic touch to create a place you can truly call home!