In Houston, where many energy execs spend half the year traveling, corporate rentals are a tricky design challenge. Temporary spaces often mean restrictions on what you can install, what you can paint, and how much space you have for your furnishings. From permanent pied-à-terres to short-term residences, we’ve helped clients transform their rentals into something unique and stylish. But what if your rental is really short term or the limitations are restrictive? Today on the Journal, Diandra Stieger of RENTCafe.com shares her expert advice on the Do’s and Don’ts of rental decorating.
Decorating a home to fit your style is an exciting and challenging activity, but when it comes to renting an apartment, your design options are often limited. Landlord rules and rental laws force you to weigh the aesthetic outcome and the financial risk. Along with the freedom from repairs and the convenience provided by not owning, you inevitably encounter some limitations when you want to decoratey. Even though it might not be your forever home, you can express yourself without drastically altering the space and being too restricted in your design choices.
If you’re not sure how to get started, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind during your decorating sprees. Here’s what you can DO:
Boost your creativity and do it yourself
A beautifully arranged home stimulates, motivates, and inspires you every single day. If you are unsure about hanging your art collection or installing wallpaper, give your apartment or condo a special touch by channeling your inner artist.
If the apartment is not as modern as you’d expect, contemporary or abstract art is unexpected and stunning. The same works in opposite, with a very modern interior benefitting from more traditional decor. Because you may not want to invest in beloved artist’s piece for your temporary space, creating your own art is a great alternative. With a variety of DIY home décor ideas and websites at your disposal, it’s quite easy to create pieces that fit your unique vision and style while enjoying the rewarding outcome of doing it yourself.
Add some greenery
Regardless how long you live in an apartment, it has to feel like home. You might not be able to invest in new flooring or replace the old tiles, but you can still find ways to spruce up your new place. Plants are unequaled in their ability to make an apartment or condo feel cozy and homey. Not only do they improve your indoor aesthetic, but they boost your mood and purify the air. Moreover, the containers they are held in have amazing décor potential, whether you buy them ready-made to match the room’s design or you give them a personal touch.
Focus on little accessories
Sometimes, the smallest things can make the biggest difference when it comes to beautifying a room. Lighting is usually the key to making a home cozy, so one clever choice is to invest in small lamps to provide the space with personality. If you want to enhance your living room, don’t forget that the sofa is its main star and it can quickly become a statement piece with the help of some stylish and colorful throw pillows. Right next to it, bring the coffee to life with some scented candles to create a comfortable ambiance, while the rest of the room can be enhanced with beautiful picture frames. Overall, these little things will give you a splash of inspiration throughout the day.
Keep in mind the major DON’Ts:
Don’t make major renovations
There are many ways to transform and elevate a space without resorting to radical renovations. When you’re renting an apartment, it is important to get permission from your landlord before making any adjustments, which is why it’s slightly difficult to end up with significant changes. Most of the time you are not allowed to paint the walls, but you could substitute this desire with removable wallpaper that can be peeled off without leaving any marks. Similarly, you might not be satisfied with the flooring, but instead of changing it, you can hide it with the help of rugs and carpets to give your apartment more character. If you want to add some life to your walls, be careful drilling holes, but instead use adhesive hooks that will not harm the wall. All it takes is a splash of creativity and you can redecorate any room without permanently renovating it.
Don’t spend a fortune
It is understandable that you want to live in the home of your dreams, even if you don’t own it, but it’s important not to splurge on unnecessary things. The best approach is to prioritize the spaces you want to decorate and figure out precisely what requires the most investment. You can pick some key investment pieces, preferably ones that you can take with you when you move out, like multi-purpose furniture. Or, if you can’t take your eyes off that spectacular armchair that would be a perfect statement in your living room, treat yourself and get it! Other than that, manage your budget carefully and think twice before purchasing something new.
Don’t install permanent features
When you want to put your own stamp on a rental, try to keep in mind that it will not always be yours, and you’re expected to leave it in the same condition you found it. Even though most apartments come with their own set of decorating challenges – small rooms, outdated fixtures, and lack of storage, it’s best not to fix it by installing permanent items. It may be true that your kitchen would look better with that built-in island, but the ache of leaving it behind when you move out is just not worth it.
Decorating your home should never feel like a chore and with a touch of ingenuity, you can create a delightful living space.
Diandra Stieger is a creative writer for RENTCafe.com. With an academic background in English literature and linguistics, Diandra has a strong passion for real estate. She covers a variety of topics, from marketing trends to entertaining articles about urban development. When she’s not catching up on the latest real estate deals, she’s usually busy traveling, reading, or learning new languages.