Decorate A Rental Without Losing Your Deposit
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Decor Fixes For Renters1 of 9
By Paige Brettingen
After months of searching, you've found the perfect apartment (cue the Hallelujah chorus). But before you fantasize about hanging artwork or painting an accent wall pink, make sure your decorating dreams won't cost you later in damaged walls or upgrades you can't take with you. Here, eight rental mishaps to avoid, plus tips on how to make your space feel like home—without sacrificing your security deposit.
Tough As Nails2 of 9
Rental Mishap: Nailing artwork into walls or using damaging adhesives
Simple Solution: "Rather than nailing holes into the drywall, try Command Picture Hanging Strips—the company has revolutionized how to hang art," says Ashlina Kaposta, an NYC-based interior designer and founder of TheDecorista.com. Capable of holding frames as heavy as eight pounds, the strips promise not to leave a mark once they're removed.
SHOP NOW: Command Picture Hanging Strips, $9, amazon.com
Paint Job3 of 9
Rental Mishap: Painting walls in hot hues.
Simple Solution: "Stick with neutral tones to avoid having to repaint," says Kaposta. Her favorite color trick: "Add a tint of red, purple or blue to white paint to soften the white—it's subtle enough your landlord won't notice." Still yearning for more color? Try bold wall decals or printed adhesive wallpaper that's easy to remove.
SHOP NOW: Ruby Slate (MARRAKESH), $85 and up, temperdesigns.com
Handle It4 of 9
Rental Mishap: Sinking money into remodeling a bathroom or kitchen you don't own.
Simple Solution: "Look for cabinet hardware you find interesting—and don't worry about matching," says Kaposta. "Besides being easy to transfer to your next place, the fixtures are a fun way to incorporate your personality into rooms you otherwise might not decorate when you're renting," she says.
SHOP NOW: Nanette Knob, $10, anthropologie.com
A Flexible Fit5 of 9
Rental Mishap: Splurging on furniture too specific to the layout of your rental.
Simple Solution: "Decorate with your future home in mind or you'll be left with costly furniture you can't take with you," says Kaposta. Opt for pieces that can be restructured, like nesting tables instead of a large coffee table. "They fill out a large living room when aligned together or they can be used separately as nightstands or end tables in smaller spaces."
SHOP NOW: Peekaboo clear nesting tables, $199 for set of 3, cb2.com
Curtain Call6 of 9
Rental Mishap: Buying custom curtains that fit the windows on your rental.
Simple Solution: "Go for longer drapes in solid colors," says Kaposta. "They can go with you anywhere and will make a space feel larger when hung at the top of a wall." says Kaposta.
SHOP NOW: Emery Linen/Cotton Grommet Drape, $129 and up, potterybarn.com
Scratch That7 of 9
Rental Mishap: Dragging heavy furniture across hardwood floors.
Simple Solution: "Apply felt to the bottom legs of every single piece of furniture," says Kaposta. "To avoid having to reapply them each time you move, use felt pad tacks that will stay in place long-term."
SHOP NOW: 1-Inch Nail On Round Felt Pads, $5, amazon.com
Cut a Rug8 of 9
Rental Mishap: Investing in a too-big area rug that overwhelms the space.
Simple Solution: FLOR Custom rugs you can adjust in size whenever you move. "The rugs are made up of squares connected with sticker-like adhesives," says Kaposta. Choose the design you like and the number of squares you need for your space—and if your next place is larger, you can always add more squares to fill it out."
SHOP NOW: Jim Dandy indigo rug, $16 per square, flor.com
Garden Variety9 of 9
Rental Mishap: Digging up landscaping to grow a garden.
Simple Solution: Stick with pots and planters when experimenting with your green thumb. If it turns out you have a black thumb, you won't have any explaining to do to your landlord—plus, any gardening successes can move with you to your next home.
SHOP NOW: Elevated garden wedge, $230, williams-sonoma.com
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