"Decorating A Rental Apartment – Jazz It Up Sans The Paint!"


 I love color – and I especially love having color in my apartment. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a house with white walls and white carpet, where the only color in my childhood home took the form of little cornflower blue accents throughout. As a young lady, I vowed that when I grew up my house would be an explosion of color.

Enter adulthood. After moving in to my first rental apartment, I inquired with the landlord if I could paint. Surprise! I could not = Major bum out. Time to get creative, I thought, so I busted out my imagination and my apartment became the color oasis I needed it to be.


Not only do rugs create separate spaces in the same room, they also have the indelible charm of making a room pop. With thousands of different styles, patterns, and sizes to choose from, you’re really able to capture your personality with your rug of choice.

Paint and re-upholster stuff.

Cute dining room chairs, ugly fabric? Re-upholster in different colors, patterns, or different shades to create a sleek – yet unique – collection. You can also rescue a bookshelf by painting the interior a really bright color, or you can paint other pieces of boring and sad furniture and revive their lives, too.

Wall art.

Since the walls are typically the first things we see, decorating them with artwork will only further enhance the ambience. Choosing different sizes of art and placing them strategically makes for a visually appealing place for your eyes to travel. You could also jazz up the frames with paint for that extra pop! Have a ton of picture frames? Paint them and hang them on the wall for a new twist in wall art.


I have a vintage velvet chartreuse couch, because why not?  It gets tons of compliments and it is incredibly delightful. One of the easiest ways to add color is through furniture. Pick a color that you’ll be able to live with and that you can tie other pieces with seamlessly, and voilà – color!


Go crazy with draperies and stick to the neutrals with your throws and pillows. Or you can go crazy with both curtains and everything else. Not many windows in your abode? Hang curtains on the wall – no has to know a window doesn’t exist behind your fabric of choice.

Show your collection off.

What have you got in your home? A collection of colorful plates? Books? Photographs? Hang up those plates in fun pattern, invest in some eclectic floating shelves and display your books in an artistic manner, or indulge your eyes with an enticing presentation of photographs. Think of those white walls as a blank canvas!

 Removable wallpaper. Or wall graphics.

Love this stuff. With an adhesive equivalent to the strength of a Post-It, removable wallpaper works just like the regular kind, except it doesn’t leave any sticky glue or residue behind. I still recommend talking to your landlord about adding this to your walls, since landlords have their own set of rules when it comes to decorating. If the landlord says no… You can always take wallpaper and frame it accordingly. Removable wall art is also a really inexpensive and fun way to add color and dimension you your place without causing damage.

Pillows, throws, and who else knows.

Another great way to add color is through the smaller stuff in your home: Pillows, blankets, and other random décor like candles and vases can really tie a room together. With a wide array in colors and patterns, you can get as creative as your mind allows. 



By Sarah Barber

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