Personalize a rental space in 7 easy steps

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Décor that represents you, your lifestyle and tastes can be temporary and inexpensive, yet make a big impact on how YOU feel while living in a rental apartment, home or condo.  Interior Remodeling Crew expert Jan Lehman gives you 7 budget-friendly “remodeling ideas” to try and make difference in your space.

1.      Get to know your landlord so you know your limits up front. If the property is owned by a professional corporation, your options may be limited so always ask PRIOR to leasing what you can and cannot do. Impress on them that the décor will be temporary and inexpensive and you’ll return the space to its original condition when you leave. Once it’s clear, and you get everything in writing, get ready to have some fun and energize your space.

2.      Wallpaper is making a comeback and I’ll bet you thought you could never use it in a rental.  Do a Google search for temporary wallpaper and you’ll find some very cool and inexpensive products available.  Adding it to one accent wall will be a big WOW factor for relatively little cost.

3.      Even though you may have to re-paint to its original neutral color, this is far and away the most bang for your buck to personalize your space.  Just make sure you have written approval prior to picking up that paintbrush!  Experimenting with different colors in your rental space will help you figure out what colors you’ll want when you own your home too.  And don’t forget that your furniture or an area rug can be the color if you can’t paint your walls!

4.      Art work and photos are another great WOW factor, but what if your landlord won’t let you put any holes in the walls?  There are several ways to get around that.  3M’s Command hanging products are great for hanging artwork or lightweight curtains/rods.  A tension rod could be used for heavier curtains.  “ReadyHang” no-drill drapery hardware is an innovative product that attaches to your window frames with a spring mechanism and is available up to 76”.  Many rental apartments are so close together, ReadyHang could be the answer for privacy as well as energy efficiency. Easy enough to take with you to your next home.

5.      It seems we never have enough storage and in rentals that’s probably even more true.   There are a variety of storage solutions from book cases (which can also help define different spaces) to natural wicker baskets to colorful fabric boxes.  A storage ottoman not only gives you extra storage and seating, it could even serve as a cocktail table too!  (I live in a condo with only three small closets.  I raised my bed frame so I could fit storage boxes under the bed – stuff I don’t use that much but don’t want to part with. And I purchased a wardrobe for my clothes.)

6.      As with painting, you may have to return to its original condition– but swapping out lighting fixtures and hardware can make the space more you.  Measure twice before making your purchases as you probably can’t drill any new holes.

7.      Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean you can’t look at magazines or HOUZZ for inspiration!  Many rooms you’ll see have been staged, meaning a lot of what you see– especially accessories – don’t belong to the homeowner but were brought in to jazz up the space.  Think big and bold here because all you need is one statement making WOW piece.

With these tips, you’ll be able to feel comfortable in your home space and feel that it reflects your lifestyle and tastes.  Always check with your landlord and get it in writing so you won’t lose your damage deposit or violate your lease.  Share your “Rental Remodeling on our Facebook page.


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