How to Decorate Your Apartment (And Not Lose Your Deposit)

Living in an apartment has plenty of benefits. For starters, you’re not taking on debt with a mortgage and you’re not responsible for big maintenance tickets. One of the biggest downfalls of renting an apartment, however, is that most leases restrict tenants from making permanent changes to the space. From painting walls to putting nails in them, anything the landlord doesn’t give you the green light for can get you in some seriously hot water.

Any apartment dweller who doesn’t want to sacrifice their deposit for style or vice-versa still has plenty of temporary decorating options at their disposal. Better yet, you can tailor these options to your personal aesthetic and decor preferences. If you’re one of the 43 million Americans who move every year and are now facing a boring apartment, restrictive lease, and seemingly limited options, keep reading to find out how you can transform your space.

Temporary Wallpaper

Temporary Wallpaper

A major decorating trend right now is creating a statement wall with bold and patterned wallpaper. This trend is perfect for anyone living in an apartment, as there is a wide variety of temporary wallpapers on the market. You can choose an eye-catching pattern or a pleasant color to use for a whole room, one wall, or even as a highlight in a small area like an office nook.

Before you start sticking removable wallpaper to your apartment’s walls, make sure that the walls are suited for it. Ones that have loose plaster or are heavily textured may cause air pockets to form while you install it. When this happens, the wallpaper often ends up looking bubbly and unprofessional rather than sleek and stylish. Apply your wallpaper to smooth walls and you’ll have temporary decoration that looks great and is easy to remove.

Display Artwork On Flat Surfaces

Framed pieces of artwork are the perfect way to personalize your home with your unique tastes, but hanging them on the walls with nails is the perfect way to say goodbye to your security deposit. Get your deposit back at the end of your lease by looking around your apartment for all of the places that can display your art as effectively as hanging it on a wall does.

As you look around your space, use your imagination. Built-in shelving, empty countertops, large window sills, tabletops, and desks are all great areas that could get a facelift from a few well-placed pieces of art. Many people are even propping up larger artwork on the floor as a minimalist statement of style. If you can’t find any viable options, invest in decorative ladders, bookshelves, or entertainment centers as impromptu galleries for your art.

Create Tape Frames

Create Tape Frames
No one ever said that frames needed to be made of antique wood or heavy metals. You can still have a stylish gallery wall in your apartment by using washi tape to frame your cherished family photos and favorite prints. Washi tape comes in an endless number of colors and design, allowing you to create the style you want in your apartment. Break out the ruler to ensure you lay the tape straight and feel free to get creative with the shapes of your frames.

If you’re not keen on the more DIY-look of a washi tape gallery wall, you can find alternative ways to hang frames that don’t damage the walls. If you have strong molding around the top of your walls that doesn’t quite meet the ceiling and instead creates a small shelf, invest in S-hooks and decorative ropes. You can then hang the framed pictures from the rope and create a unique gallery wall. You could also use removable wall hooks or velcro that will allow you to hang your pictures and will come off easily when it’s time for you to move.

Despite the limitations in a traditional lease, any renter has options for decorating if they’re willing to think outside of the box. Keep in mind that stylish decorating goes beyond what’s on your walls. You can easily spruce up your space with some well-chosen throw pillows, area rugs, curtains, and plants. And if all else fails, it never hurts to ask your landlord if you can paint that truly atrocious wall color or spackle nail holes when you move out.

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