Texas is famous for all things big and bold, and that includes interior design. If the prospect of long-term apartment living has images of blank white walls and soulless living spaces filling you with dread, take a deep breath and relax. There are actually several fun and easy ways to add color and personality to your apartment to make it feel like home.
Know Your Limits
Before you limit yourself and your decorating options, it’s a good idea to speak with your landlord and find out exactly what you can and can’t do in your rental property. You may be surprised. Some landlords don’t mind tenants painting and hanging pictures on the walls, as long as you patch the holes and paint the walls in their original color before moving out.
If a landlord is less than lenient, consider using removable fixtures for hanging photos. There are a number of inexpensive brands that do a great job without leaving holes in the walls or marking the paint. Command Damage-Free Hanging Solutions by 3M offers a variety of sizes suitable for just about anything.
Show Your Colors
Even without the luxury of painting, you can still bring plenty of color into your apartment by choosing a color palette to use as accents throughout your home. Better Homes & Gardens has a fun and easy-to-use tool at BHG.com that can help. Once you’ve decided on a color palette, you can use temporary wallpaper or even fabric as a quick and convenient way to add splashes of color to otherwise bland walls. Wall hangings, window treatments and accent pillows are also ideal ways to show off your favorite hues.
According to ForRent.com, there are over 400 apartments for rent in Houston, all awaiting a personal touch to make them special. Indulging in a comfort item is a fun way to do just that. A comfort item is any piece of art, furniture or other decorative item that is a sentimental favorite. It might not appeal to anyone but you, but that’s okay. If the item makes you happy, you’ll be happy in your new apartment.
Have Furniture That Fits
Of course it doesn’t make sense to have a grand piano in most apartments, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with dollhouse furniture, either. Instead of having a full set of too-small furniture, consider having fewer pieces in a more reasonable size. Do you have a dining room table you can’t live without? Then consider ditching the matching buffet. Got a comfy couch you can’t stand to part with? Pair it with a small end table instead of a coffee table. Keep what you love, downsize the rest.
If you’re in the market for brand new furniture, IKEA offers a free app that allows you to place IKEA catalog items around your home as a virtual trial run. This way you’ll know if a particular piece fits before you try to lug it up four flights of stairs.
Be Smart about Storage
Unless you want your apartment to look like a college dorm, avoid plastic storage bins. Space is always at a premium in an apartment but you can get creative by using under-bed storage, vertical shelving (if allowed) or attractive woven storage bins that can double as end tables. World Market has an affordable selection of sophisticated choices, though basket storage solutions are also available anywhere from Target to Crate & Barrel, depending on your budget and style.