Renting an apartment can be a decorating challenge, not only financially but also creatively. Most apartment owners will ask for security deposits (which will only be returned when the contract ends and if there is no or little repair work needed before the unit can be occupied by another tenant), a few months rent in advance and pet deposits, etc. You will also have start up fees for electric, water, trash, phones, gas, etc. A decorating budget is typically the last thing a person wants to think about or shell out more money for.
Here are some cost-saving tips for decorating an apartment: 1. When hanging artwork it is a good idea to use as small a nail as possible so that when the contract ends the holes will be easy to patch using a spackling compound.
2. If the apartment is fully furnished, the furniture should be covered with decorative slipcovers to prevent it from getting dirty or stained. The apartment owner will check before allowing a renter to leave.
3. If there are chairs in the house and they are covered with fabric, consider buying some machine washable cushions or slipcovers to prevent any damage.
4. When tying to protect or change the look of wood end tables or coffee tables, nice fabrics draped over each piece is a very inexpensive option to add some color and protect the wood. You could also use glass or mirror pieces which can be purchased from stores such as Michaels or Total Crafts to put on top of the wood pieces. You could even add photos or other decorative items underneath the glass to add some style and character without damaging the apartment owners furniture.
5. Buying an area rug or bound carpet would be a good way to protect flooring, change the color of unpleasant flooring or to tie parts of a room together.
6. When looking at the apartment, there is the possibility that there are cracks or holes in the walls from the previous occupant. A person can repaint or apply wallpaper only with permission from the owner. In most cases it will not be allowed and if this occurs the tenant can disguise the flaws by using artwork, tall plants or screens to mask the defects.
Most owners who will allow repainting will specify the color which is generally an off white. The person should make sure there is sufficient paint saved for any touch up that needs to be done later.
7. Typically most apartments have some sort of shades or blinds to block other people from looking into your home. If you would like to add some color and softness to the windows, consider using curtains that can be hung using spring tension rods. These are both easier to assemble and disassemble than standard curtain rods. If you do not have the space inside the window frame to do this, using small rods with 2 nails per side will be easy to patch when moving out.
When starting out on a small budget, cover all the bases and you will save money decorating the apartment. It will also help make the apartment a comfortable place to live until you decide to move elsewhere.