Four Improvements Your Landlord Won't Let You Make
Nothing's more frustrating than finding the apartment of your dreams only to discover that you can't paint over the nasty lime green walls or swap the avocado carpet for something a little more current. If your lease won't let you paint, update or even hammer in a nail, have no fear. With our quick-fix solutions, you'll soon stamp your personality on even the dowdiest rental.
Lease Restriction #1: No Nails
If you love surrounding yourself with pictures, the no nails rule can be a real pain. Luckily, there are ways to display your artwork without resorting to the drill.
Pegs and string:tie a length of string across your wall. Attach it to whatever is there, such as a curtain pole or a high shelf. All you need now is a bunch of clothes pegs, and you can clip as many pictures as you please.
Proprietary picture hanging strips: sturdy lengths of double-sided tape by any other name, these purpose-designed picture hanging strips hold an impressive weight. Just peel them away from the wall when you're done.
Tension rod: the old-fashionedtension rod remains a shower curtain staple, but there's no rule that says it belongs in the bathroom. Fix one across a small wall or alcove. Use the rod as a rail from which to hang your pictures -- try pegs, bulldog clips, wire, ribbon or even clothes hangers.
Lease Restriction #2: No Painting
If your color scheme is frankly hideous and your landlord won't let you paint, try these clever fixes.
Fake wall: cover sheets of MDF with wallpaper. Create one large panel for a giant feature wall or fix three panels side by side to create a quirky artwork.
Accessorize: draw attention from the walls with accessories. Think curtains, cushions and rugs in a complementary color to create a unified scheme; alternatively, introduce accents and pattern to liven up a dull space. For the bathroom, invest in a funky shower curtain, bath mats and towels to draw they eye away from the walls.
Wall storage: free standing wall storage won't violate the no nails rule and you can hide an offensive wall will almost no effort. If you fancy adding a dash of color, paint the shelves.
Lease Restriction #3: No Renovations
You probably didn't expect to be able to rip out the kitchen, but if you're going to live in your rental for a year or more, you'd like it to be easy on the eye. These tricks strike at your rental's bones.
Cabinet doors: replacing the kitchen cabinet doors gives the illusion of a new kitchen at a fraction of the cost. Just remember to store the old doors and replace them before you leave.
Closet doors: nothing screams dated more than a mirrored, sliding closet door. Replace it with something more stylish, such as gloss or wood doors, bi-fold doors or a pretty fabric curtain.
Tile Tattoos: cover up ugly tiles with specialisttile tattoos. These waterproof, heavy-duty stickers are designed to sit on top of your existing tiles. Simply peel them off when you're done.
Lease Restriction #4: No Bare Floors
There's a real logic to this lease restriction -- upper story apartments with bare floors cause a hellish amount of noise for the lower residents, who can hear your every step. That said, few people put wall-to-wall carpet on their interiors wish list.
Rugs, rugs and more rugs: simple but effective. Choose designs that pick up on the colors and textures already present in your room. For the wow factor, arrange multiple rugs in the same room to make an artwork of your floor.
Make it ironic: if your carpet isan unusual color or hopelessly out of date, don't distract from it: emphasize it. As counter-intuitive as this sounds, your heavily-patterned carpet stands a better chance if it looks intentional. Design around your carpet by adding fabrics, linens and so on in a repeating, neutral color that draws the eye firmly down to your crazy floor. Next, unite the carpet to the rest of your room by introducing pops of matching color. The result Less frightening, more fabulous.
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