It may seem daunting to think about how to make over your apartment, especially if your landlord has a strict set of rules dictating what you can and cannot do. But decorating doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult, or elaborate. Consider using these simple, yet effective ways to help give your apartment an inexpensive makeover.
Traditional wallpaper may be an acceptable option. For renters or those who simply don’t want to commit to a permanent option, removable wallpaper is the perfect solution for adding color or design to a room. Plus, its simple to apply and remove!
Add a Large Mirror
Floor-length mirrors make rooms appear larger and more open, especially in small apartments. You can even position it to reflect a window to catch more light, adding dimension to the room. Huge affordable mirrors can be found at flea markets or online.
Paint Old Furniture
When you get sick of your furniture, consider painting over the existing finish instead of getting rid of your pieces altogether. A new coat of paint on an old dresser can drastically change a piece, with very little cost.
Simply remove all of the hardware and wipe it down to get rid of any dust. Use sandpaper to lightly buff away the glossy finish, and then either spray paint or add two regular coats of paint. After it dries, add a coat of water-based lacquer, polyurethane, or a thin coat of clear paste wax to make the new finish last.
Clutter will make any home feel smaller than it is. Say goodbye to unnecessary room accessories, magazines, and books, and invest in furniture that does double-duty like storage ottomans, chests, or vintage suitcases stacked to double as a table. Another option is placing certain furniture — such as chairs, tables, or cabinets — at an angle in the corner of the room to create a built-in hidden spot for hiding extra stuff.
Avoid dated lighting by switching out old lamp shades for a new, fresh look. Certain older styles can date a room, and over time, lamp shades attract dust and grime that makes them look dingy. Keep the original lamp base, and buy a new shade that is up with the times.
New drawer handles or door knobs can transform old furniture (plus, it’s cheaper than buying something brand new). Quality stores like Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and Anthropologie all sell quality hardware that can make even a Wal-Mart dresser look high-end.
Plants immediately add life to any room and can also benefit air quality. The easiest options, are self-sufficient plants such as cacti or succulents like aloe vera that not only look nice, but don’t require a lot of maintenance. Use the potting as another opportunity for a great design element.