Apartment living has lots of perks. You aren’t committed to a 30 year mortgage. If you don’t like where you are, wait out the lease, or break it if you need to. Leaky faucet? Call the landlord.  Pipes burst? It’s not coming out of your pocket! But there are definite drawbacks. Old and outdated kitchens and bathrooms are common. Most landlords don’ t want you to paint, and most don’t even want to refresh those beige or white walls between tenants. Gross. Holes in the wall are usually a no-no. So how do you add your personal style and guarantee that security deposit back? You’re in luck! Damage-free decorating is my middle name. Read on for some great resources.

1. Command products: We talk about these all the time. This is damage-free decorating at it’s best. Their trademark is “Do No Harm”. Enough said. There are so many options from hangers, to hooks, to picture ledges. You can hang everything, from your family photos and artwork, to your mops and brooms. They are always adding new stylish products so check them out often!

2. Removable wall paper: This product has come a long way. You can cover an entire wall for an impact or line the backs of bookshelves and built-ins for a pattern pop. Want a backsplash to liven up your kitchen? You can have it! There are so many options available you’ll easily go from dull to wow in a flash! Check your local Target or online sources like Spoonflower.

3. Area rugs: If you have old, stained wall-to-wall, an area rug will help cover those flaws and add personality to your space. If the wall-to-wall is a hideous color, try layering it with a neutral tone or a woven rug like sisal. Use them on hardwood floors to define your living space. Play around with layering area rugs as well. Just make sure you don’t create a tripping hazard. Another option is carpet tiles. Create your own look or browse hundreds of pre-designed ones. We love Flor and use it in our own homes. You can replace just one tile if it gets damaged or stained. Kids? Dogs (if allowed that is)? Done!

4. Cabinet Hardware: Just switching those old knobs and pulls makes a world of difference. Going a little more modern or whimsical will add instant character to your place. Just keep the old pulls and screws in a nicely labeled Ziploc so you can find them when you leave and take that new hardware with you to the next place.Your local Lowe’s and Home Depot have them in stock or check out Knobs and Pulls online.

5. Furniture: Can’t paint your walls? Paint your furniture! Take that old dresser and give it a makeover. Turn that hand-me-down dining room table into a show stopper. Are you not into a messy DIY project but are pretty good with a staple gun? Cover your chair cushions with an amazing print. Buy a teal sofa! You can get TONS of inspiration on Pinterest. It’s almost more fun to have neutral walls nowadays.

6. Lighting and accessories: Apartments always come with either no lighting or that one big overhead light. Add stylish lamps to create cozy nooks and define your space. Have a favorite chair you read in? Add a floor lamp to help you see better. Check out Wayfair for tons of options. Throw pillows and floor pillows are another great option for adding in personality. There are so many choices in terms of color, texture and pattern. Floor pillows also add extra seating. Win-win!

7. Plants: No one decorates quite like Mother Nature. Add some greenery into your space. It could be a big potted floor plant or delicate air plants. What about a kitchen herb garden? Check the light and water needs of course.

Don’t let renting deter you from making it your own. You’ll be there for at least a year. Enjoy your space! Have any apartment decorating ideas? Let us know!


Written by Mia Salmo

Mia Salmo

Professional Organizer