Apartments come with several key advantages. They’re often closer to downtown and the lifestyle that comes with it and they’re less expensive. You don’t have a yard to maintain and every maintenance issue can be handed off to the apartment manager to take care of. One major disadvantage is that you’re limited in what you can do to make it your own. Most apartment managers don’t want you painting the walls and you certainly won’t be allowed to tear out counter tops and install something better. You also wouldn’t want to even if you could because you couldn’t take them with you when you moved out. The following ideas are things you can do to make your apartment feel like yours and you can take them with you if you want to.
Bring in plant life
You’d be surprised how much a few little plants can transform a space. If you’re like most people, you’re too busy to take care of a plant that requires constant attention so go with succulents or some other plant that is hardy and can survive some missed feedings.
Hang some curtains
Even if your apartment already came with some kind of blinds or shutters, you should install your own window treatments. Leave the blinds or shutters that came with the apartment but select your own curtain rods and curtains to add some personality. For heavier curtains, make sure your curtain rod is attached to a stud behind the wall to support the weight.
Upgrade light fixtures
If your apartment is like most, your landlord went with the absolute cheapest light fixtures around. You can replace boring dome lights with chandeliers and pendant lighting. You’re also not limited to overhead lighting. Most apartments don’t have sufficient lighting to begin with so add in some desk or floor lamps as well. If you don’t want to bother with light fixtures, at least swap out the bulbs for LEDs. They’re brighter and use a lot less energy. Just keep any old bulbs and fixtures so you can swap them back before you move.
Install new sink/shower fixtures
If your bathrooms or kitchen feel a little bland, you can swap out your shower heads and faucets, maybe even your sinks if your apartment manager allows. If you’re pretty handy, you can do the work yourself with a good wrench. Some apartment landlords will have their maintenance guy do the work for you if you’re leaving the upgraded fixtures for the benefit of future residents. If not, just save the old fixtures so you can swap them back out.
Make use of removable wallpaper
Though you probably can’t paint the walls or use traditional wallpaper (it’s almost impossible to remove), it’s safe to use removable wallpaper since it’s easy to apply and remove and it doesn’t leave sticky adhesive residue behind. You can also take it with you and use it in your new apartment or home.
Add in some textiles
From larger textiles like area rugs to smaller ones like throws and pillows, you can add in lots of color, pattern, and texture by purchasing your own textiles which you’re free to take with you when you leave.
Install baseboard radiator covers
If the baseboard heaters in your apartment have seen better days, you can make them look like new again by installing baseboard radiator covers. This is another upgrade that your landlord may be willing to pay for if you will be leaving them behind, your landlord may even decide to have them installed in every unit.
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