4 Easy Ways to Change Your Apartment’s Look, Without Painting!

4 Easy Ways to Change Your Apartment’s Look, Without Painting!

4 Easy Ways to Change Your Apartment’s Look, Without Painting!

Are you eager to redecorate your apartment and give it a new look? One of the quickest ways to completely change a room is to repaint the walls. Dark corner of the house? Try a bright yellow. Need to reduce glare? Go for a muted grey. Want to draw the eye to one end of the room? Try a bright red accent wall.

But breaking out the paintbrush isn’t always possible when you’re renting. Many leases prohibit changing a wall’s color, or mandate that you repaint it to its original hue when you move out. And who wants to paint the same wall twice?

Luckily, there are things you can do to change up your apartment’s appearance without heading to the hardware store for a couple of buckets of Sherwin-Williams. Here are four easy things you can do to give a room new life:

1. Removable Wallpaper

Usually, if a lease prohibits painting your walls, it also prohibits papering them. But removable wallpaper and removable murals, which peel right off the walls without stripping any paint and leave no residue, can be a wonderful (and affordable) alternative to permanent papering or painting. A funky geometric pattern wallpaper can really liven up a room. Plus, if you get tired of it, you can always just peel it off and try something new.

2. Framed — and Arranged — Photos and Prints

You’re not in your college apartment anymore: You can’t just cover your white walls with torn and crumpled movie posters, affixed to the walls with sticky putty. Throw out the John Belushi poster, and get anything that’s visually interesting framed at a reputable frame shop. A good frame shop can not only help you match your framed materials to the frame in which they’ll appear, but will also tailor the frame to the room. So take photos of your apartment in with you.

And once you’re hanging things on the walls, give thought to arrangement and placement. Don’t overcrowd. Be aware of where the light hits the walls in your apartment. And for goodness sake, use a level.

3. Rely on Furniture and Possessions for Color

So often, we think of our possessions in utilitarian terms: I bought this couch to sit on, not to call attention to itself. Or, these books are for reading, not looking at. And that’s true! There’s something to be said for understand design, and for a bookshelf in perfect alphabetical order. But when you’re renting and can’t change your wall color, the canvas is considerably blanker than it would be if you had control over your walls. It’s a little easier to make your furniture or collections stand out and be the central focus of a room. So don’t automatically reject the bright red sofa as “too loud.” Spring for a boldly patterned rug or carpet. Try a lamp that calls attention to itself. And let your collections be design elements. Designers spend thousands of hours creating graphically interesting covers for books and records. Don’t let that work go to waste. Create a “display” case for some of your most visually interesting books, in which certain titles’ covers are faced outward. Mount a few records on the wall. Organize your books by color. Don’t let your shelf space be dead space. 

4. Houseplants. Lots of Them.

You might have heard: Houseplants are back. And not the silk-leafed, dusty monstrosities of yesteryear. Real plants, creatively potted and thoughtfully arranged. Succulents are all the rage, but really any plant that you can keep alive in a nice pot — English Ivy, Philodendron, a Bamboo Palm — will help liven up a room, giving it color and a sense of life. Plus, house plants help purify the air — functional and eye-pleasing.

This is a guest post from our friends at Abodo.