No rental home is perfect. Maybe your landlord forbids you to put holes in the walls or alter the space in any way, so you feel like all your #houbheGoo is just out of the question. Nothing is impossible in apartment therapy! We’ve rounded up the best posts, highlighting the simple changes here that can really make your home shine and maybe make you fall in love again. Do-it-yourself wall decor in an apartment only at first glance seems to be an unpretentious task that everyone can handle, but when it comes to practice, many experience a stupor.
As a rule, this cannot even be discussed in the “ugly little apartment”. In this case, only the maximum decoration of the walls and a combination of different patterns, borders, colors and fabrics is possible. Then you get a “temporary theatre”, and this is very interesting – to make yourself a temporary decoration, like in a theater!
1- Apply solid wallpaper in a beautiful color
First, you need to look carefully at the wallpaper and understand if everything is so bad. For example, if you have a nondescript sweater, you can always cheer it up with a bright scarf. So with wallpaper: buy one roll of plain wallpaper in a beautiful color that matches the existing ones. Re-glue one wall or one fragment. Close the opposite wall with shelves or a bookcase.
2- Refresh your interior with small details
Here’s what else you can do to change the big picture:
- A sofa worn out of time with an already clearly unattractive appearance, decorate with a beautiful blanket brought with you;
- Put a small wicker rug bought at a sale on the floor;
- buy any suitable fabric (chintz or polyester) in leftovers, for example, at IKEA, and make a curtain with your own hands;
- If the table has an ugly old tabletop, you can cut hardboard according to its shape, and put a piece of beautiful fabric or wallpaper under it.
3- Textiles as the basis of the entire interior
On fabrics of different patterns, you can build the entire interior. For example, stretch and fasten textiles to the wall (or part of it) using carpet rings. At the same time, partially cover the door with a curtain, as was done before.
4- Bright paper border piping
Another technique is decorative and simple. Wallpaper stores often have rolls of the paper borders for sale with different motifs: floral, geometric. Buy such a decorative element and glue along the ceiling around the entire perimeter – and a bright edging is ready!
I’ll tell you about practical ways to finish the walls. In my design practice, I have to deal with such a problem as scary walls, and I believe that its solution should be a cardinal. In addition, the owners of a rented dwelling, as a rule, are happy with the improvement in the aesthetic qualities of the rented premises.
5- Don’t despair!
So, the long-awaited moment has come: you crossed the threshold of the apartment you rented – and suddenly you were dumbfounded. A cursory inspection the day before didn’t alarm you, but when the owners took out the furniture, mirrors, carpets and paintings, you saw walls with lagging wallpaper, bumpy corners and rectangles on faded surfaces, some suspicious drips and other “charms”.
And here there are two ways: to remain the “happy” owner of walls with worn, cracked and peeling paint in places, or to change everything for the better and opt for decorative plaster.
It is impossible to live happily with terrible walls, but this is not a disaster. Look at the situation differently: now you have a reason to show your individuality and bring a few fresh and aesthetic touches to your life in a new place. Your desire to live in a new way gives rise to a thirst for action!
6- Prepare your wall for experimentation
Remove the old wallpaper along with the paper or newspaper backing. Defective paint or decorative plaster, if any, can also be partially removed in places of greatest damage. Often cracks are found on such walls, eliminate them – “embroider” and putty.
And now before your eyes – a relatively smooth and clean surface of the walls. Nothing extra. You can take the opportunity to do a short meditation. When “enlightenment” touches your consciousness, you can move on.
7- Choose the Type of Wall Covering
It should be remembered that the wall covering can be bright and self-sufficient, or it can only be a background against which the elements that form the interior are located, and the location of decor fragments. Different types of wall coverings require different preparation of the walls, this must be taken into account.
8- The Right Wallpaper
Choose the type of wallpaper that you like and suits the overall concept of the room. They can contrast with flooring, furniture and other things, or they can act as “companions”, complementing all this and emphasizing a certain commonality.
9- Decorative plaster as part of the interior
Painting or decorative plaster, like wallpaper, can have the function of a bright, unusual component of the interior. For example, “Venetian” or other plaster with a significant relief or an active color scheme. It is not necessary to make a choice in favor of brightness. “Calm” plaster or painting, which does not stand out by itself, will perfectly emphasize the “filling” of the walls, the color-textural properties of furniture and decor.
10- Create a sloppy effect
You can finish the walls, while maintaining the deliberate negligence of the putty. Leave all chipped places and cavities by applying plaster with a rough trowel or even by hand. Paint this “natural splendor” with white matte paint. This will create an extraordinarily attractive image of a “medieval cell”, which will allow the plane of the walls to be used as a kind of “exhibition space”.
Paintings of any direction, framed photographs (especially black and white), some oriental carpets and souvenirs, weapons, flat ceramics, and any collectibles look amazing on such a wall.
11- Leave it as is
In general, deliberate simplicity, even some roughness of wall decoration perfectly emphasizes the sophistication of what we perceive against their background, whether it is neo-baroque furniture, modern glass interior items or the Barcelona armchair.
Sometimes the walls are generally left concrete, a la natural, even with seams. And this is also a kind of aesthetic technique that allows you to create a natural background for an interesting and bright or discreet filling of the living space.
So you can simply remove all “historical and everyday layers” and leave only plaster, concrete or brick.
12- Don’t ruin a brick wall
Sometimes a brick wall is covered with a special uniform coloring coating that mimics the natural color of the brick. I doubt the feasibility of such a finish. Firstly, because natural and even more so old brick does not need a decorating coating. Secondly, it seems to me that any fake or imitation is mauvais ton (bad taste), unless this is dictated by some good reason.
13- Mix and match finishes
A combined wall decoration option is possible, when, based on the general conceptual design of the interior solution, you can finish the walls in different ways. This is quite justified if it corresponds to the general idea. In this variant, it is possible to effectively use a photo or relief wallpaper imitating, say, an antique fresco.
Selective fragmentary wall decoration is also possible. For example, when, with a general monophonic light coloring, a part of the wall, highlighted by gypsum overlays, is finished with “Venetian plaster”, it is done with the help of marble or onyx alpine work.
14- Stick to the Design Concept
Whatever you do, whatever method of wall decoration you choose, you must strictly adhere to the design concept that underlies your interior design activities. And then you will find bliss, living in an ideal living space for you, and you will be happy every time you return home.
The complexity of interior design of rented apartments is always in agreement with the owners. Often it is impossible to paint or re-paste wallpaper on the interior of a rented apartment. Improvised materials come to the rescue, which will help hide the flaws and at the same time are quickly dismantled in case of dissatisfaction with the owners
15- Create an Illusion
Alternatively, textiles can come to the rescue. Drape the wall, and with the help of photo wallpaper, create an imitation of a fake.
16- Hang Posters and Pictures
Decorate the wall with posters and paintings, placing them close to each other on the wall, forming an interesting installation. This will not only close the wall, but also create an interesting decorative effect.
17- Cover the wall with plywood, cork, or drywall
In the end, the wall can simply be covered with a sheet of drywall, plywood or cork. Of course, this will “steal” a little space in the apartment, but it will look better than it was originally. With a sheet, in turn, you can come up with everything that is enough for the imagination.
For example, create a plan with tasks for the week or attach your photos. And you can paint the sheet with the children or cover it with paint with the effect of a slate board. This option is the fastest and painless in terms of installation. If you get tired of the sheet over time, it can easily be taken out of the apartment.
18- Beige Bathroom Remodel
Our design editor remodeled her bathroom with just a screwdriver and some cleaning supplies (and of course some decorations). For those of us renting, it’s inspiring to see what something as purely decorative as a bright rug or a patterned shower curtain can bring.
19- Besides wall art
We’ve all seen Command hooks work great on wall art. These hooks can do so much more, like store kitchen utensils, hide cords or organize cleaning supplies. We’ve rounded up ways these adhesives can make your home happier.
I hate cultivating the “open shelving” debate, but New York renters Sadie and Lorraine added more color to their kitchens by simply removing the cabinet doors. What we love is the balance this look strikes: the cabinet door on the left is closed to display unsightly items like canned goods, while the open shelves display their patterned bowls and ceramics. Best of all, the change is reversible when the time to evacuate comes.
21- Double sided
What to do when your small kitchen lacks countertop space? If you’re a renter, a good option is to add a kitchen cart, as apartment therapy senior writer Nancy Mitchell writes in That’s what she did in her tiny New York apartment.
22- Storage main
Ah, KALLAX! It’s become a staple in many homes, and it’s the perfect tool for storing magazines, records, and just about everything else. This year, we’ve rounded up some of the best storage cubes for KALLAX, including rustic, bright, and minimal options that are sure to fit most decorating schemes.
23- Tilt art
Now that your lease prohibits nails in the wall, how else can you display your favorite artwork? One solution is to simply let it rest against a wall on the floor or a floating shelf (or any other surface, real). It’s genius because it allows you to spin art freely as you like and hopefully get most of your deposit. Find some inspiration in the links below.
24- Love your home
Aside from outdated tiles and unusual floor plans, there are plenty of ways to find happiness in your rental home. From bringing flowers to finding signature scents, these solutions are simple and cost almost no money.