There are of ways to freshen up the decor in a rental unit without breaking the rules on your tenant agreement.
How to warm up your rental apartment or condo on a budget
First, determine the focus of each room. This is the first thing you see when you walk in. In the living room, it could be the windows, a faux fireplace, or even a statement wall or great piece of art. Your furniture should be arranged to highlight this focal point.
Then, maximize your natural light. Mirrors are a great way to brighten up a space because they reflect light through the room.
A lighter wall colour will also help. “Hands down, new paint colours will make a huge difference,” says Bea Doucet, owner of DWD Interiors in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “Even if you live in an apartment and are obligated to return your walls to contractor’s white, it is worth every cent.”
Next, get rid of clutter to help your room feel bigger. Be honest about how often you actually use each item. And if you do want to buy a storage solution, consider shelving or a wall unit that maximizes your vertical space.
From here, add some personality with colour and texture, which give warmth and comfort, Doucet says, reassuring decorators that a maximalist look doesn’t have to appear heavy; it can simply create more interest.
Finally, take inspiration from your personal life by creating a gallery wall. “Hanging photos of your travels and favourite spots, all framed the same way, can have a marvellous impact on your space while telling something about you and your personality,” she says. “I love a bit of whimsy!”
Small changes make a big difference
Designer Bea Doucet suggests these fast fixes to solve any rental decor problem.
Window treatments Drapery can help change up the style of your space by adding a calming, bold, pretty or masculine vibe.
Lighting Make sure your living space has several lighting options. Bright overhead lighting is great for working or family game nights, but table and floor lamps in a living space create a flattering ambience.
Rugs The grounding element of a room. Without a rug, the furniture has a tendency to “float.” Bigger is better; don’t go small!
Nice linens Buy the best 100% cotton bed linens you can afford; polyester tends to pill.