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How to Make a Rental Feel Like Home

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Renting an apartment or house? Even though you don't own the property, it is still your home. It's important you are comfortable in the space and it reflects your personal tastes. While you don't have complete creative freedom in a rental, there are many ways to spice up your decor and make it your own.

Invest in quality furniture

You may hesitate to spend significant money on furniture for your rental due to your temporary living situation. Why shell out the cash for a bunch of fancy tables and sofas you will have to pay to move in a year or two? However, buying cheap discount furniture will make your rental look like a dorm room--and you will only have to buy more furniture to replace the junk when you move to a new place. Spending the money on lasting furniture you love will actually be more economical, and will add beauty and class to your decor.

Paint the walls

If your landlord permits painting, a fresh coat is great way to transform your space. Drab white walls are dull and won't reflect your tastes and style. Paint your entire rental, choosing one or two accent walls to paint a vibrant, bold shade. Make sure you know your lease terms--you may be permitted to paint, but only approved colors. You may also be expected to repaint the walls white before you vacate.

If you are not allowed to paint your rental, apply temporary wallpaper to liven up your space. It is easy to remove, leaves behind no sticky residue or damage and can be reused multiple times.

Change the lighting scheme

Harsh, unattractive ceiling light fixtures are common in rentals. With your landlord's permission, simply remove the outdated fixtures and replace them with new, chic lights that fit your tastes. If your landlord prefers you reinstall the former fixtures before you move out, be sure to save them. Adding a variety of lamps to your rental will also increase your lighting options and add style. Arrange a combination of standing lamps, table lamps, and even hanging lamps to create a light scheme for every mood.

Add area rugs

Does your rental have unsightly floors or outdated wall-to-wall carpeting? Break up the monotony with a colorful area rug in a bold, stylish print. Don't worry about placing an area rug over installed carpeting--rather than making the floor appear bulky or cluttered, it will serve as a focal point and add dimension to your room. Throw rugs in your kitchen and bathroom will also add appealing pops of color to your rental.

Decorate with art

Nothing showcases your personality and tastes like artwork displays in your home. Turn your rental into your own art gallery and hang framed paintings and professional photography prints in strategically aesthetic displays. Not a big art buff? Create your own exhibit using personal photos of loved ones, scenic landscapes taken on vacations, or framed postcards.

Change the hardware

Hate the handles or knobs on your rental's cabinets? Swapping the dull hardware on your cabinetry and installing new ones is an easy DIY project your landlord shouldn't mind. Simply save the old hardware to replace before your lease ends.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on March 1, 2013

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