There are several advantages to living in an apartment. When there’s a problem with the plumbing, air conditioner, or heating, you don’t have to worry about fixing it. It’s the landlord’s responsibility. Of course there are some downsides as well. One of the most frustrating things about living in an apartment is the frustration that comes with not being able to make any major changes to the interior without losing your security deposit. Fortunately, there are some ways to make the space your own while you’re living there without compromising your deposit. Here are just a few:
1. Use removable wallpaper and/or decals to add personality. Real wallpaper is a major pain to remove and your landlord won’t appreciate the extra work. But if you purchase wallpaper that comes with a pre-applied adhesive, it will peel right off when it’s time to move out. It’s a great, inexpensive way to add some of your own flair to a room.
2. Swap out outdated hardware. Does the cabinet hardware in the kitchen and bathroom scream "70s"? If so, replacing the hardware with something more modern is one of the easiest and least expensive things you can do. Head to a local home improvement store and you’ll find dozens of options at a range of prices. Just make sure to keep all of the old hardware in a safe place so you can reinstall it before you move out.
3. Use mirrors to make a small space seem larger. Something most apartments have in common is that that there’s not enough space. Simply hanging a mirror or two in a smaller room can make it appear larger than it is. Other ways to create the illusion of more space is to make use of the height of a room. Use floor to ceiling bookshelves and curtains to maximize the height dimension of the room.
4. Is your apartment building older? If so, you may have those unsightly baseboard heaters from decades past. You can modernize the space by purchasing inexpensive baseboard heater covers. They can be installed in seconds by snapping them in place and they’re equally easy to remove when it comes time to move out.
5. Use alternative adhesives. Any landlord will tell you that one of the main reasons a renter loses his/her security deposit is the excessive number of nails that were driven into the walls. Use alternative adhesives like wall putty to hang pictures and other lightweight things. Of course you’ll want to stick with nails or even screws if you’re installing shelves or mounting a television. If in doubt, ask your landlord first before putting holes in the walls.
6. "Remodel" the kitchen. Nothing dates an older apartment like the kitchen. Since you aren’t free to tear out the counters and replace them with something more modern, you can purchase faux granite wrap countertops that peel and stick to the existing counters. You can also purchase faux stainless steel wrap to give old appliances a new look. Not only is it a lot cheaper, but it’s easy to remove when you have to move out as well.
7. Finally, you can invest in textiles like area rugs, throws, decorative pillows, and drapes. The best thing about textiles is you can take them with you and use to decorate a new space so it’s an investment that you can get a lot of use out of.
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