How renters can spruce up their spaces without paint

If your first place is a rental with strict rules about painting, it’s not the end of the world. Here are some easy ways to spruce up your temporary space without changing the wall color.

Install new light fixtures

Swap out the rental ceiling fixtures for your own vintage or modern finds. Keep the originals so you can install them before you move out.

Hang temporary wallpaper

Easy to hang and easy to remove, this is the perfect solution for drab white walls. Two good sources: www.tempaperdesigns.
com
and www.swdecorating.com.

Make wall murals

Create large, easy-to-remove murals from your own digital photos. Designer Joe Ireland used MegaPrint Inc. to enlarge a photo of a vintage postcard, which he used to decorate an entire wall.

As an alternative to art, large mirrors work wonders in small spaces, making them appear larger than they are. Hang a mirror directly across from a window to get a double dose of the outdoors. (BigStock/BIGSTOCK)
Layer rugs

If you can’t add color on the walls, put it on the floor. Layer a colorful patterned area rug over boring beige wall-to-wall for an instant pick-me-up. Cover cold tile flooring with FLOR carpet tiles.

Add textiles

Fabric is the easiest way to add color, pattern and personality to your apartment. Use it for pillows, throws, bed coverings, shower curtains and table skirts. Frame it or stretch it over a canvas for wall art.

Hang mirrors

As an alternative to art, large mirrors work wonders in small spaces, making them appear bigger than they are. Hang a mirror directly across from a window to get a double dose of the outdoors.

Paint furniture

Paint mismatched furniture the same color for a more cohesive look. Designer Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey offers this idea: Find inexpensive dining chairs, lacquer them and re-cover the seats yourself.

Dress the windows

Take down metal blinds and replace them with inexpensive (and much more stylish) natural woven styles found at home improvement stores.

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