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