Knick-knacks on the window sill. window sill decor

How to Cozy Up a Rental Apartment

December 2, 2017 Comments Off on How to Cozy Up a Rental Apartment

Most rental apartments are bland, no doubt. And you definitely have some physical constraints, such as limited paint choice (or no choice). And of course, you can’t consider any home remodeling and renovation projects to personalize it.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t add some personal touches and create a relaxing and inviting place. I am sharing the tips that always work for us to make an apartment cozy, personalized, and welcoming.  The best way to look at it is to treat it as a white canvas that can be transformed into something glorious.

1. Get the furniture you really love.

Not something temporary, but something you will enjoy for years. Think of it as an investment. Even if you will move to a new place (rental or ownership), you will carry those pieces over and find ways to incorporate them into any design. Buying a good quality piece that you love is more wallet-friendly than buying something temporary that you hate or something that will fall apart. Eventually, if you decide it doesn’t fit your new place, you can always sell it for a good price and invest in something that suits your new home.

minimal classic and contemporary living room

2. Decorate the walls.

Nothing is more unwelcoming than the blank, white walls of the bland rental apartment. Invest in some statement pieces that reflect your personal taste and your deep self; pieces that are meaningful to you and arouse emotions. Choose a mixture of styles and media, layer, play with them. Don’t think of it as just an accessory to your furniture. Read these tips on placing wall art.

rental bedroom decorated with colorful throw and wall art

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3. Use layering and different textures

Especially during the colder season – this adds depth and sophistication, it is gentle on the eyes and feels great to touch. This trick works for any home if you want to make it cozy.

rental entryway with storage ottoman

4. Consult the color wheel.

Read how to mix and match colors before heading to buy furniture and home decor. Get familiar with the color wheel. You will spend 10-15 minutes reading, but can use these principles for the rest of your life. These principles are always used by designers, stylists, and visual artists. There are ways to add color without painting.

colorful upholstered dining chairs

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5. Decorate the windows.

Window treatment – most rentals come with plain metals blinds. A layer or two of a window treatment will transform the room immediately. Before you choose a window treatment, though, read this article on how to do it correctly. Incorrect window treatment placement or length can do more harm than good. But those mistakes are easy to avoid if you take three minutes to educate yourself. If a window treatment is not an option, try to decorate the window sill with a vase, knick knack, or picture frame.

vases on the window sill decor

6. Use more mirrors.

If your rental does not allow plenty of natural light (our case), hang a couple of mirrors. Mirrors work like windows if placed in the right spot. Mirrors also create the illusion of a bigger space.

living room with large mirror

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7. Use peelable wallpaper.

Use peelable wallpaper and /or a backsplash, so you can easily return everything back to the original state when you decide to move out.

peelable wall paper for rental apartment. Floral pink red and orange peelable wall paper

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8. Declutter.

This is key to a cozy and welcoming space (unless it is artistically, purposefully made clutter). Set up your belongings in an artistically organized way on the shelves instead of piling them up in the corner.

Organized entryway. Rustic Entryway

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9. Maximize storage space.

If you have a small space, choose your furniture pieces wisely. Use ottomans with storage inside or hide the everyday necessities (wires, chargers, kid’s toys, etc.) in decorative baskets throughout the apartment.


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10. Add plants and flowers.

Fresh flowers and /or plants will bring life into the dullest place. If real plants keep dying in your house, look for good quality, like-real decorative plants.

rental dining room decorated with fresh white flowers in white pitcher

One the final note

Your goal is to create a place you want to come back to after work or school, where you can relax and enjoy being there. I shared the tips that work for us all the time, and we want to hear what worked and what didn’t for you.
What are your struggles or wins when decorating a rental place?

rental dining and living rooms

January 14, 2018