Renters: Design tips and tricks that won’t break the lease

When I’m not at work or socializing with friends, I’m probably watching my favorite home and decor television network. If you’re anything like me, these shows inspire you to make your curb more appealing or give your space a little upgrade. So you put on your jacket and head out to the nearest home improvement store for a little DIY project.
Only, the space you live in is a rental and there is no such thing as the Apartment Depot. Bummer.
Not quite ready for a home purchase but looking for a little revamp, renter-style? Here are some cool (and easy) decorating tips to give your space a mini-makeover in 2015.

Less is more
If your apartment is just a fraction larger than your college dorm room, the last thing you want to do is add more furniture. Instead of buying more pieces for your room, decide if there is anything you can remove and reposition to a less-crowded space.

Embrace your curves
Finally, a place to apply this phrase other than your body type. A great way to give your room the illusion of more space is to add curves. Try a round dining or side table. A circular area rug also gives your space great dimension.

Brighten up your day
You’re not the only one hibernating in the winter. Your place probably looks a little drowsy, too, in the season’s shorter, darker days. Bring in some sunshine by using bright accent colors. Add a vibrant pop to your chairs and couches by adding colorful pillows (think primary tones). Choose inexpensive ones that you can swap out seasonally.

Accent with wallpaper
Removable wallpaper is a great way to refresh your walls. It can also get costly if you’re using it to revamp all of the walls in a room. Instead, try adding the paper as an accent wall.
You can also have a little fun and use removable wallpaper to create a faux window in the living room or refresh your headboard in the bedroom. Want something super funky? Find shimmer dots to give your wall a polka-dot party.

Hop on the scale
Don’t be alarmed. You don’t have to jump on a scale for this one. Instead, it’s your furniture that needs reducing. Small furniture makes a room look bigger. Instead of buying that large theater room sofa for you and all your BFFs, opt for a chair or love seat. Go with an upholstered ottoman instead of a standard coffee table.

Paint it
If you can’t paint the walls, paint the furniture. A little paint on the side tables in your living room or the headboard in your bedroom will give your space more personality. Want to try something more advanced? Use fabric paint and pop a new color onto your chairs.

Sweep it under the rug
You and your landlord don’t exactly have the same taste in linoleum (actually, you’re more of a hardwood person). Time to sweep that floor under the rug, literally. Buy an area rug in a cool texture or funky pattern to make the space just the way you like it.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
When light hits a mirror, it makes your space look bigger than it really is. Open up that small entryway by adding a mirror. It’s also a great way to give yourself one last look before heading out. As I’m told, you are the fairest of them all.

Secret stash
Have you ever had unexpected guests phone on their way over — and they’re five minutes away? Positioning furniture in the corners of your rooms at an angle allows you to use the space behind to hide toys, unfinished DIY projects, or clean laundry (you know, that pile you’ve been meaning to fold for the past two days). Also, furniture that has secret compartments or tables with skirts work great here, too!

By Brie Wright. Image credits, from left to right: Homedit, Better Homes and Gardens, Apartment Therapy, Chasing Paper, Making Home Base, Top Dreamer, Delocingles, West Elm and Our Boat House. See more at:

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