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No Paint? No Problem – Part One

12 Jun

A few apartments I’ve checked out recently have offered something sort of new called an Accent Wall Program. Basically, you pay them 30 bucks or more, and they’ll agree to come out and paint a wall in your place a color you choose from six or so predetermined colors.

It comes off as a way to help you customize your apartment in a way that is convenient for the rental property. You get some color on the wall, they don’t have to worry about replacing the carpet or painting over some kind of crazy paint job because they did it. This kind of program, while not really the best for those who really want a particular color or want an entire room painted, is good for people who don’t want to deal with painting it back before they move out.

If you don’t have one of these programs and you aren’t allowed to paint, let’s talk about some options you have to brighten up your space WITHOUT putting brush to wall.

Curtains

If you have a large sliding glass window (okay, door)  in your apartment like I do, you have a perfect spot to hang a nice long row of curtains. Of course, my apartment is kind of dark, so I threw a sheer panel in the middle to let in light. This arrangement still allows us to draw closed to two side panels and give us a little more privacy at night. Of course, if we still had our blinds up, that would help a lot with privacy too. Oops. Anyway, if you want to add even MORE color, you could add more panels in whatever shade fits your mood at the time. Tip: Get some curtain clips like ours, and you can even hang fun printed twin flat sheets! More on that to come in a later post, so stay tuned!

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Shelving

If you are allowed to hang things on the walls and later on patch your holes (which you probably are if you’re hanging curtains…) you might want to think about heading out to your nearest IKEA and picking up a few lack shelves and arranging them with some colorful knick knacks. Like the curtain idea, this one is pretty versatile and allows you to change out the color theme on a whim.

Paint

Your furniture that is. I’m a fan of craigslist and thrift store things. Not only are the easier on your budget and environmentally friendly, but you can also find really fun and interesting things whereas if you buy a cheapie TV stand from wall mart, a thousand and a half people already have the exact same MDF piece of cardboard. Invest a few bucks into some sand paper, oil based primer, and low VOC latex paint. If you have a balcony (if you don’t, head to the parking lot or a friend’s house) and paint your find a bright and fun color like this cheerful coffee table.

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Area Rug

Some people are decidedly against rug on rug action. But I believe in one rug’s  right to choose to…oh wait. Anyway, I’m a big fan of throwing an area rug over a section of a room to define a “zone” or to add a dimension of color and texture (such as in this photo)

Go For Bold Accessories

Pick out bold accessories to add some color. Like a lamp or a fun patterned pillow. Try to stay within a particular color scheme when picking out bold things.

The moral of the story here is accessories are a great way to make an apartment feel more like your home than a white walled cell. Adding color through furniture, rugs, and moveable accessories is better in the long run because you keep all of them and will have them wherever you go, whereas paint is gone when you move on. Stay tuned to part two of No Paint? No Problem, where I go into detail some specific types of things to add color to your walls without paint.

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Genesis

10 Jun

I’m Katie. I live in an apartment with my fiance, John and our cat, Lucy.

We are renters. And although we do not own our home, we eat, sleep, love, fight, laugh, and live in it. It may not be our home, but it’s home to us.

I hope to share my ideas and give renters some new ideas on making their rental homes feel a little less temporary.