According to a recent Rent.com nationwide survey, 57% of renters said they need help to bring more personal style into their apartments! Luckily, Katrina Szish, Style Expert and Rent.com Contributing Editor, has crafted some tips to help renters make any abode feel like home-chic-home.
Limiting customization is a landlord’s way of protecting his/her investment, but after a decade and a half of renting and decorating, Katrina has mastered the art of designing a chic and inspired apartment in spite of pesky building restrictions. Katrina is a former editor at Vogue, GQ and InStyle and nationally recognized from her previous on-air appearances on TODAY, GMA, The View, and more.
Also, right now you can complete Rent.com’s “What Is Your Apartment Decorating Style?” quiz to discover how your personal style can translate into your apartment décor! Are you Sleek Chic, Perfectly Posh, Eclectic Edge or American Classic? We’ve been keeping track of the quiz results, and so far 38% of respondents are American Classic – they lean towards conventional decorating choices like clean lines and neutral colors.
STYLE TYPE-SPECIFIC TIPS
A single neutral palette (white, gray, taupe) will unify your apartment and make it seem more expansive, without making it feel sterile or cold.
Accessorize each room with a single pop of color, for example pile bright yellow lemons into a sleek kitchen sleek bowl, or place fresh-cut red Gerbera daisies on an end table.
Channel your inherent love of all things fashionable to create easy-yet-elegant artwork. Cut out select pages from fashion-themed coffee table books and hang them boldly in a uniform grid pattern for striking wall art.
Clear furniture goes with everything and is quirky, like an acrylic console table, a glass-top coffee table, or clear barstools. I have used this trick in nearly every NYC apartment I’ve rented to make a small space feel more open and airy.
Create patchwork pillow covers with an Americana effect. Scour vintage/craft stores or flea markets for classic red and navy bandanas or even worn-in blue jeans. Use as accents on your couch, bed or chair.
"Stylish storage is all about consistency."
General Decor Tips:
Wallpaper is usually taboo for a rental, but removable wallpaper can make a dramatic personal style statement. Cover an entire room or just a single wall for visual impact.
Change the Fixtures
Replace cheap drawer pulls, switch plates and old-fashioned faucets with chic, affordable alternatives! Consider hiring a plumber or handyman so everything is properly installed, and carefully replace originals before you move out.
Let There Be Light
Overhead fixtures tend to make any otherwise acceptable space look like a prison, especially old-fashioned fluorescent bulbs. Even if you can’t remove the overhead light, several accent lamps will provide instant atmosphere.
Camouflage the TV
Unless you have a room completely dedicated to your massive flat screen and all of the wires/remotes that go with it, invest in an armoire that lives in your main living area, but has doors that can close to camouflage the TV.
Stylish storage is all about consistency. A bunch of mismatched boxes, bins and containers scream “hodge-podge lodge.” Streamline and stylize even your most mundane necessities. Alternatively, curate a collection of natural baskets throughout the apartment to chicly hold linens, throws, magazines, mail, paperwork, pet toys, etc.