Almost a third of Americans currently live in rental housing. Unfortunately, it can be hard to make a space feel like your own when it’s owned by someone else.
If you want to have a living area that reflects who you are without having to pay to own it, these are the top things every apartment dweller should try!
Find Vintage Goodies at Goodwill
There’s no better friend to a tight-budgeted renter than the Goodwill or Salvation Army store. While some people think these places are all just full of ugly junk that nobody wants, if you keep your eyes peeled you can find some very cool, unique, vintage decorations for prices so low they’ll astonish you.
Of course, not everything at these kinds of shops is in the best condition, so make sure to give everything you buy a once-over before you check out. Watch out for stains, cracks, or non-functioning parts.
In addition to home decor, you can also find some very affordable furniture for your apartment. Best of all, every purchase you make contributes to charity, so you can dress your apartment in style while also helping to make the world a better place.
Create Your Own Art
Sometimes the difference between a well-decorated apartment, and an empty-feeling one, is simply wall usage. Although many apartments don’t allow for renters to put nails or thumbtacks in the wall, you can still use things like paint-friendly command strips to hang nearly anything you want.
Create your own art using the paint pouring method! To do this, you need multiple canvases in any size you want, acrylic paint, and artist-grade paint medium. Prepare your canvas with a thin layer of painting medium, and ensure that you cover the entire surface so that the color can move around.
Without mixing, stirring, or shaking, pour in two to four colors of paint that you think go well together. Next, pour slowly over your canvas in a thick ribbon, and then tilt and turn your canvas to allow the paint to coat it and create ‘cells’ of interesting colors and shapes. This art allows you to create something that matches your aesthetic without having to pay more than ten dollars for enough supplies for many pieces of art!
Use Removable Contact Paper
Unfortunately, most apartments don’t allow permanent changes to be done to apartments without taking it out of your security deposit. Contact paper has become popular in recent years because of its ability to transform everything from cabinet space to your walls.
Research the contact paper before applying it to any surface to ensure that others have used it and removed it cleanly. Be warned: if your landlord uses a cheaper latex-based paint, it will peel off and cause giant gaps.
If you feel safe doing so, spot test a portion of the wall that’s not usually visible to see if the paint peels up. If it doesn’t, feel free to use this anywhere! If it does: try to smooth out that portion of the wall and try other options.
Grow Some Green Decor
The most cost-effective way to increase the beauty of even the most cramped of New York Apartments is to grow plants! Not only is this a great, easy way to give your place a sense of life and vibrancy, it also gives you something to take care of, which is good for establishing a routine.
Of course, using greenery as decor can take a long time depending on the plant, but if you start from seeds and find beautiful pottery at second-hand stores, you can grow the decor you want to see in your home.
Be honest with yourself about how often you’ll remember to water your plants and what upkeep you’ll be able to commit to. If you take care of your plants and allow them to grow, your apartment can have better air filtration and be more attractive without risking your security deposit!
Embrace a Minimalist Style
One thing that’s easy to forget while you’re trying to deck your apartment out with the most stylish items you can find is that, sometimes, minimalism is itself the most stylish option.
When keeping your indoor decor to the bare minimum, there’s a thin line between stark style and spartan emptiness. Instead of trying to overload your space, though, consider using a few key pieces to draw people’s attention. The blank area around such items only helps them to stand out.
Whether you embrace minimalism or funky, second-hand vintage decor, there’s something to be said for putting a unique stamp on the place you call home. Our apartments may not belong to us, but they are reflections of who we are while we live in them. By putting in the time to make a space you find attractive, you’ll get to enjoy living there even more.