Decorating an apartment can be challenging, especially if you are not allowed to paint or make structural changes. However, the “plain white box” has its advantages; think of it as a blank slate that you can easily change with the seasons or even your moods. It also allows you to try out different color schemes and live with them for a while before you decide to make them permanent.
If you like lots of color, try hanging curtain panels on the larger walls. Decorative caf rods add extra style. You can then hang pictures or other decorative items from hooks or loops sewn onto the curtain, saving damage to the walls. This also facilitates quick and easy changes for your decorations, if you like to shake things up more often. Another way to add color is through accessories, think husband pillows, decorative knickknacks and rugs.
Don’t forget about mirrors. A strategically placed mirror can make a small space feel twice as large and will reflect light and color beautifully. If you can’t hang large heavy mirrors or mirror tiles, consider a collage of smaller framed mirrors – it creates the same room-expanding effect, as well as a unique and decorative focal point.
If you’re on a small budget, flea markets and thrift stores are full of buried treasure just waiting to be mined. Think creatively; if you’re looking for one or two particular colors, don’t limit yourself to just traditional wall art; table scarves or runners, placemats, and curtains can all be hung on the wall for added color. You can also plan your shopping excursions by looking for a particular shape. You can stick with just squares for the clean-line minimalist effect; if your style is more funky and off-beat, spend the day searching for the wildest shapes you can find. Once you have your collection of shapes, they can be easily painted to fit your decor. Spray paints are now available in a huge variety of colors and effects, with formulations that will even work on plastic, metal or glass.
If you have children in your life, framing and hanging their artwork on the wall instantly makes your plain apartment uniquely yours. Don’t have any of their artwork? No problem. Set up a day for creative expression with your little ones. Be sure to snap photos of the artists while they’re busy with paints and crayons; when you frame their artwork, you can also display photos of their paint-speckled, smiling faces in the corner of the frame, a unique “signature” for their artwork. It’s also a confidence booster for the budding artist, to see their work displayed so proudly in your home.
You might want to lay out your arrangement on the bed, floor or table before hanging it on the wall; try different arrangements until you find the one that fits your style. This minimizes the number of nail holes you’ll have to fill later! Most of all, enjoy the experience of transforming your area into something that reflects your personality.