Ways to Decorate the Apartment Without Losing a Security Deposit

Shannon Quinn - May 12, 2019
Open shelving gives you extra storage in your kitchen. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Open Shelving

When you run out of storage space in an apartment, there are very few options for you to get more. It’s not like you can build on an addition like you can with a house. So your only option is to go up, and take advantage of vertical space. This is where open shelving comes in. Having shelves above your kitchen cabinets is a great way to take advantage of the blank walls. When you’re ready to move out, you will most likely need to use a spackle to cover up the holes that were made in the walls. 

This coat and boot rack is perfect to leave by an apartment door. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Get a Coat and Boot Rack

One of the biggest goal items that I want in a house is to have those built-in cubbies when you walk through the front door. Obviously, I’m not the only one who feels this way. However, even if you own your own house, a project like this would cost a few thousand dollars to build. Luckily, there are alternatives that can be made using pieces of furniture. All you really need is a coat and boot rack combination. There are also people out there who have done and Ikea Hack for these built-in cubby coat racks as well. 

Painting your furniture can help give your apartment a small facelift. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Do DIY Projects to Improve Your Existing Furniture

When you are on a budget, it’s probably not possible for you to buy a completely new set of furniture for your apartment. Or, you might be waiting for your next lease before you splurge on new furniture. That’s why it could be a very good idea to paint or upholster your existing furniture to freshen things up a little bit. Before you get started, you may need to take the furniture out to your balcony or transport it to a friend’s house with a lawn before you do anything like spray painting. If this is not an option, you can still do DIY projects like putting contact paper on top of a table.

This apartment’s curtains go all the way up to the ceiling. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Raise Your Curtains Higher

One of the best ways to give the illusion of space in a small apartment is to use floor-to-ceiling curtains. Sometimes, that’s not enough. If you want to go above and beyond us, hang your curtain rod as close to the ceiling as you possibly can. Measure the space between the curtain rod and the floor. Buy the appropriate sized curtains from the store. The result is stunning. Even without furniture in the room, hanging these high curtains makes a huge difference in a space. 

No matter what year your bought your Ikea furniture, there are hacks out there. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Try Ikea Hacks to Build Faux Features

When you’re renting, you can’t do any construction like making a built-in library or going overboard with customized storage. However, if you follow some of the popular Ikea Hacks, a lot of these pieces appear to be built in but they’re actually just pieces of furniture that can be removed. You could always take these pieces apart and move it to your next apartment. Or, if you stay in your rental for several years at a time,  it may reach a point where you don’t feel terrible about throwing these pieces away, since Ikea is so affordable in the first place.

Use oil diffusers, spray, and candles to make your home smell great. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Make Everything Smell Great

No matter where you live, the way your home smells makes a huge difference. If you walk into a house that smells like something delicious, you immediately feel like you’re more at home. A scented candle can also make you feel more sensual, awake, or relaxed.  When things feel clean, you can breathe better and it just makes the experience more pleasant.  On the flip side, if you go into an apartment that smells like body odor and old garbage, you want to run away as fast as you can. Make sure you open your windows for ventilation, or put on fans to get some air flow in the apartment. Clean everything as much as possible, and consider purchasing an air purifier. 

This small apartment hallway is just enough room for coats to hang on hooks. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Use Hooks For Extra Storage

When you live in an apartment, you probably can’t have the built-in closet of your dreams or the cubbies near the front of the door. You might have run out of space in your closet for everything that you own. A simple and easy solution to this problem is to hang hooks.  These can be placed near your front door for coats, purses, and backpacks. Hooks could also be in your bedroom as an additional closet space. Command hooks are peel-and-stick, and can go on any wall that has a flat surface. And when you’re ready to move out, it should be easy to remove without damaging the wall.

This apartment bedroom has all white walls except for the one green accent wall. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Accent Walls

A lot of renters are afraid to paint for walls in a color that is too dark. This is for good reason. If you paint a wall black for example, you are going to have to use a primer and multiple layers have a lighter color paint in order to get that wall back to a neutral color. This is an expensive and time-consuming process most people are not prepared for. This is why so many people end up losing their security deposit if they paint their apartment too dark. However, if you stick with just one accent wall in a dark color and leave the rest light, it is far easier for you to bring everything back to code before you leave. An accent wall often brings a lot of depth and style to a space, and it could be totally worth the effort. 

This mirror helps reflect the surrounding area and make the apartment appear larger. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Mirrors

One of the most commonly known hacks for adding the illusion of space to a small apartment is by hanging a mirror on the wall. This is also true if you have a large body size mirror  on the floor leaning against the wall. Not only does this make the room feel bigger, but it also gives you a place to check yourself out before you leave for work or school. However, just make sure your mirror placement follows the rules of Feng Shui so that you aren’t accidentally zapping your energy. 

This gallery wall in golden frames really adds a lot of elegance to the space. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Let Art Do All the Work

Sometimes, a really good piece of artwork can do so much for your space. It doesn’t have to be expensive or in a gilded frame to make a difference, either. This could be a beautiful gallery wall, or a framed poster that just compliments the room really well. Instead of trying to put up something overly fancy, ask yourself what the current aesthetic is of the apartment, and find artwork that compliments it. Once you have the right artwork on the walls, it makes all the difference in the world.

This is one large room, but you can clearly see where the living room ends and the kitchen begins. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Create “Zones” In the Apartment

Apartments are typically very small compared to a house. And in a studio apartment, everything is contained in one room. You’re going to have to condense your living situation down to a small amount of square footage. This is why it’s a good idea to split up the apartment into “zones” where one section ends, and the other begins. Once you have proper zones set up in a small apartment, it can help the room to feel bigger, as well. Use area rugs to divide up a room, and use furniture as a faux wall. 

Textiles like throw blankets and pillows add a lot of interest to a space. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Buy Cozy Textiles to Make The Space More Comfortable

You might not be able to do a full apartment makeover when you’re renting, but you can buy as many accessories as you want. Layering textiles of throw blankets and throw pillows can add a lot of comfort and coziness into your space. The more welcoming your apartment feels, the less likely you will feel the need to do a total makeover. As long as the space feels like home, that’s all that matters.

Furniture with long legs helps to give the illusion of space in a small apartment. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Do Tricks to Make the Apartment Feel Bigger

Sometimes, all your apartment needs is to feel a bit bigger than it does already in order for you to feel better about the space. There are a lot of optical illusions that you can use in order to trick your eye into believing that the space is bigger than it actually is. Here at Home Addict, we have already come out with an article called How to Create the Illusion of Space in a Small Apartment. Check that out after reading this list! 

When planning a makeover, choose a color story to work with. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Choose a color scheme, and stick with it

A lot of people who rent an apartment make the mistake of choosing furniture and accessories that they can afford in the moment. It might be a hodgepodge of things that they have collected over the years. A lot of these things don’t necessarily match the other. Instead of throwing a bunch of random things together, try to decorate your apartment with a color scheme. Make sure the curtains, accessories, and paint all match your color story.

If you make a Pinteret board, you can find inspiration from other apartment dwellers. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Find Your Inspiration From Other Renters

Before you get started on an apartment makeover, figure out what will work in your space. Find photographs of apartments and houses that inspire you, and choose the elements that can be incorporated into your space without losing your security deposit. Pinterest is a great way for you to create a mood board beforehand. Once you know your inspiration, it makes decorating your apartment so much easier.

Even if you can’t do everything you dream of immediately, you can still plan for the future. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Don’t Get Yourself Down if You Can’t Do Everything

Last but not least, don’t get discouraged if you can’t do something you want to do in the apartment without losing your security deposit. Instead of letting it get you down, make it a goal. If you want to be a homeowner someday, start saving for that down payment right now. Make a vision board of all of your goals for this new house, and try to manifest that into reality. Some day, you can look back at the years you spent living in an apartment and feel grateful that you finally get to live in the home of your dreams.