Your Houston apartment is your home, and you'll want to make it your own. Of course, in order to get your security deposit back, you'll need to make sure any changes you make can be completely undone when you move out. This limits your options for apartment renovation, but not as much as you may think. Here are six ways you can make big changes to the look and feel of your Houston apartment, while keeping your landlord happy:
1. Set up room dividers.
Turn one large room into two or more. You've got lots of options here. Divide your space with a folding screen, a large bookcase, curtains, or some of the unusual room-dividing systems suggested in this post from Apartment Therapy.
2. Change knobs and handles.
If you're not in love with the doorknobs, cabinet handles, or drawer pulls in your apartment, buy some you like at any hardware or home décor store. When you install your new hardware, save the old handles and knobs in an easy-to-find place so you can replace them when you move out.
3. Change window coverings.
Putting up different curtains or blinds is simple, but it can make a big difference in the look and feel of your Houston apartment. If you're worried about putting holes and hardware into your walls, try hanging curtains from tension rods pressed into the window frames.
If you're thinking of painting your walls (or cabinets, or anything else), ask first. Some landlords will allow painting, but many won't. Make sure you know the rules, and if you're considering an extreme color, get your landlord's okay on that, too.
5. Use removable “wallpaper.”
Most landlords won't let you put up standard, pasted-on wallpaper—though some will. When in doubt, ask. If yours won't allow painting or wallpaper, you can still change up your walls. Some completely removable ideas for your walls:
- You can get the effect of wallpaper by using fabric starch to apply fabric to your walls. Follow this tutorial. When you want to move away, or just to change your apartment décor, gently peel off the fabric, then sponge down the wall to remove the starch. Viola! Your apartment walls will be just as you found them. You can use the same technique to make unique, removable wall decals, too.
- If cornstarch isn't your style, you can attach wallpaper, fabric, or even gift wrap with a staple gun. Be sure to take out all of the staples at moving time.
- Adhesive vinyl sticks on its own, but comes off without leaving a trace. Use it to make one bold wall or a fun and functional chalkboard wall, or use a craft knife to cut out your own wall decals.
6. Replace light fixtures.
Some apartments come with truly awful light fixtures, and other fixtures may just not fit your personal taste. You may be able to get lighting you like by simply replacing the shade. You can also redo the entire fixture, though you'll need electrical know-how to do it safely. If you've never worked with wiring before, get a very good tutorial, get help from a friend who knows wiring, or hire an electrician to do the job for you. This ApartmentTherapy post has links to lots of resources for changing lighting, including a list of important safety precautions.
Posted by Melanie Belasco Levy on 01/26/12