Making your new apartment look the way you want without upsetting the landlord is a tricky task. In general, landlords can be resistant to you making any major changes, even small things such as hanging pictures or repainting a wall. Rather than ruffle his or her feathers, find ways to make your apartment feel like home without developing a contentious relationship. However, there are still methods for taking your living space to the next level. Here are five ideas for upgrading your apartment:
1. Talk with your landlord
It's important to remember that landlords have likely seen it all. For every good tenant that cleans up before moving out, there are probably several that leave things behind and cause damage. If you have heavier framed pictures you'd like to hang that require nails or want to replace a leaky faucet, consult the landlord before doing so. Not only will this ensure that you don't do anything that violates your rent agreement, but also allows you to develop a rapport with your landlord. If your landlord sees that your capable of handling projects without making a mess, he or she may open up to the idea of letting you make larger changes.
2. Make temporary replacements
Remember that if you're renting, odds are someone is going to move in after you. Doing something drastic like knocking out a wall makes a long lasting difference to the apartment, and while it may be ideal for you it may be less than desirable for someone else. Moreover, it likely won't meet your landlord's approval and potentially flush away your security deposit. However, this doesn't mean you can't change integral parts of the apartment. For example, outlets, doorknobs and other fixtures can easily be replaced to produce the look you're trying to create. Hold onto all of the original pieces and replace them before moving out.
3. Change the lighting
Poorly spaced lighting can make an apartment look rather dreary. There are a few basic solutions to optimizing your lighting though. First, make sure that all of your light bulbs are in working order and the right wattage for each outlet. Replace old bulbs with energy-efficient ones. Afterward, make note of which areas are still poorly lit, and consider purchasing standing lamps to fill in the gaps. If your blinds or curtains are preventing natural light from entering, replace them so that you're maximizing sunlight as well.
4. Add storage
When you first move into your apartment, you may realize there's not quite as much room for all of your stuff as you anticipated. While it may seem easy to just shove everything in the closet or push it into random corners, instead consider organizing all of your gewgaws by building shelving units to hold them in your closet or kitchen. Additional kitchen shelving will give you more space to place pots and pans, as well as dry goods, while closet shelving may make space for your miscellany of other possessions.
5. Find alternatives to nails
Though in some cases you may just have to put a hole in the wall, use adhesive tape or other alternatives whenever possible. Anything heavy like a dart board or shelf will require putting a nail or screw into a stud so that there is adequate support, but canvases, framed posters and pictures will likely be held by adhesive tape or hooks. Wallpaper and wall stickers are other temporary possibilities for decorating your empty space.
Essentially, if you're ever hesitant about making a change, it's best to contact your landlord beforehand. Otherwise, simply be courteous and remember that you'll have to transform your living space back to how it looked before you moved in.