For renters, good design doesn't mean your security deposit is doomed

By Virginia K. Smith  | October 27, 2014 - 11:59AM

Just about everyone who's rented a New York apartment has had to look the other way about something, whether it's noisy neighbors or a kitchen full of unfortunate-looking floor tiles. But even as a tenant, there are plenty of ways to make an apartment feel like your own without making changes that'll ding your security deposit when it comes time to leave.

In lieu of painting, Apartment Therapy suggests, try hanging large, statement art pieces or changing up your walls with temporary wallpaper (for more tips on the latter, check out our guide here). Window treatments can also offer a quick—and easy to remove—fix to a room; swapping in a curtain rod that's wider than the window, along with some long, decadent curtains can enhance the window itself and quickly pull together a room. An even faster fix: house plants, which cheer up any space and can be strategically placed to distract from unsightly parts of the apartment.

If it's the floors that are a problem, don't discount the effect of a well-placed rug, or even "temporary flooring" like patterned, removable vinyl tiles. Bigger picture, you can use pieces of furniture to bring color to an all-white room that you're not allowed to paint, and use the opportunity to invest in furniture you can take with you to the next rental instead of fixes to the apartment itself. Even smaller-ticket items like new door handles and lighting fixtures can go a long way towards making over a drab room. Now, if only getting your neighbors not to leave their bikes (or dirty shoes) in the hallway was this easy.


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