Design Challenges for Renters

Many of the solutions featured on Apartment Therapy have to do with overcoming a design challenge posed by something you just can't change—whether because it's structural, against the terms of the lease or for financial reasons. It seems sometimes like everyone has that thorn in their design side. At a photo shoot for an upcoming house tour today, the resident pointed out a part of the place she didn't love. Though the rest of her place was amazing (trust us; you're going to love it!) we had to admit the area that she was focusing her attention on—an interesting railing on her stairs—was a bit odd. It wasn't her design, and it was something that she had to design around. We didn't think it took away from the rest of her great decor, but we can certainly understand her preoccupation with an element in the home she can't change.
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For our new apartment, it's the paint color. Or actually, lack of a paint color. Through a miscommunication, it turns out that the new apartment we moved into last month is set to be permanently white. No walls can be painted at all—and that really bummed us out at first. But, now that we've been working on our plan we've realized that this challenge of not being able to put color on the walls has really begun to shape the rest of our decor choices—and we're excited to see where this challenge takes us.

Has there ever been a particular challenge in an apartment you lived in that was a thorn in your design side? Did you leave it as it was, or did you come up with a clever solution that fit within its limitations? What's the cleverest solution you ever came up with? Has a design challenge ever turned out to be a good thing, because it took your decor in a direction it never would have taken with out it? Let us know!

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