...at our apartment the owner is absolute in the no painting rule (we can't even paint and paint over), which would be fine if the walls were painted a nice white but instead they are a very gross textured beige and not newly painted at that. We are however allowed to hang art and use as many nails as we want so long as we patch them when we leave. Solution for us was to make sure the lighting in the house was very white to balance the yellow dingyness of the wall and because I really wanted an accent wall of color we bought 1/8 plyboard sheets ($10), had them cut to the size of the wall and stapled them up.
It only took about 10 staple gun nails in each to hold the panels up and the nails are really small and will be easy to patch. The boards are thin enough that you can use a box cutter to cut out the outlet holes and for the size of our wall with the boards and paint the whole thing came in under $50.
We're thanking Courtney for submitting her Reversible Décor solution with an AT book, and we'll send you one, too, if you're among the first 25. Send your pic(s) and a short explanation to us here at sf (at) apartmenttherapy (dot) com.