Renters Solutions
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Before & After: A Den Full of Hollywood Glam
Who couldn’t use a little glam in their life, right? Okay, so maybe it takes a certain type of person to pull off a really glam look at home, but Tim from Design Maze and the resident of this apartment were the perfect team to pull off this eye-popping den with a modern take on Hollywood glamour. I think it will make even the most minimalist design lover feel a little glam-envy. The best part? This is a rental apartment so everything is temporary.
Mar 16, 2016
Ideas for Making a Dark (or Totally Windowless) Room Less Depressing
Good light can make or break a space, and unfortunately natural lighting is probably the one thing about a room that’s hardest to change. So when you’re faced with a space that has very few windows (or none at all), how do you cope? We’ve got some ideas. Multiply the light you do have. If you have a window, use translucent shades or sheer curtains for privacy, instead of blocking it with heavy window treatments.
Mar 14, 2016
Fabian & David’s Sleek Remodeled Rental
Name: Fabian & David Location: New Haven, Connecticut We are Fabian from Germany and David from the United States, two doctoral students at Yale University, and we turned our student rental into a modern, minimalist apartment. Both of us work in the social sciences but also have a casual interest in architecture and interior design.
Mar 13, 2016
No Nails Needed: Renter’s Tricks for Decorating that Awkward Space Above the Sofa
If you have the luxury of being able to drive a nail into the wall above your sofa, you’d never call such an open, blank canvas “awkward.” But for many renters, the over-the-sofa space can be a source of frustration. What exactly can I do there? The answer? One of these three creative ideas: Technically, the installation above from Hello Lidy‘s family room is a beside-the-sofa solution, but I don’t know why it wouldn’t work anywhere else.
Mar 9, 2016
Real Small-Space Closet Solutions: How To Hang Your Clothes Out in the Open Without it Looking Like a Mess
No closet? No problem. You know how Edward Sharpe says “Home is wherever I’m with you”? Here’s your new motto: My closet is wherever I keep my clothes. Let’s just grab a sturdy garment rack (or make one from scratch) and set up shop in the living room or bedroom. It can look great, with the right inspiration. Flank a garment rack with a dresser on each side, like shown above in Jeanette & Mikul’s Airy, Sunny and Minimal One-Room East Bay Loft.
Feb 25, 2016
5 Real-Life Wardrobe Storage Solutions From Apartments with No Closets
Take inspiration from these five real-life apartments, whose residents found smart ways to store everything with no closet in sight.
Feb 5, 2016
Lighting Problems Renters Can Relate To (And What To Do About Them)
Rental apartments aren’t known for crystal chandeliers and beautiful statement lighting. Instead you get (almost always) awful and (frequently) unflattering light with shadows that turn even the prettiest people into Bela Lugosi — not to mention dated fixtures desperately in need of an aesthetic upgrade. Learn how to improve your lighting situation with one of these solutions.
Jan 29, 2016
Before & After: A Small Change, Big Impact Rental Kitchen Upgrade
I will never get tired of seeing real life, totally attainable home updates, especially when they’re renter friendly. Kevin’s flawless execution of some classic kitchen updates is absolutely worth a gander and may inspire some updating of your own. From Kevin: When I started thinking about giving our little kitchen a refresh, I immediately thought of what a big impact some color could have in our kitchen.
Jan 23, 2016
Before & After: The “Embrace it Loft-Style” Kitchen
Shehzeen was faced with an all too familiar problem, a rental kitchen that just didn’t work. The color was off, the placement wasn’t ideal, but she made apartment lemons into very cute lemonade. From Shehzeen: I live in a rental so doing any kind of a permanent overhaul to the kitchen or its appliances is out of the question. Also, my kitchen was extremely open plan and was sitting right there in the living room.
Dec 1, 2015
7 Style Secrets from Rental Bathrooms that You Can’t Spot as Rentals
If you feel confined by your rental home’s boring bathroom, these seven small but beautiful spaces will delight you with their versatile design ideas. Though all of them are located inside of a rental home, you can’t tell because of their bold commitment to style. If you can do any sort of painting in your rental, you might find inspiration in Kristen’s home above. It took her a long time, but she added a gorgeous, bold pattern to her downstairs bathroom thanks to stencils!
Nov 16, 2015
Before & After: A Quick Rental Floor Fix, For Under $200
Jess and Ryan moved into their apartment six years ago, drawn to the multi-floor layout that allowed them to create two defined areas: one for entertaining and lounging, the other for sleeping and working. While they were in love with the apartment itself, the floors throughout the kitchen, dining, and living rooms left a bit to be desired. The old, yellowed, scratched linoleum caused the downstairs to feel cold and uninviting.
Nov 4, 2015
I Bought a Dishwasher for My Rental Apartment: Was it Worth It?
This past winter I fell on ice and broke my wrist. As you can imagine, this made many things more difficult, including housekeeping. My husband and I (and now our two kids) have lived in the same rental apartment sans dishwasher for eight years. My husband had been campaigning for one for years, but I had resisted for two reasons: 1) why invest money in a rental apartment and 2) why give up valuable cabinet space in our already small kitchen.
Oct 29, 2015
The Best Furniture to Buy When You’re a Renter
Why do you need to think about furniture characteristics when you’re a renter? Well, if you’re the kind of renter who moves around a lot or could potentially move around a lot in the future, you might want to consider your furniture’s characteristics so they last through moves as well as are flexible enough to fit into a lot of different types, sizes and styles of future homes. So what kind of furniture characteristics should you look out for?
Sep 24, 2015
Our Best Tips & Inspiration for Dealing with Low Ceilings
A lot of the spaces that we feature on Apartment Therapy have gorgeous, soaring ceilings. “Sure,” I hear you say, “it’s easy to make a space look good when your ceiling are 14 feet tall.” But what if your living space is a little humbler, with ceilings no higher than the standard eight feet? There are still things you can do to make your home look fantastic — and spacious to boot. Here are four ideas, with plenty of (low-ceilinged) examples to inspire. 1.
Aug 30, 2015
Before & After: Fireplace Gets a Quick Renter-Friendly Makeover
Jess’ rental had a beat up fireplace that was a bit of an eyesore in the middle of her living room. She found the perfect low-cost way to give it some glamour, with a classic renter’s trick that we love: Contact paper!! From Jess: The main materials are contact paper and an exacto (or utility) knife. Prior to doing anything to your fireplace make sure you give it a good wipe down so that the contact paper will stick to the fireplace surround.
Aug 28, 2015
No Doorman? No Problem: 5 Ways to Get Your Packages on Your Own Schedule
Some fortunate folks out there have the luxury of a doorman at their apartment building; someone to accept packages on their behalf while they’re away at work or on vacation. The rest of us just come home to “missed package” slips stuck to our doors. Until now. Here are 5 services popping up in some big cities that let you get home deliveries on your time.
Aug 27, 2015
Safe and Smart: How To Sub-Lease Your Apartment The Right Way
Need to be away for a while but don’t want to eat a chunk of rent? You might be in the market for a sub-leaser. Letting someone in your home comes with plenty of issues so let’s wade through them together. Read on. You have a set of guidelines for your tenancy; it’s your lease. Check it to see the rules for sub-leasing. In the event that it’s not addressed, you really need to bring it up with your landlord.
Aug 20, 2015
How to Love a Temporary Living Situation (Even Through It’s Not Forever)
If you’re languishing in a dorm room, sublet or any other type of temporary housing, you’re probably facing a particular kind of decor dilemma. On one hand, you’re living there so you want it to be nice. On the other, the idea of putting tons of time into fixing up a place where you won’t be for very long is exhausting. What to do? Read this. If you know you’re gonna be on the move again soonish, it’s worth it to figure out how to weed your belongings down.
Aug 16, 2015
Are You A Bad Tenant? 5 Ways to Tell
Last week we talked about warning signs to heed in order to avoid getting stuck with a bad landlord. But remember, it takes two to tango. Are you the best tenant you can be? Maybe you have the best of intentions but are still making some unwitting mistakes. Here’s the cold hard truth. Rules are there for a reason, unless you reeeally need to do your laundry after midnight, right? Sorry no.
Aug 14, 2015
Rental Red Flags: Watch Out For These 5 Bad Landlord Warning Signs
Even a great rental will be hell if you’re stuck with a bad landlord. Don’t be blindsided by a dud. Heed these warning signs before you commit to a lease and it’s too late. Even if the apartment you tour looks immaculate, be wary if the rest of the building seems surprisingly run down in comparison. What about the landscaping outside, the lounge or the laundry room?
Aug 5, 2015
Are Landlords Responsible for Carpet Care?
Q: Hi, I have lived in my mid-century apartment in LA for over ten years now. I have a very basic 1-page lease that doesn’t go into great detail about long-term maintenance of the apartment.
Jul 2, 2015
The Right Way to Break a Lease: 5 Rules for an Easier Exit
Want to get out of your lease early? You need to play it smart. Whatever the reason you need to leave, we can help you navigate the tricky business of breaking your lease before things get ugly and expensive. Try these five things. A lease is a legal document so respond in kind and put every communication regarding that lease in writing.
Jul 1, 2015
The 10 Commandments of Decorating Your Rental
Decorating a rental home can often seem like a minefield of decisions, forcing you to weigh the financial risk and aesthetic payoff at every turn. How much time and money to invest in a temporary home? Which areas to focus on and which to learn to live with? Read on for 10 Commandments to decorating your rental home. 1. Thou Shalt Decorate First things first- you should actually decorate your rental, even if it’s in small, temporary ways.
Jun 29, 2015
How To Get Your Rental Back to Move-In Ready (After You’ve Customized Your Heart Out)
Who likes getting their security deposit back? We do! If you’ve gone crazy with color or went ahead with a full-blown gallery wall (and have the holes to prove it), then you’ll need to take a few steps to make sure you save your security. After all the boxes are packed, don’t forget to address this stuff. So you went nuts with the shelving or you got fanatic about frames. No biggie. It’s time to patch away.
Jun 22, 2015
These Studios Prove That One Room Living Can Be Super Stylish
In most of the glamorous homes you see on decorating websites, the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bedroom are all separate spaces. So what are you to do when you’ve living in an apartment that is really just a single room with a stove and a sink on one end? Take inspiration from this collection of super stylish studio apartments. As these spaces prove, living in one room doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style.
Jun 21, 2015
Temporary Decorating Ideas Every Renter Should Know
Just because you're only in your place for a year or two doesn't mean you can't make it a home.
May 17, 2015
How To Talk to Your Landlord (and Get What You Want)
The landlord v. tenant relationship can be a tricky one to master; there are so many minefields to step around when dealing with your home and his property. But going into any discussion with the right knowledge and attitude can significantly improve your chances of request success. Here’s where to start. The number one secret to getting extra-good service from your landlord? Be the kind of tenant your landlord wants to keep around.
May 10, 2015
Dear Landlord: Dos and Don’ts for Rental Remodels
Dear Landlord, I’m your future tenant and, I get it, your priorities are a little different than mine. You want things to be durable, long-lasting and, usually, cheap. I, on the other hand, would really love them to look nice. I heard you’re doing a little work on the place before I move in so I wanted to share some do’s and don’ts, my wish list and no-no list. Some of them come at a cost, but others won’t cost you a penny.
Mar 24, 2015
Before & After: An Easy, Colorful & Affordable Rental-Friendly Backsplash
Andrea’s rental kitchen was lacking a backsplash… and personality. Enter Etsy with a colorful (and temporary!) solution that complements her space. From Andrea: I had been looking for an answer to my rental kitchen woes for over a year when I found these removable wall/tile decals by Bleucoin on Etsy. I was instantly inspired to refresh my dark and boring galley kitchen with them.
Feb 18, 2015
Moving Math: An Easy Equation to Help You Decide If It’s Time to Pack Up
Everyone knows that moving is the worst, but sometimes your current place just isn’t doing it for you anymore. So should you to go through the trouble of uprooting your life to get an apartment upgrade? Get a reality check with this common sense equation. Let’s think about it like this: Basically, it means you should consider the benefits of a new place against not only the old place, but also the hassle and cost of the moving process itself.
Jan 29, 2015
10 Things to Look For On Your Next Apartment Hunt (That You Haven’t Thought Of Yet)
Of the many things you might be on the lookout for when searching for your next apartment to live in — hardwood floors, big windows, a lot of space — don’t neglect the odd but useful items on this list. They might save you a lot of future pain and make sure you enjoy your next home! We spotted these ideas from a thread on Reddit asking for what to look out for and what to asking when looking for an apartment.
Jan 20, 2015
8 Bathroom Bettering Ideas You Can Do (When You Can’t Renovate Your Rental)
Staring all day at photos of enviable bathrooms full of bold tile floors, brand new fixtures, dreamy cabinets and claw foot tubs made for soaking in, it can be easy to get discouraged and focus on what you can’t do when you rent (or if you own but don’t have a huge budget for renovations). But just because you can’t tear everything out and start over doesn’t mean you can’t make your bathroom more beautiful.
Nov 9, 2014
Soundproof Your Rental Bedroom in Under 10 Minutes for $40
If you’re in a rental apartment, the last thing you want to do is pay a lot of money to make it livable. Perhaps the only thing worse is pissing off your roommate(s) while you’re having loud — ahem — relations, or blasting Gregorian chants from your bedroom on Sunday mornings. Which means you need to find an easy, reversible and affordable solution for privacy, while respecting thy neighbors.
Oct 29, 2014
10 Ways to Squeeze a Little Extra Storage Out of a Small Bathroom
Is your bathroom clutter getting out of control?
Aug 26, 2014
Put Down the Paintbrush: 10 Ways to Add Color Without Painting
Are you a color-lover adrift on an ocean of white? Living in a rental where you’re not allowed to paint doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with brilliant hues. Here are ten easy ways to add color without ever picking up a paintbrush. 1. Go for big, colorful art. An oversized piece (like the one in the bedroom above, from Okologi, or the living room pictured up top, from Sköna Hem, via Design Milk) instantly brightens a room. 2. Hang a colorful tapestry on the wall.
Jul 29, 2014
How To Make the Most of Typical Rental Features: The Only Bathroom is Through the Bedroom
Once upon a time, I was flat-hunting in London and found an adorable one. The location was convenient and the space bright and sunny. The problem? The bathroom was located off the bedroom, meaning that guests would have to go past my bed in order to use it. Here’s how to make the most of this sometimes awkward layout: Though I immediately discounted that flat, I’ve since discovered that this layout isn’t as ridiculous (or rare) as I once thought.
Jul 25, 2014
Nobody Wants to Be the Noisy Neighbor: Tips for Keeping Your Sound Down
If there’s anything worse than having a noisy neighbor, it’s realizing that you are the noisy neighbor. Nobody goes around intending to be overheard by strangers, but then one day a neighbor knocks on your door and complains about the sound of your footsteps on his ceiling or says he can hear you singing to your cat, and then there’s nothing to do but tiptoe around in socks and worry that all your neighbors hate you.
Jul 22, 2014
13 Temporary & Removable Adhesive Products All Renters Should Know About
Because renters like nice things too!
Jul 21, 2014
Working With White Walls: 6 Ideas From Bold Bedrooms of Real-Life Rentals
You don’t need a bold wall paint color to turn the tide on a bland bedroom. These six bedrooms — despite their white walls — are real-life examples from our house tours of rooms that wow. And they are full of bold ideas to borrow for your own bedroom (in case it’s feeling a little too white and boring). Pictured above: Can’t do color on the walls? Do texture instead! And then also put texture on the bed, too, just for good measure.
Jul 20, 2014
Our Best Tips for Life Without a Dishwasher
Not having a dishwasher certainly isn’t the worst problem you can have. But if you’re used to having one, switching to only hand-washing can seem like a major inconvenience. Following are some ways to make life without a dishwasher as painless as possible. Soak. To make hand-washing less of a scrub-fest, make every effort to keep food from drying on dishes and pots and pans. If you can’t wash something right away, at least submerge it in or fill it with warm soapy water.
Jul 17, 2014
The Neighbors are Noisy as S#*!: How to Cope When You Love Your Home But Hate Your Neighbors
I’m having a love affair with my neighborhood. The industrial Westside of Atlanta has been experiencing a total resurgence lately, something my boyfriend and I have been lucky to witness for the four years we’ve lived in our 1100-square-foot 2-bedroom apartment — the one with the tiny kitchen but a great view of the city skyline.
Jul 16, 2014
The 10 Worst Things About Renting (And How to Deal with Them)
I just got the chance to see a friend’s new house, and the conversation during the visit turned to owning vs. renting. True to the “grass is greener” maxim, we each had bad things to say about our current situation.
Jul 15, 2014
3 Tips for Refreshing Old Carpet
Carpet is a bit like upholstered furniture: it tends to hold on to dust, stains, and other marks of wear and tear. (Even after a professional cleaning, undesirables tend to resurface.) And those signs of other tenants’ lives are something you probably prefer to live without. Following are some tips for refreshing carpet that’s seen better days. Fluff Dents with an Ice Cube.
Jul 14, 2014
Renters Solutions: 4 Ways to Manage Home Deliveries
I live in one of those big corporate apartment communities with a resort-style pool and a leasing office that keeps abbreviated hours. Delivered packages — like the online impulse buy I can’t wait to get my hands on — are always dropped in that leasing office, which keeps roughly the same schedule I do at my office across town. Without rearranging my work schedule, I can never get back home in time to grab my eagerly anticipated parcel.
Jun 12, 2014
Be a Negotiation Ninja: 5 Ways to Save on Rent (Without Getting a Roommate)
Who likes to save money? We do! Especially when it’s on the most painful bill of the month: rent. Don’t resort to a roommate — try these five things first. 1. Know your market. This is your first line of defense against signing an exorbitant lease, only to later realize you’ve overpaid. Look at multiple listings in the neighborhood, talk with current residents, and always, always double-check a site like Rentometer to see how your potential rent stacks up.
May 13, 2014
The 10 Commandments of Keeping a Small Space Organized
Living in a compact (read: tiny) one bedroom with my fiancé and our two dogs sometimes resembles a giant game of Tetris. When it comes to cramming our lives, complete with hobbies, home cooking and my photography business, into 450 square feet organization is key. Here are a few of the ways that we manage. 1. Build upwards.
Apr 15, 2014
Real Room Inspiration: Wall Hangings
If you aren’t allowed to paint your walls or you simply don’t want to commit, and if the though of hanging even removable wallpaper gives you hives, we should be friends. Also, you should consider brightening up your standard-issue walls with a lovely wall hanging. A few tiny tacks is all it takes.. TOP ROW: Jesse & Lucas’ Simply Stylish Home + Studio: A vintage Egyptian tapestry livens up the white walls in their son’s room.
Mar 28, 2014
No Nightstand, No Problem: 12 Unusual Things to Use Instead
What is a nightstand, anyway? Of course we all know what the pieces identified as nightstands at the furniture store look like: little tables, usually with a drawer or shelf. But all a nightstand really is, at its most basic, is a place to put the stuff you may want immediately before you go to bed or right after you get up, so you don’t have to lean over awkwardly and pick up your iPhone from the floor.
Feb 14, 2014
Before & After: Rental Kitchen Gets a Stylish DIY Upgrade For Under $50
Gem, from the blog Blackbird, recently moved into a new apartment in Auckland with her husband. Because it’s a rental, they did not want to do any big renovations, but they did want to give their kitchen a stylish upgrade. With a little cash and some elbow grease, they turned their kitchen into something they are both happy with. First, with the permission of their landlord, they painted two of the walls with paint they had left over from another project.
Feb 13, 2014
Renter’s Solutions: Working With Whatever Wall Color You’ve Got
I don’t know about you, but all the places I’ve lived as a renter have been painted an awkward, almost-yellow taupe. I first encountered it on all the walls of my rooms in college, so I call it “dorm yellow”. Despite over five years of living with it (and knowing it could be worse!), I haven’t figured out how to decorate with sandy yellow walls. Happily for me, and all of us in this situation, there are a bunch of renter-friendly solutions to yucky walls!
Jan 28, 2014
Renters Solutions: Temporary Cork Floors on a Tiny Budget
After researching various options that wouldn’t make my landlord cringe (we’re renters), I realized that they were all 1. Out of the budget, 2. Too permanent, or 3. Ugly. Ideally I wanted flooring that would be under $1 per square foot and could be something I might potentially reuse. Here’s what I found and how I made my rental flooring dreams come true under budget.
Jul 8, 2013
How Much Rent Can You Really Afford?
Knowing what you want in a rental apartment is pretty easy: space, location, storage, beautiful floors, light, etc. Finding all of those things within your budget can be a bit more difficult. But before you even start contemplating your rental possibilities, you should probably know what your budget is, and fortunately, this step isn’t all that difficult.
Mar 20, 2013
What’s Your Criteria for Choosing a Roommate?
Taking the time to choose the right roommate could be the difference between a friend for life that you looking forward to seeing at the end of the day (or someone that keeps their distance and causes no trouble), and horror stories you will tell at dinner parties for years to come. Back in my college days, I unfortunately found myself in the last category, and let me tell you, it is not fun.
Mar 11, 2013
If Only I Hadn’t Already Signed the Lease: 10 Things To Always Check Moving Into an Apartment
Everyone has moving horror stories, but there are just some things you don’t think to check until you’ve already signed a lease. Here’s 10 things that should be on everyone’s “must-check” list. 1. Hallway/Doorway Size: Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with great architecture lines of square footage, but sometimes (Even if you buy small furniture) things simply don’t fit in awkward hallways.
Mar 20, 2012
Easy & Temporary Ways to Dress Up a Rental Like You Own It
Just because you don't own your apartment doesn't mean you can't dress it up.
Mar 10, 2012