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Ask Angel: Rental With Personality?

If your design questions aren't getting addressed in the Ask Casa or Room Therapy posts, then direct your queries to west elm designer Angel, who's started a new TeamSugar group called Ask Angel to help you solve all of your design conundrums!

krazykarot wrote to Angel saying,

I have a question about different ways of decorating when your landlord is extremely strict. I won't be living in my apartment forever, but for at least two years I'd like it to have some of my style. How can I decorate when she doesn't want me painting or even nailing into the walls? Right now everything is very sparse and bland-looking. (For the record, I'm ignoring the last rule a little and planing on using some spackle before I leave.)

To see Angel's answer, just

Angel writes,

Great question krazykarot! This is one a lot of people can relate to. How do you make your living space your own when, technically, it’s not?!

Don’t worry, you can still show your personal style. If you can’t paint the walls, try redefining the focal point of the room to the floors. Add a rug with strong colors or bold patterns to anchor the room and provide the perfect pop. Build up from there by adding coordinating accessories, pillows, and throws to your couch and chair. Cover those built-in blinds with cool textured curtains to add another dimension to the room. Throughout any space, I always try to use varied textures and fabrics to add depth and interest to a room. Finally, if those walls are way too bleak, you can place tall bookcases against the wall to add height and cover the white walls at the same time. Have fun accessorizing the shelves with books, various found objects, artwork, and collectibles to bring the whole space together, or use canvas storage boxes along the bottom shelf for great storage and filing help.


Join The Conversation
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Ug my landlord was the same. But I just went ahead and hung my pics up. When it's time for me to move out, I'll clean it up and make the holes dissappear, but it's MY HOME and I want it to feel like that.
karazzies karazzies 9 years
I third the 3M hooks recommendation. I've lived in about 7 different rented places for the last 9 years and those hooks were amazing! I used them for everything - from coat hooks to towel hooks (in kitchen and bathroom), to bathrobe hooks, to picture hooks, and so on! They come in all sizes and shapes, and of all of them, I've only had 2 fall on me - and that was during this summer's major humidity wave where my apartment's temps soared to about 95 degrees, and humidity on top of that. (blah, I'm glad that's done with!) And they are VERY reasonably priced!
caryatid caryatid 9 years
definitely check out for stylish and cool wall adhesives that don't leave marks... some of them are even reusable. they are also pretty reasonably priced!
nikkeeb nikkeeb 9 years
i second the 3m comment. they're you're best friend in a rental. but i love this post b/c it's such a common question...and they seem like easy things to do to fix it, but i never even thought about the rug or tall cases, haha. thanks!
kendallina kendallina 9 years
I use those adhesive hooks by 3M to hang art on my walls. They are strong enough to hold a decent sized canvas, but will come off without runing the paint or anything when I'm ready to move.
brdwaystarlett brdwaystarlett 9 years
Fortunately, my landlord was kind enough to let me paint and hang things so long as I repaint it white and make all the repairs before the end of my tenancy. Perhaps all it takes is a little show of responsibility and care to convince the landlords that a coat of paint is not the end of the world!
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