Decorating a rental

Kim_in_ABMay 15, 2005

I've rented, but never a place that was quite so strict and parental...

How do you decorate a place that you can't paint, hang curtains or put a screw in the wall for shelves or hooks.

Kim... living in the land of bland...

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I've heard of using liquid fabric starch to put scarves or fabric on the wall. You wash it off with water.

There's the Command Adhesive technology--picture hooks, coat hooks, wire clips. And, I think, poster squares? At any rate, there are clear poster squares that are removable.

There are tension rods for curtains--and there's some sort of curtain-rod hanging system w/ a metal corner that you slide over the outside corner of the window frame.

Here is a link that might be useful: Levelor tension rod that lets your curtains hang OUT from the windows

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 12:23PM
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I'm sorry- I've lived in my station wagon a time or two because I couldn't bear to rent from people like that- I'm sure they have their reasons (I have a friend who had 'no upholstering the appliances' written into the lease!)

hooks can go over the doors instead of on the walls- at least one place had a hook that went into the hinge, and was invisible unless you were using it.

posters are a great way to decorate when you can't hang a proper picture, and the poster putty works great to hang them. you can do the same with scarves.

bookcases or wire baker's racks can be bought and painted if need be- for that matter,so can those cheap plastic shelves for the garage or dorm room;)

but the easiest way to decorate with with pillow covers in nice colors, maybe nicer table clothes that you've had before (plain old fabric with the edges trimmed works great) and curtains on tension rods- multiple layers of sheers can make for a nice display :)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 12:35PM
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Okay I can't stop LOL'ing about no upholstering the appliances!

Does anyone know if you can use blue goo type stuff on very textured walls. I have this vision of trying to get the stuff off a year from now and it is embedded.

There is some line in the lease that goes something like we realize that renters wish to decorate as they desire but you are prohibited from... putting anything on the walls or living too much. Frustrating!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 6:29PM
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:) from what the landlord told me- they did the fridge and cabinet faces in an orange shag.

that would make me laugh, too :) I didn't believe the guys when they told me- but the landlord backed them up (he lives next door- this is in brooklyn)

as long as it's a scrubby texture, and not a 'pulled' texture where it comes to stiff peaks, you're fine.

honestly- I'd put nail holes in the damned walls, and just cover them up with toothpaste when I left ;)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 12:56PM
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You can hang light pictures with needles (sewing needles). They leave essentially no hole.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 11:50AM
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That would just drive me nuts - I would MOVE!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 1:57AM
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I know those in military housing aren't allowed to decorate either. Maybe someone will come alone with some suggestions. Military wives are pretty ingenious.

My SIL used a sheet for one of her bathroom walls. It has ferns on it and was awesome. Nothing permanent.

I can't wait until I tell my LL friend about the shag!


    Bookmark   May 22, 2005 at 10:59PM
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Use those command performance hooks to hang pictures and shelves.Go for colorful large posters, Monet, Van Gogh the classics or contemporaries.Use lots of colorful throw pillows and plants. Drape shawls or fabrics on tabletops for texture-or across shutters leaning on walls or hinged and placed in the corners. Small tables can be moved and placed in various spots. When I lived in my rental I used two bookcases and created a seating area in between them. I think books are inexpensive and really add warmth to a room.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 8:33AM
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You can put foam board covered in fabric to add color to your walls. Several tumbtacks to hold it in place. A little toothpaste to cover the holes.

Use foam board with magnets on metal doors and appliances.

I can't live without color.

I've lived in my Apartment for 5 years. I have requested to have my Apartment painted several times. It was never done. So, I painted it myself....the color I wanted. I dare them to say anything about it with all my requests.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 9:53AM
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I not only painted....But printed out pictures from my computer off of the INTERNET and framed them in $1.00 frames to camouflage the thermostat area.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 10:11AM
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I spent my first year of college in a 11 x 8 dorm room with a complete stranger. I'm a very..colorful..person shall we say? And she was...well..not. We had very similar rules. No holes, and at the end of the year if any sign of tape/ sticky tack, or glue was on the walls we lost our $145 deposit. The rooms had white tile floors with white cinderblock walls.

I found a very simple showercurtain type rod that was only about 1/2 an inch in diameter so it was perfect to throw some cute fabric (bought by the yard) over it and slide it into the window in front of the blinds.

Also, I invested in a few of the metalflap mailboxes that are usually screwed onto the exterior of homes near the door. (Hopefully you know what I'm talking about?). They are cheap, and light enough to stay in place with spray adhesive. I painted them and pasted on some cutouts from a cute vintage wallpaper I found. The adhesive rubbed right off with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser at the end of the year. Not only did they look cute but they doubled as magazine/paper racks to hide some of my expected paper clutter :D

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 3:36AM
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I love the idea about the mailboxes, very creative. My lease has a similiar rule of no holes, but when I saw that previous tenants had left holes in the walls I wrote it on my 'move-in' inspection sheet and hung my own posters/shelves. It's on record that there are holes in the wall and no one ever came to fix them. Most heavy-duty adhesive tape will come off clean with a little goo-gone and some scrubbing, just be careful not to damage the backs of your favorite decorates. Small pictures (5x7, 4x6) can be printed off by previewing different posters. If you sign up for their mailing list, they will send you emails for free shipping, framing tips, percentages off, and other discounts.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 8:56PM
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Try Blik Stick-On Wall graphics. They are like Colorforms (remember those!?) so you can put graphic designs on your wall and they are removable.

If you have molding you can get molding hooks to hang pictures, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blik Wall Graphics

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 12:17AM
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You can use the blue tacky stuff to hang up just about anything but it may dye the walls... many places now sell the same stuff in white.

My biggest suggestion would be to talk with the landlord/manager about what EXACTLY you can and can't put up. My manager said no holes in the walls, but when we asked said that they just didn't want to see 1/2' gouges in the wall. The other thing you can do is write up a simple contract saying that you will repair every hole you put in the wall. That way, they know that they won't have to fool around with thumbtack holes when you leave.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2005 at 12:48PM
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One thing I do is use my metal exterior doors as a place to hang all my photos. I just add little magnetic strips to the back of the photos and hang them by the dozens. I even put little paper "frames" that you can get at craft stores in the scrapbooks sections around the photos. It livens up my place and I enjoy it. Since I'm frugal, I just glue or tape some old magnetic advertising or business cards to the pictures.

Another idea is to use tension rods to hang bright curtains. Sometimes you can even used magnetic curtain rods on stuff.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 11:05PM
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small picture hooks leave very small holes that can be coverd with $2.50 worht of spackle when you leave.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 4:05PM
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First let me offer my sympathy...what a pain in the butt! Second, I have no idea how much this would cost you or if the landlord would agree or how long you plan to stay in your rental, but what if you looked into installing that kind of wood strip at the top of the room from which you could then hang framed pictures without putting holes in the walls? I don't know my terms...I have this in my office and it's like a little baseboard but at the top of the room. It looks beautiful and allows us renters to hang things that way. If it were affordable to you I can't see why the landlord would protest. Except perhaps for the reasons they're protesting you altering the space at all. But heck, you could always ask....

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 12:43AM
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I sympathize with the rules and regulations, but let's look at the flip side at what those rules are designed to do.

Recently, tenants moved out and they had hanged lots and lots of pictures. And, they spackled it up when they moved out. The problem was that while the spackle was white, it was still a different white from the rest of the white on the walls- all over the condo. It had been painted only a 1.5 years ago, and so didn't need to be repainted. But, because of all those holes and spackle, we needed to repaint the whole condo all over again.

Or, let's look at what happened if you painted the walls a color you liked. The problem is that while you may like that particular color like black, it might turn off all other potential tenants. So, the owners then need to prime and repaint it. It all ends up being more expensive than if the tenant hadn't painted the walls.

You might try to work a compromise where you reach a agreement where you are allowed to decorate the rental, but only on the condition that you return everything to what it was before you moved in. So, if you paint the walls a deep burgundy color, you agree to repaint it to its original color.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 7:44PM
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Regarding the posting by marvelousmarvin, yes, renters can leave a disaster, but...try talking to your landlord and see if he will let you sign an addendum to your lease stating that you can decorate as you wish without the loss of your security deposit, so long as you repair/repaint before you leave. The problem landlords have with odd colors and nail holes is that they have to pay someone to do the work. If they know that you will do it yourself, or pay someone to do it, they may let you decorate.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 4:44PM
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If they know that you will do it yourself, or pay someone to do it, they may let you decorate.

Very few people actually can paint well enough where there are no drip marks and the paint coverage looks good in bright lights. This is left best to professional painters. I don't let the tenants paint. If they want to paint, they must bring in a licensed bonded painter to paint.

If you really want to decorate, you have to be prepared to 'put up' the cost of getting the apartment back to its original state. This means that you pay for the professional paint job when you leave. Most tenants are not willing to do that, hence the problem.

Kim in AB, price out what it costs to have your apartment painted professionally, put that aside (or save it) and offer your landlord/manager that you will do that when you leave. They will be more than happy to let you decorate after you have signed the contract...

if you friends burrowed your car, would you let her/him paint it or put different upholstery before they returned the car to you?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 5:58PM
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