How Is Your Apartment Decorated?

patti43May 2, 2006

I know space is somewhat limited in apartments, but do you have any special hints to make it seem larger? How about pictures? Do you hang them, and if so, what do you do about the nail holes when you are ready to move? The apartment we want to move into doesn't have the basic white walls, but I want to have something on the walls. I'd love to hear how you make your apartment look homey.



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We always hang pictures. In most apartments the walls have been white, so we just slap a little spackle in there before we turn in the keys and all's well. Basically I refuse to let the fact that I live in an apartment dictate how my home is decorated.

In our current apartment we have holes drilled through the walls to feed cable from the living room into the two bedrooms. In one apartment we were on the first floor above an unfinished basement, so we ran the cable through the basement to the bedroom. I'll have to get colored spackle this time, cuz we have off-white wallpaper. I've found several places in the apartment where this has been done in the past, so I'm not worried about it.

We also hung curtains in this apartment, which makes it feel 100 times more homey. We really only did it because there is an insulating window that goes over the window in the livingroom, trapping the blinds between the actual window and the insulator, so we had to have curtains for privacy in the winter. It makes a huge difference.

We have surround sound speakers mounted on the walls, as well as shelves in just about every room. In one apartment we mounted deep shelves in the second bedroom closet for storage, since we were just using the room as an office. Again, I just refuse to be limitted in what my home will look like just because it's an apartment.

We've also often hung extra towel rods in the bathroom, although we didn't need to in this apartment. I replaced the dining room chandelier with a smaller fixture, because we don't have a dining table, so having a chandelier hanging there in the open was hazardous (it sure was to the tall mover, who kept banging his head every time he came through the dining area). I've also replaced a couple light switches with nicer ones, as well as replaced the shower head with a shower massage. I even replaced the utility room door with a wood one (we have cheap assed plastic doors) so I could cut a hole in it for the cats to get at the litter box. I'll do everything possible to return the apartment to it's original shape before we move out.

My only regret in this apartment is that it's wallpapered, every wall in every room, so we can't paint. We've been here 4 years, and will be here at least one more, so it's the first place where painting wouldn't have been a waste of time, and we can't. So that's a huge bummer, but we've done everything else possible to make it our own.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 10:09AM
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OK, I feel better, thanks Judi_e. That's exactly what I want to do when we move, make it ours--but that's down the road a bit. I don't want it to be so sterile, but without art, it's blah! Thanks for the tips like the light switches and shower head. DH will be grateful ;-o We can't wait to move, but DH has surgery next month and then we have to sell our camper in No. Georgia first. Can't wait!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 11:43PM
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Kitchen - pictures of different herbs and hanging plants with a long carpet runner over the floor.

Dining room - Lighthouses, sailboats, ocean pictures, and plants with a large aquarium.

Living room - southwest desert style with some pastels and some handmade things because I'm half native am indian.

My daughter's bedroom - she loves bright pinks and florals and dora the explorer so we are going to get a few more things to brighten up and make her room cozy

Our room - This is funny because my husband and I have different decorative tastes. We agree on everything else so in the bedroom, he puts whatever he wants up on his side of the bed, and on mine - my stuff.

Bathrooms are usually simple for me - just some nice rugs, plants, and baskets to hold tp or magazines.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 6:20AM
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The worst they can do is charge you for repairing the wall. Here in Michigan they are required to paint between tenants (if the walls are painted), so most places don't care as long as you spackle and they can cover whatever you've done with one coat of paint. Some places require you to return the walls to their original color, but that's rare, since they have to paint anyway.

You will want to talk to your landlord though. Different places have different rules. I've always rented from places run by big national management companies, and have never had any of the landlord problems you read about here. Of course that also means living in a big apartment complex, but I don't mind that at all. If you're renting from a private landlord it may be different.

And don't take what it says in the community rules for granted. Ask. Our community rules state that nothing bigger than a small nail hole is acceptable. I asked about that right away, because we have shelves and other things that require drywall anchors. I was told not to worry about it, go ahead and hang them.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 9:33AM
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Thanks Judi and czarinax, I will take Judi's advice and ask FIRST about nail holes as the deposit is quite a bit. I love the way y'all have made your apartments your homes. You have great ideas, and I sure thank you for them. Judi, the apartments we are looking at are run by a large management company so, hopefully, that may make a difference.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 11:08PM
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Most picture hangers require only small nail holes and are easy to cover when moving. I would not hesitate to hang pictures.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 2:15PM
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I have to decorate my apartment. I paint most of the major walls. (With paint there are so many design tricks to use.) I also use transfer designs that can be painted over. Pictures of my daughter adorn my walls everywhere. I always change the basic blinds to something different. In the bathroom I took out the ugly silver towel rod and replaced it with 2 shabby chic hooks to hang the towels. The showerhead was changed too, to a nicer, more comfortable one for us. In some rooms I changed the light switch to nicer ones. Even your ceiling lights can be exchanged for nicer more unique ones. Shelves can also be put up. After all, your home is what you make of it. It's where you should be comfortable and be able to express who you are. Fill the holes up, paint over the walls, and put back anything you replaced (keep a spot where you put apt. accessories so you have them on hand to replace when you move out.)You may have needed to purchase a few things, but they are still yours when you move out. So if you are planning on staying there longer than a year it is definitely worth the investment. Everyone who knows you will love it, because it will be a reflection of you. Have Fun!!! Charlotte

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 5:59PM
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Charlotte, it sounds like you really made your place homey. I sure hope we can do that, too. I really like the idea of keeping all the original apartment stuff
in one place, so we don't forget! I think I need to lighten up my attitude a little because after reading this forum, decorating should be the least of my worries.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 11:24PM
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I also hang pictures and curtains and have never been charged for nail holes, which I fill in with spackle. I have also painted most of my apartment. My community doesn't charge to repaint if your lease is at least a year. I can't stand the off-white walls, so my bedroom is now a pale green and much more homey. I've painted a couple of accent walls in the living room. Another feature of my apartment that bothered me was staring at the back of the kitchen cupboards from the living room. I found a nice gold curtain valance with a bit of beading on it and hung it up along the back of the cabinets with museum putty. It looks much better!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 10:11AM
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