Affordable apartments that are also decent-looking can be hard to come by, especially if you’re looking in a big city. Oftentimes, you have to pay extra for an apartment that looks and is actually well-maintained, but unfortunately, not all of us can spend a small fortune every month on rent.
So, what if the only rental you can afford looks a little worse for wear? Fortunately, you don’t have to spend months staring at the ugly, cracked walls or the seemingly century-old carpet on your walls. With these tips, you can conceal the ugly of your apartment and make it homelier:
1. Install faux walls
Painting the walls or installing wallpaper is often a violation of the lease agreement. If it’s the same case for you, you can still hide your ugly walls without losing your security deposit, and one of the best ways to do that is to install faux walls.
Faux walls come in a wide variety of designs. For an industrial look, you can opt for fake brick walls. But if you want a homey, ranch-type vibe, high-quality shiplap wall panels are the way to go. If the wall has some minor visual defects but is otherwise okay, you can install wall decals to cover up the flaws.
Another good thing about faux walls is that they are peel-and-stick, meaning you just have to peel the adhesive paper back, stick the panels to your walls, and press tightly for a few seconds for the material to adhere to the walls. When it’s time to vacate your apartment, you can simply peel off the panels without even having to worry about any residue.
2. Install temporary floors
Just like walls, there is not much you can do about your apartment’s floors because you definitely can’t tear them out or place permanent carpet over them. You can, however, install temporary flooring to conceal your real floors and give your apartment a facelift.
There are many different types of temporary floors. Here are some of the best examples:
Temporary vinyl flooring.
Vinyl flooring is cheap, easy to install, and comes in a wide variety of designs, colors, and sizes.
Although a bit expensive, carpet tiles can cover your ugly floor and give your apartment a more luxurious vibe.
Waterproof vinyl planks.
Unlike the first two options, vinyl planks don’t require adhesive. Simply place the planks together until they fit snugly from end to end.
Similar to fake walls, temporary floors are easy to install, easy to remove, and leave little to no residue on the floor after removal.
3. Replace hardware and fixtures
Ugly doorknobs, light switches, handles, drawer pulls, and light fixtures can really dampen an apartment’s aesthetic quality, even though they don’t seem to make that big of an impact. Consider replacing these fixtures to improve the look of your apartment. You can just uninstall them, store them in a box, replace them with fixtures of your choice, and then put the original ones back when it’s time to vacate the apartment.
4. Upgrade kitchen appliances
In worn-down apartments, kitchen appliances often show their age by looking drab, lifeless, and riddled with surface damage. To conceal these imperfections, cover your appliances with steel contact paper that can make them look brand new again. Aside from being inexpensive, steel contact paper is generally easy to install, making them a worthwhile investment for the eyesores in your apartment.
5. Hang nice curtains
If the building forbids the removal of those ugly blinds on your window, your best option to conceal them is by hanging nice drapes or curtains. While this strategy may not hide your blinds entirely, it can make your apartment look nicer when the curtains are closed. If you want, you can also draw up the blinds permanently and hang a sheer curtain under your drapes for extra appeal and functionality.
6. Decorate with wall art
Aside from visible signs of damage on your wall (cracks, stains, nail holes, tape residue, etc.), there may also be a few eyesores that you want to hide, such as the fuse box panel, visible pipes, and hooks that you don’t plan to use. Cover these up with some wall decorations like paintings, photos, tapestries, or posters.
Paying affordable rent often comes with the downside of living with a subpar apartment. However, you don’t have to settle for ugly walls, floors, and hardware for the rest of your stay. With these tips, you can transform your apartment from hideous to high-class, all without violating the terms of your lease that forbids you to make any permanent changes.