Conducting a house hunt in California is not always easy, especially when all you can realistically afford is a small studio located in a shady neighborhood. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to settle for the cheapest, most unattractive place that you can find on the local rental market.
10 Tips on How to Upgrade Your Rental without Upsetting Your Landlord
Even if your small budget is forcing you to target shoebox apartments that don’t meet any of your expectations, keep in mind that you can still make a few changes to turn an average house into a home. Here are a few easy tips that you can apply to upgrade any apartment in less than a week.
- Focus on Lighting. If you’re not pleased with the overhead lighting, rely on practical floor lighting to beautify your space. Lamps with a cool design could become the wow factor of your bedroom, so try to select pieces that light up the room and command attention.
- Upgrade the Paint Job. If you have your landlord’s permission to improve the looks and vibe of your place, consider repainting the walls. If possible, choose a neural color that will never go out of style. Aside from being timelessly elegant, subtle shades of gray, white, ivory or beige will also make your rooms seem airier and more welcoming. Assuming that you want to go for a more creative look and don’t really want to put many hours into this home improvement project, choose to add a touch of color to an accent wall to make a bold fashion statement. Intense hues like Tiffany blue, ruby red or cotton candy pink will brighten up your indoors and have a positive effect on your mood.
- Dress Up Your Walls. In case you can’t get your landlord’s approval for a new paint job, remember that there are plenty of other ways to personalize and restyle your walls. For instance, you could add a set of curtains to enhance your space. Monochrome designs tend to go better with a minimalist style, while colorful, abstract prints, floral motifs or geometric patterns are a great match for youthful home decors. If you don’t want to add curtains, perhaps you could try to beautify your walls using wallpaper. Don’t let your landlord stand in the way of your creative vision; instead of gluing wallpaper to your walls, you could always frame a few sheets to create a one-of-a-kind collage that could add depth and definition to your space.
- Rely on Elegant Storage Solutions. Most storage solutions fit in one of the following categories: some are practical and virtually invisible, while others are incredibly useful but far from being aesthetically pleasing. Luckily, you can come up with new storage options that actually reflect your style, personality and décor theme. Buy and use fabulous, customizable items like old, vintage trunks, metallic shopping baskets, and handmade boxes made of unconventional materials. These are the kind of cool factors that can always be stuffed with off-season clothes, jewelry that you no longer wear very often and all the little pieces that you can never find or organize inside your home.
- Conceal Old Appliances. Let’s face it: most old appliances that occupy a lot of space are a real eyesore and always interfere with your creative home makeover ideas. Here’s what you can do to solve this problem once and for old, without throwing the ancient appliances out the window. Improvise! Repaint an old fridge, store smaller devices inside kitchen cabinets and count on clever camouflaging tactics to restore the beauty of your interior décor. For example, you could use special covers to conceal old, rusty radiators. Cool-looking radiator covers are an extremely valuable asset, considering that, once installed, you could use these elements as a shelf for your framed art, photos or books.
- Enhance Your Space Using Mirrors. Mirrors can make your small apartment seem brighter and much more spacious; not to mention that they come in handy when you have to do your makeup in the morning or try on the new dress that you’ve just bought. To add a personal touch to your mirrors, buy massive art deco frames from flea markets or customize brand-new items using spray paint and/or stickers.
- Come Up with Stunning DIY Artworks. If you can’t afford to buy art signed by some of the most reputable contemporary artists, this doesn’t mean that you should abandon the idea of styling your walls using touches of color. These days, you can find thousands of talented artists online in a matter of a few minutes. For instance, artnet is only one of the most popular platforms that manage to gather more than 300,000 talented artists. One of these gifted users could sign the superb work of art that you may decide to frame and hang on your walls, so don’t hesitate to go online and get in touch with local artists who share your vision and agree to work within your tight budget.
- Invest in Timeless Statement Pieces. Again, redecorate with your needs and personal preferences in mind and upgrade your Californian rental by adding statement pieces that are portable and extremely versatile. Flexibility is one of the main advantages of renting in California. One year you could rent a studio in downtown Los Angeles; the next year, if everything goes according to plan, you could live in a beach house in Malibu; this is precisely why you should only invest in decorative pieces that can blend in well with any style/theme that you may like in the future and preferably go for the ones that you could move around with ease.
- Put Your Keepsakes on Full Display. We all have a happy corner where we seek refuge after a stressful day at the office. Choose to reinvent yours by adding things with a high sentimental value: a painting, framed pictures, posters or small artworks.
- Use Room Dividers to Enhance the Functionality of Your Living Space. Room dividers offer you the simplest way to delimitate your space and create sections based on your needs and daily habits. For instance, a room divider could separate your work area from the rest of the house; or could help you protect your privacy in a shared apartment.
Last but not least, keep your options open and keep telling yourself that you can’t and shouldn’t grow old inside an apartment that makes you feel claustrophobic, or simply fails to reflect your taste, preferences and lifestyle choices. In this situation, you can always count on the listings promoted by Apartment Hunterz to start looking for a new home, contact landlords and property managers, check out photos and video tours and find a Californian rental that will make your heart skip a beat.