March 17, 2013

Make your rental look like you own it

By MELISSA RAYWORTH The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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In his book “The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces,” Kyle Schuneman recommends boldly patterned drapes, above, and carpeting and upholstery, below.

Photos by The Associated Press

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Hoffs agrees: "Fabric can be a great, inexpensive way to add color, pattern and texture to a room. It can be framed or stapled to a large art canvas to be hung on the walls," to add a burst of color. You can also attach fabric temporarily to a wall using spray starch.

Lush plants are another option: "Bring in plants to add life, color and to warm up your home," Hoffs says. Even if you're not a gardening expert, "there are many low-maintenance ones for those who do not have a green thumb." When it's time to move, they're easy to take with you.

THE FLOOR IS YOUR FIFTH WALL: "Your floors are a blank slate for design," Schuneman says. "Treat it as your fifth wall and find a beautiful rug to ground the whole space."

Schuneman is a fan of FLOR carpet tiles, which can be arranged to make what appears to be a rug of any size. "I love using FLOR tiles for rentals because they can be put together in different configurations when you move and can be personalized, so only you have that certain pattern that represents your style," he says.

MAKE TEMPORARY SWAPS: Although you can't change the cabinets in your rented kitchen or bath, Hoffs points out that you can swap out the hardware on doors and drawers at a very small cost.

"You can always change these back to the original ones when you start to move," she says.

The same goes for light fixtures. A change of lighting can add "instant drama" to your home, Hoffs says, so consider swapping out the current fixtures with ones that reflect your taste. Just be sure to store the landlord's fixtures carefully and reinstall them properly before moving out.

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Additional Photos

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Stencils create the look of patterned wallpaper for a burst of color, as seen in “The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces,” by Kyle Schuneman.

  


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