How To Decorate Your Rental Without Losing Your Deposit

There are a lot of niceties about having a rental. You don’t have to worry about the nitty gritty details of being an independent homeowner.Home maintenance is not so much a headache you need to ever worry about, and those are some of the joys of being a renter as opposed to an owner. There are some downsides to renting. The number one being the inability to truly personalize your living space as you see fit - which can make your home a bit cookie-cutter and lacking in personality and character. There’s nothing more soul-sucking than coming home to a sterile apartment that lacks the true ambience of a home. While its true that you should adhere to your rental policies and refrain from making permanent changes to somebody else’s property, it doesn’t mean that you cannot think outside of the box just a tad by making alterations and additions that won’t offend your landlord and/or hurt your security deposit. 

 

Here are some ideas on how to put a little charm into your apartment without putting yourself at risk for losing your security deposit and getting on the bad side of your landlord/property management. 

 

Add some magic by adding a Magic Carpet

Where is the biggest surface area in your home that’soften left untouched? The floor! The floor is one of the biggest surfaces in homes and most people seem to forget about their existence when it comes to home personlization. While you can’t and(advisably) shouldn’t re tile orre-carpet your rental’s floor, you can add an instant oomph by bringing in a colourful area rug or two. Changing up the patterns, colours and textures of your floor can make a massive impact.Plus area rugs serve a dual function, they are more than just a pretty face by protecting your floors from damage (which can and will be deducted out of your security deposit). Area rugs and large carpets are fun because they are so modular. You can switch them out, experimenting with various colour schemes,textures, patterns, and styles at no real permanent cost to you. Re-tiling andre-carpeting entire floor surfaces can torch your bank account but area rugs are a safe, affordable, and fool-proof way of adding individual tastes to your living space. It can add instant charm to your home without putting your security deposit at risk. Did we mention that it’s so fun and refreshing to be able to switch them out to change out the entire look of your apartment with the roll of a carpet? Like magic, voila! 

 

Customize a gallery wall

What better and simpler way to inject your own style in to a lack-luster apartment than with a gallery of pictures and art dedicated to everything that resonates YOU. You can add a great deal of personality this way without causing too much permanent damage to your walls. It’s inevitable that there will be nail holes, but most landlords are perfectly okay with this and expect it. Just makes sure you communicate with your landlord and detail it on your lease agreement before you go ahead and start drilling holes everywhere. If you worry about putting holes in to your walls or your landlordis not okay with any sort of semi-permanent alterations, you can always fallback on the stick-on option. You can find stick-on pictures hooks to ensure damage-free picture hangings - but these would work best with light weight pieces. Creating a gallery wall is like having a blank canvas to paint on. You can customize its colour, composition, layout, and visual effects any way you like - creativity is the key to a successful personalised gallery wall. Have fun with it! Mix it up with art pieces and personal photos that you love.  

 

Switch up the lighting, shake up the ambience

There’s nothing more repulsive than ugly fluorescent light as your only source of illumination. Most rentals come with overhead light fixtures but not in the most attractive forms. If this is the case with your rental, don’t be afraid to play with the lighting fixtures by adding your own. You can switch out lighting fixtures (as long as you keep the originals to be put back in for when you move out). There are so many options nowadays to create cool lighting in your home - from standing floor lamps, hanging chandeliers, table lambs, LED remote-controlled coloured lamps, App-controlled lamps, asteroid lamps, paper lantern lamps…the list goes on and on. Depending on what types of lighting fixtures you invest in, you can create all sorts of cool ambience in your home.Be gone harsh, sad fluorescent light! 


Swap some in, swap some out

You can’t really switch out big objects in your home, but have you ever thought about switching out small decor pieces like door handles and cabinet knobs? It takes a little bit more work but it’s so worth the sweat, we promise you that. You can’t switch out entire door frames or knock down walls in your rental, but what about replacing that sad little doorknob for a cool fancy one that speaks out to your inner designer? You can’t switch out your whole toilet for a bidet, but you can swap it out for a cooler looking toilet seat! The only thing to keep in mind is to make an inventory of everything you decide to switch out, so that you can replace them to their original state upon move out. If you are going to be committed to this rental for a year or two at the minimum, it’s actually worth it to put in a little extra effort for more personalised touches. A rental doesn’t have to look like a rental if you know how to make the tweaks and adjustments. 

 

Try temporary wall Decals

Wall Decals are a relatively newer product on the market. It solves the problem of making permanent interior design changes to a home. Decorating with wall decals is the easiest, fastest, coolest and most affordable way to transform a boring wall in minutes. All you have to do is peel and stick them on your walls according to your desire. There are more and more options for wall decals out on the market today, but its important to be careful which you choose to invest in. As with any kind of product, there are good versions and bad versions of the same product. Its quality will range from brand to brand. Some companies brand cheap conventional stickers as wall-decals, which will not only look cheap but leave permanent residue on your walls. There are some phenomenal ones that look like real artistry and will brighten up an otherwise soul-less wall in seconds. Wall Decals are great because they come in all different shapes, sizes, and designs fit for your every tastes. You can even create your own design with some companies making it a great tool for transforming any area of your home in to any theme you may dream of. There are wall decals to fit every mood, style and budget. The best thing about them is that they are not permanent, which means your security deposit is safe. 

 

Getartistic with your walls 

Generally speaking, no landlords will want you to do an overhaul on their walls. This usually means no painting and no wallpaper. However, there are exceptions. Even though re-painting your walls a whole different colour will cost you your security deposit, there’s nothing a little pre-negotiation cannot settle. The no-paint rule is not as non-negotiable as you may think. The reason why landlords leave the walls of their property so bland is for the purpose of catering to a broader audience.Although you may like the walls a cerulean-blue, 85% of the other prospective tenants will probably turn away in dislike. Landlords refuse walls to be painted certain colours because it can cost them future tenants, so the general rule of thumb is to keep the walls a bland canvas colour that is neutral for all tastes. If you really cannot stand the white walls in your apartment, speak to your landlord about painting it a colour that he/she can accept. You probably can’t go so far as to paint it blood-orange,but a pastel orange on the lighter side might just work as the perfect compromise. You never know until you ask. Show your landlord different colour options to choose from and agree to repaint the space back to its original colour if need be. 

 

In our experience, landlords can be as flexible as you are charming and cooperative. There’s nothing that’s non-negotiable. If you have the eye to make alternations to the apartment that can actually up its market value forfuture tenants, then why should your landlord say no to you? 

 

You can easily personalize your apartment without risking your security deposit by following our tips above. 

Engel & Völkers

Hong Kong, Real Estate Agency
Shop A, Ground Floor, 95 Caine Road, Mid Levels
- Hong Kong
Company License: C-035745
Phone
+852 2561 3616

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