If you’re a renter, decorating the walls can come with a number of restrictions. Landlords don’t like visible holes and damaged walls. Because of this, some people don’t even bother sprucing up their plain, bland walls, since they know they’re going to move out eventually. But for some, not being able to stylize their residence is downright depressing. Good thing there is still hope for creative renters who want to transform their walls without upsetting their landlord. Since you’re probably one of them, here are some renter-friendly items and materials that can help you decorate your apartment wall:
1. Adhesive hooks and strips
Adhesive-back strips and hooks are helpful for renters who would like to hang or mount decorative items on their walls. These items come in a variety of sizes and weight specifications, and it can stick to the walls without leaving any residue when you decide to remove it. Adhesive strips are perfect for hanging flat-back items, while hooks can hang frames, canvases or even non-frame-like items.
2. Removable wallpaper
While regular wall paper is permanent (and you have to deal with peeling of bits of thin, dried paper when it has to go), removable wallpaper saves renter’s wall decorating woes. This decorative item is easy to hang (as long as you measured it carefully before starting and you have a helper with you) and also easy to remove. You can pick from a wide range of prints and patterns. Start from the head of your bed or at the back of the TV and make an accent wall out of it.
3. Washi tape
When washi tape was released, it created a whole new trend in the DIY and crafts world. If you’re not familiar with it, washi tape is a Japanese version of masking tape. It’s made of rice paper; it sticks to just about any surface, and it removes easily without leaving sticky residues or peeling off paint in the walls. In a decorative point of view, it’s an ideal tool – it comes in an endless range of colors, patterns and sizes; you can easily find one you’d love. A lot of people use washi tape as a youthful, modern and fuss-free alternative to frames. If you want to “hang” a picture on the wall – nah, just tape it with washi tape and the fancy tape would serve as its frame. Besides that, you can use it to write doodles of your favorite phrases, create geometric designs on your wall, draw a pretty faux “headboard” when you don’t have one, and layer colors on the doors, windows and baseboards. Pick up two to three rolls in your favorite color and pattern and start having fun with it. Washi tape just rocks.
4. Hook and loop tape
Hook and loop tape, which is commonly known as Velcro, would be a perfect solution if you want to hang an item that you can easily remove on a regular basis, without using a hook or a nail. This material can attach frames, window treatments and fabric to walls. If you want to add temporary table skirts or backings to furniture, it can also do that, too. Just make sure you choose the hook and loop tape that has strong adhesive backing on both sides and can be fully removed from the walls flawlessly.
5. Floating shelves
If you’re allowed to drill a few holes in the wall (as long as you fill it out before you move out), you can install floating shelves to make your own gallery wall. Making the usual gallery wall requires careful planning and mindful drilling. But if you would install two to three layers of floating shelves, you can easily change your art selections anytime you want without drilling up new holes. It’s your choice if you want to pick frames with back stands or just lean them on the wall. If you choose the latter, pick floating shelves that has a small outer lip to prevent slippage.
Hanging a tapestry is one of the easiest ways to perk up the walls. Don’t worry, tapestries are not just for bohemian homes anymore – they are available in countless designs that can suit any interior style. If your interior is contemporary-styled, choose geometric prints or abstract patterns. If yours is a modern home, pick minimalistic designs, printed images or quotes. Simply pin the edges on the wall using a push pin. You may need to hammer it slightly. It would leave tiny holes, but they’re too small to worry about.
If tapestries doesn’t suit your taste, curtains might do the trick. You can hang a simple, solid drapery to easily transform the mood of the room. You can hang it like a tapestry, but you can use tension rods so you won’t do anything to the walls.
For those who think removable wallpaper is still too much work and for those who find joy in having their walls flatly designed, sticking on removable decals would be the best choice. Decals are widely available and there is surely something for everyone. If you like to decorate your walls with polka dots, stars, hearts, stripes, leaves, flowers, animals, or favorite words or quotes – you can do it with decals. Just pick the removable variant (it comes in sticker or wall-cling materials) and it should be easy to remove or replace anytime.
9. Neon sign
If you like playing it up with lights, get a neon sign for your under-decorated wall. It will surely be eye-catching, and you don’t need to add anything more. Get a vintage one of your favorite brand or an imitation of a sign of your favorite bar or restaurant. Or get a new one that shows a word, a phrase, an image or your name, and wow your guests as they come in.
Who doesn’t need a mirror, right? Since you will surely add a mirror to your apartment, why not go for a huge, framed floor mirror and lean it on the wall. If your walls are bland, a mirror would effortlessly take the attention off it. It’s a bonus if you would pick a pretty unique frame. It’s even more helpful for a small apartment, since mirrors can create a visual illusion that the space is bigger than it actually is.
11. Padded panels
When your place echoes when you talk, or if you have an incredibly loud neighbor, you have to dampen the noise. Soundproofing tools can be pricey, but you can make one your own, which can also serve as fun decorations for your wall. Make your own fabric-covered, padded panels and hang them on the wall using Velcro. Simply get some foam-core board, your fabric of choice and some batting. Place the batting on top of the board, cover it with the fabric, and secure the fabric by sticking duct tape on the back. Pick fabrics that you would love to feature in your wall, and make sure it goes with your room décor.
12. Plug-in sconce
Wall sconces are pretty ambient lighting that doubles up as wall decorations. But most (if not all) apartments only offer ceiling fixtures (or a spot to install your own ceiling fixture), there are no electrical wirings available to adapt some wall sconces. Luckily, there are plug-in sconces that can shine an extra light in your bedroom or living room, while making a statement (provided that it’s near an outlet). You may have to screw them into the wall, so you must patch the holes on moving-out day, but the little effort is nothing compared to the style and functionality it provides. Just like typical, wired-in sconces, plug-in sconces are available in many different styles that can suit your interior.