Personalizing a rental space can be inexpensive, even easy

by Jacqueline Mitchell

Personalizing a rental space without putting holes in the walls or your pocketbook  takes some creativity. However, there are temporary and inexpensive ways to give a rental some flair.

Gillian Andrew, interior designer at Garth Andrew Company in Bath, suggested adding personalized artwork or photos to unexpected items.

“Today, there are several websites that provide personalized artwork, a photo on canvas to hang on a wall or a personalized throw pillow or blanket to throw on a sofa or chair,” she said.

Rory Stringer, interior designer at Pine Tree Barn in Wooster, said to look for art printed on lightweight canvas material, which can be hung with removable Command strips rather than nails.

Many landlords do not want tenants to paint walls, so Andrews advised asking before breaking out the paintbrush.

“Ask if it’s ok to paint one feature wall and choose a color that suits your personality,” she said. “Don’t forget, you can always paint it back to the original color before moving out.”

Removable decals can add character to walls as well. They come in different shapes and designs, Stringer said, and are especially suitable for children’s rooms.

“When kids outgrow whatever they’re into right now, [it] can be taken down or switched out really easily,” she said.

A pop of color instantly brightens a room. Stringer advised picking a color theme to tie a room together. “Bringing color into the space personalizes it more than anything else,” she said.

Andrew and Stringer both said that right now, gray is the color of the moment, appearing in paint, bedding, accents and throw pillows.

“If you are someone who enjoys bold color, a fun, colorful area rug is a great way to spruce up any room,” she said. “However, if you like a calm, soothing look, a simple piece of sheer fabric can dress up any window.”

Andrew often encourages clients to collect unique items while traveling. “It is amazing how inexpensive local artwork can be in these places,” she said.

Door decorations such as a personalized wreath are another way to insert personality.

“Wreaths are easy to make and can be very personal to your hobbies, your favorite sport, your favorite flower, your favorite season or holiday,” Andrew said.

For those looking to follow the latest trends, Andrew said the rustic look is always popular. This includes all-natural items such as live-edge tables, tree stump tables, branches lit with white lights and hand-carved wooden sculptures. Stringer said the industrial look also remains trendy, especially for young adults moving into first apartments. “Casters, metals and reclaimed wood and accessories, that’s what’s popular now,” she said.