Personalizing a space is one of the most enjoyable aspects of renting an apartment, but this fun activity should be approached by the frugal renter with care. To avoid pitfalls and find treasures, here are a few helpful tips to steer you in the right direction.
Decorating an apartment in New Orleans should be a pretty simple task. New Orleans is rife with antique shops packed with objets d’art for the home. Choose a style, theme, or color scheme for the room you’re decorating before selecting accent items. This way you’re sure to achieve an eclectic mix of pieces that will compliment, or even tie together, a room. Lamps, books, and statues are good pieces to start with if you’re not sure where to begin. Additionally, many antique shops also sell vintage photographs and artwork which can add a wholly unique element to a room.
There are numerous internet sites where a person can browse used furniture items for purchase, but be wary on what you buy. Items like coffee tables, lamps, and patio furniture are usually fine to buy second-hand, but think twice before buying upholstered furniture. New Orleans is hot, humid, and very inviting to all sorts of tiny creatures, so stay clear of items like couches, armchairs, and mattresses, lest you inadvertently bring home more than you bargained for.
As a renter, you must consult your landlord or rental agent before you think about altering your abode in any permanent way. Painting, and renovation in general, gets expensive fast and you don’t want to waste money painting a space you’re only going to live in for a short while, especially when you’ll likely have to paint the walls their original color again before you move. Also, paint splatters are very difficult to remove from carpet or hardwood flooring and any small but permanent spill could – and will likely – cost you some or all of your deposit.
Since renters are discouraged from painting rooms, an apartment dweller may choose to hang artwork or tapestries from walls for a splash of color in a bland room. To hang an unframed poster or art print, utilize modern tools such as Sticky Tack to affix the piece to the wall. Because of New Orleans’ famous humidity, sometimes even the stickiest tack won’t do – to ensure a good seal, make sure the wall is dust-free and dry. Avoid the blue variety of Sticky Tack, though, as often the compound will leave discolorations on the wall, which means less deposit money back for the renter.
Framed photos or artwork are weightier and will require a sturdy nail to hang on. As a renter, it is imperative not to damage sheetrock when hammering in nails as, again, this will likely result in monetary penalties at move-out time. To avoid excessive damage, first check for existing holes and try to utilize those. If none can be found, use the smallest gauge of nail required to support the object.
A home is what you make of it. Adding your own special flare to your new apartment can be as simple and inexpensive, but as a renter, be sure to stay within the guidelines of your lease, so you can put those deposit dollars back into your pocket when you move on.