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Simple solutions can upgrade a bland apartment to a happy home

By: Emily Jones | C&G Newspapers | Published November 20, 2019

METRO DETROIT — Moving into a new apartment is fun, but it can pose some challenges that people might not consider when moving into a home that they own.

Primarily, tenants have to consider how to decorate in a way that does the least amount of damage to the apartment. No one wants to lose their security deposit.

Corie Conroy, the owner of First Impressions Interior and Design, has some tips and tricks that she’s picked up during her career as an interior designer and home staging expert. She said that when it comes to painting, “depending on what your landlord allows you to do … a fresh coat of paint on the walls, maybe an accent wall” can really liven up a place.

She said that accent walls using removable wallpapers are a good way to add a statement print to the space without doing any major damage in the long run.

Conroy also shared some ideas that don’t have anything to do with changing the walls or floors of the apartment. In essence, all of these tips are about adding or replacing things around the home.

She suggested buying a new couch cover if tenants can’t afford a new couch, as a cover is cost-effective and “it doesn’t have to last you 10 years.”

Also, don’t forget silk pads to stick underneath the couch and any table legs so that the apartment’s floor remains unscratched.

For the bedroom, “adding drapery can make a room look cozy and complete. Some inexpensive curtain rods and things like that really change the space as well. It’s easy, it’s ready-made and could make a bedroom look much more cozy than just having regular shades in your room.”

Drapes can be bought for cheap at places like Target, Meijer or Menards. Cozy doesn’t have to be expensive.

Bedding is another way to personalize a bedroom.

“Updating your bedding is a big change that can really improve the look of the place,” Conroy said. “If it’s an older bed, you can create a headboard by sticking things on the wall. It’ll make it look like an updated room.”

Putting some greenery in an apartment will make it feel more inviting.

“Plants bring the outside in. It’s always a good idea. It makes it feel lush and fresh. The greenery upgrades the whole house, whether it’s real or fake,” Conroy said.

Plants are also inexpensive, with places like Lowe’s and Home Depot selling indoor plants for cheap.

For any type of room, here’s a tip that tenants might not think of: If they are a little bit handy, they could change out an old light fixture for a new one and then switch it back before moving out.

Conroy suggests Pier 1 Imports and Wayfair when shopping for cheap décor, although she warns that “a lot of those online retailers … the quality might not be as great ... but might be worth your while … until you want to move into something bigger and make an investment.”

Of course, wall art always spices up a plain wall, but tenants must make sure to find out the policies regarding nails in the wall. If tenants are prohibited from doing that, then command strips or washi tape can be used to hang up a cool piece of art.