“No painting, no drilling, no wrecking” – these are three of the important things your landlord told you before giving the keys of the apartment space. Renting is considered by people who travel a lot from one place to another, as well as those who are not yet ready to buy a home of their own. Renting, however, has some disadvantages. One of them is you cannot unleash your utmost creativity and personality in decorating your space due to some restrictions. Or can you?

Even if you are forbidden to remodel your space by painting and drilling the boring walls or wrecking that nasty divider, you can still bring your soul into your personal, temporary space. Just take a look at these few tricks.


1. Can’t paint them? Stick on them

Since you cannot paint your walls, you may use wallpapers with beautiful patterns and textures instead. Stick some fabric or patterned wallpapers to that plain, lifeless wall. For a more luxurious look, you may use removable and reusable wooden planks, then match them with neutral furniture. You can also stick the interesting patterns in your cabinet doors, tables, and drawers if your landlord would still prohibit sticking them on the walls. If you’re a fan of Art Nouveau, you may use vinyl decals in creating swirls and beautiful nature-inspired designs. These are easy to remove and won’t leave any damage to your walls. Another trick in designing your walls is by using ‘washi’ tapes, a fun trend originated in Japan, that have a variety of colors and patterns.


2. Have a bold and lively furniture

For once, ignore the rule that “neutral colors are good on everything.” Since you cannot put color on your walls, ceilings, and floors, make your furniture and accents look vibrant. Let them make a statement by using bold colors for your couch, chairs, and tables. Aside from using bright colors, you can complement the monotonous walls and floors by making use of textures and patterns. Displaying unconventional furniture is also recommended to bring vibrancy into your space. Your guests will surely love sitting on stools that look like a raw tree trunk or place their stuff on oddly-shaped drawer tables. These tricks can somehow make you stand out from other tenants in your apartment.


3. Go crazy over accents and accessories

If you can’t say “no” to a neutral furniture, you may create a louder space through are eye-popping accessories and accents. Think about placing a patterned or brightly colored throw pillows on your white leather couch, colorful picture frames on your wooden side table, or vases of different shapes, sizes, and texture on your shelves. Adding fabric with interesting colors, shapes, patterns, and textures like curtains, carpets, and rugs also help bring vibrancy to a plain, boring space.


4. Bring in something alive, fresh, and green

Whether you’re a gardening expert or simply a nature enthusiast, you will surely love the idea of bringing in nature into your space. Displaying plants are one of the ways to create a lively, pleasant, and fresh ambiance. Plants are not only attractive decors but also useful elements in filtering the air. Some of the plants that help to purify the air are Aloe Vera, Bamboo Palm, and Peace Lily.


5. DIY drill-free shelves for display and storage

No drilling, says your landlord. But this should not stop you from having shelves for storing your favorite porcelain figurines, amazing photographs from years of traveling, and favorite books. Instead of having a floating shelf, gather your old drawer boxes, wooden wine boxes, and other durable boxes that could be saved from being thrown away. Arrange them together, creating a cohesive, open storage box shelf. You may paint or put patterned wallpapers to make them pop. A repurposed ladder can also be an interesting addition to your interior. They are very versatile, so you may use them as magazine racks, bookshelf, or a towel holder.


6. Eclectic approach using hanging solutions

Other alternatives for floating shelves are hanging solutions. Rather than being trapped in the dark storage room, your hangers, clothespins, and even your old metal caging can have another shot at life. Aside from being a space saver, these hanging solutions can be a creative way to display your beloved photographs and artworks. Just imagine clipping your polaroid images in wires, having a vintage display of paintings using wooden hangers, or creating a nail-free gallery by hooking some frames on metal caging.

7. Leave your space a hint about your interest

The best way to unleash your personality is by simply showcasing a little portion of yourself in your space. If you love arts and crafts, you can display your very own masterpieces like painting, cross stitches, or sculptures. If you are a musician, let your collection of guitars and other musical instruments speak in your living room. If you collect random stuff like toys, shells, figurines, and vintage items, display them as well. These pieces, whether they are big or small create a statement, an approach that is more personal and more inviting. Highlight these collections by placing them on areas that can be easily noticed.

AUTHOR BIO: Carmina Natividad likes the idea of finding a home that matches one’s personality. Her keen interest in real estate and interior design helps her in writing for Thomas Property, a boutique real estate agency based in Australia that aims to improve the consumers’ experiences in leasing, selling, and buying properties. Learn more at http://www.thomasproperty.com.au/