If you might remember from last year, I chronicled all of the updates in my old studio apartment after a year of living there. I can’t believe that it’s already been just a few weeks shy of one year in my (new) studio apartment, but it’s always fun to look back and see how it’s progressed and changed! I’ll be doing year one updates the rest of this week and most of next week, so stay tuned for a new area of the apartment each day. Starting off in the entryway!
I almost forgot how many changes I made to this little spot before looking back at old photos. This is just a few days after I moved in: Then I added the lovely gold triangle wall decals, art and over the door storage: Then I used the Ikea Raskog cart for a temporary entry table/mail/storage drop. I later updated the little cart with a few DIYs and decorative touches:
I found this amazing vintage table that fit perfectly:And painted it black and added a couple more vintage accessories and decor:And here’s the final product after one year! I love walking into this space every day, greeted by the decals, art, accessories and most importantly, that gorgeous little table.
I’ve lived in various rental apartments for three and a half years now, so I wanted to share a couple of my favorite tricks to improve your rental and make it feel more like a “home”.
1. Spruce up the walls: Even if you’re not allowed to paint (be sure to ask, many times landlords or management will say yes) you can still add a personal touch to boring walls. Add removable wall decals, removable wallpaper, art, shelving, etc.
2. Utilize smart storage: Furnish your apartment with dual function items. A coffee table with drawers for extra storage, risers in your kitchen cabinets for added shelf space, wall-mounted shelving that won’t take up floor space, etc. You can even use storage as decor for your place- scarves or hats hung on the wall in fun groupings, jewelry displayed in vintage bowls, etc.
3. Update your hardware: One of the quickest and easiest ways to add a punch of personality and upgraded look to your bathroom or kitchen: new hardware. And you can easily take it with you when you leave and put the old hardware back on. Drawer and cabinet pulls and even switch plate covers on lights and outlets are affordable changes to make and you’ll still get your deposit back! You might also be able to temporarily upgrade lighting fixtures in your apartment if your landlord or management allows… never hurts to ask and can make a huge difference.
4. Improve your floors: There are a couple solutions to better flooring if you’re up for the task. The miracle grout pen will work wonders on tile flooring and give your space a cleaner, newer feel. If you’re stuck with carpeting, look out for Groupon deals for discounted carpet cleaning services. And if the carpet is beyond repair, invest large area rugs to cover up old stains and wear. Same goes for wood floors- a deep clean and polish/shine will refresh the wood and if there are problem areas, try a large rug to cover them up.
5.Personalize: Adding touches of color, pattern and texture can make a huge impact on a rental. Capitalize on those three elements with interesting textiles: throw pillows, window curtains, bedding, shower curtains, and rugs can add visual interest to a rental and are all a great way to showcase your personal style. Lastly, adding art and accessories around your space will draw your eye away from problem areas and highlight your beautiful decor instead.
Next up in the 2014 Highlights series… my favorite renter upgrades from the past year. I made quite a few changes to my old studio apartment as well as my new one in 2014, but I chose my top three upgrades (that are all renter-friendly). If you missed yesterday’s post, check it out here: 2014 Highlights: Favorite DIY Projects
In my last apartment, I added gold polka dots to my entryway. I wanted to do something similar in my new apartment, but decided to go with triangles this time. I found this great shop on Etsy, Happy Valley Goods, and loved their connected triangle wall decals. I ordered them in gold (no surprise) and just finished adding them onto the walls a couple days ago. Spoiler alert: I love the result. Dare I say, even more so than the polka dots in my last place!
As with the dots, the triangles were easy to put on and the measuring took more time than actually placing the triangles on the walls.
Just a few things needed to complete the look!
I started at the top and measured the spacing between each decal and the height on the wall and made marks with the pencil (that could be easily erased later).
After the top row was done, I decided to just estimate the rest of the triangles going down the walls. Each wall was a different size and each had a couple pieces of art so there wasn’t an exact number of inches or particular way I could calculate each section.
I changed my mind a couple of times on this wall below but the great thing about the decals is that they just peel right off and I could adjust the placement easily when I realized they were too close together. This is the result of three tries:
I got a handle on the spacing and applied the same technique to the remaining walls and was finished in no time!
Final results below!
There were a few triangles leftover and I had a random idea to put them on the little jut-out beam between my dining area and kitchen!
Check out the Happy Valley Goods shop here and purchase the connected triangle decals here.
*I received these decals at a discounted rate but all images and opinions are my own.
I’ve just started the packing process for my upcoming move but I already have ideas floating around in my head for my new apartment. No doubt, it’s upgraded and I don’t have to make as many changes to this new apartment as I have with my current one, but I do want to put my own personal stamp on a few elements.
I replaced all of the kitchen hardwarein my current apartment and the kitchen in my new apartment has new cabinets, appliances, backsplash, countertops, etc. I love my current brass knobs so much, but I know they won’t fit with the size of the knobs and cabinets in my new kitchen. So… I think I’ll try to repurpose and/or sell my current brass knobs and get new brass pulls to fit in the new kitchen. My two current favorites are below.
For the drawers:
For the cabinets:
Another one of my favorite projects in my current apartment was my gold polka dot entryway. I can’t use the same decals again after I peel them off, but I loved the look every time I walked in and out of the apartment so I want to do something similar in my new place. I found this on pinterest and will probably do something similar.
I know there will be many more projects, ideas, and DIYs in the new place so stay tuned!
Posted my plans for the gold polka dot entryway on the blog a few weeks ago and finished the project this weekend.
Thankfully my wonderful mom was in town last week so she helped measure and place all 71 dots! The preparation and measuring took longer than expected but she was a champ! The actual process of adhering everything to the wall was quite easy.
First: Cut out all dots individually and place masking tape on the “front.”
Second: Start from the ceiling and measure down, creating pattern or grid as you go. We went with the “dice” 5 pattern so the walls wouldn’t be too overwhelming.
Third: After ALL dots are taped in place, it’s time to start peeling! Pull half of tape off while keeping the other half in place so you don’t lose your perfectly measured spot. Peel entire back off and stick to wall. Gold dot is now sticking on the wall, but needs to fully adhere. Place tape back on wall and keep front on. Use credit card, fingers, etc to rub top layer so dot is completely stuck to wall. Carefully peel back the front layer at 45 degree angle and slowly peel off.
And here’s my first one!
Looks perfectly painted on the wall; you would never know it was an adhesive. Repeat the process for every dot. Ideally, starting at the top and working your way down is easiest.
Finished! End result= amazing. Even better than I imagined.
Love the dots peeking out around my art as well.
Project was right at $30! Only bought two items: the dotsand one roll of masking tape. So glad I decided to go out on a limb and do this project. Even more thankful that my mom was in town when the dots arrived in the mail! It’s definitely a “two man” project.