One of the biggest challenges of being a renter can be making an apartment feel like home, designing it the way you want, all while getting your deposit back should you decide to move out. After all, this isn't college, posters of bands and some old movies just won't cut it anymore.
Wall art, this is the most obvious one, I'm talking about the kind of art that has a frame. Scotch tape can peel paint off drywall ($$ off your deposit) and it isn't impressing anyone. A box of nails, wire and picture hooks can be purchased for under $10 at your local hardware store and it's super easy to wire, hang and mount a piece (takes about 10 minutes). If you really like a poster from your 'not quite yet an adult' days, then you can buy a kit to frame posters and give them a touch of class. Nails in walls leave pin-holes in walls that are easily filled when you move out, also it never hurts to ask your landlord what their stance on hanging art is, most are pretty good and don't really care about a few tiny holes in drywall. Don't go changing stuff without checking first, it's better to find out right away then beg with them when moving out not to ding you to patch drywall. If your landlord tells you no, don't worry, you can still hang things from your walls. Alternatives like 3M hooks or an adhesive type material that's safe on paint is your best bet.
From wall art we move on to fixtures. I'm talking cupboard handles, kitchen taps, faucets, showerheads, and lighting fixtures. These things are all easily interchangeable from the stock apartment ones to ones that match what you want. All you need in some cases is a simple screwdriver and for showerheads, I suggest some water tape (dirt cheap at a hardware store). The best part of all these things is how easy it is to change them back when you go to move out, just make SURE to keep all of the handles, knobs or anything else you replace on hand to put back when you move out otherwise you'll have to pay for them! Most cupboard knobs, sink handles, and lighting fixtures are as simple to take off as loosening a screw and replacing with your own. These subtle changes can add some finer detail to your home and even garner some compliments from guests if you have a discerning friend with a knack for finer things.
The important part when making changes to your apartment is always to ask yourself two questions when doing anything. Is it easy to take down or replace and will it damage where I put it? If the answer is yes to either of those things I suggest steering clear, after all, the goal here is to get your deposit back. Some apartment sites might tell you things like temporary wallpaper, adhesive cupboard liners and wall decals are fine but I would say no, if it has the potential to damage your suite I say avoid it (why risk it, right?).
A big one that can impact both the look, feel and lighting of your apartment is the window coverings. The window coverings that come with your apartment aren't meant for style, they're meant for function but don't be afraid to replace them with something new and more your speed. Just like everything else, get the ok from your landlord and keep the old blinds to replace them once and if you move out. Doesn't this look better anyway?
Some other changes you can that don't matter at all to the damage deposit of your apartment include, but aren't limited to, area rugs, changing out the lightbulbs to incandescent or high-efficiency if your prefer and shower curtains. Go wild and have fun with it, but just not too wild. One of the best parts about changes you make to your rental apartment, is that if you move, all your customizable work can be easily taken down and brought with you to your next home. The goal here is to get the maximum amount of your deposit back and put it into your savings account, definitely not to throw a pizza housewarming party with friends at your new apartment. Nope, definitely not that.
Mainstreet Equity Corp. is a publicly traded (TSX: MEQ) residential real estate company in Canada. Mainstreet currently owns and operates properties in Surrey, BC; New Westminster, BC; Abbotsford, BC; Calgary, AB; Cochrane, AB; Lethbridge, AB; Edmonton, AB; Fort Saskatchewan, AB; and Saskatoon, SK.
Mainstreet provides affordable, renovated apartment suites to Canadians, and is committed to creating real value without diluting shareholder interests.