Here are a couple of cheap and easy ways to bring the funky into a rented flat (a.k.a apartment. Flat is what we call it in New Zealand). These simple tips will allow you to create a bright, funky and comfortable living space while also being able to get your bond back. Ideal for Uni students or professionals.
- Boring old curtains can be changed to some plain print curtains from IKEA to brighten up the room.
- Get a large rug to place over any ugly tiles or carpet and to further personalise the space.
- Cover bare bookshelves with quirky objects and vintage books to make the space your own.
- Buy a set of bright matching place mats, a contrasting tea pot and set of cups.
- Buy a few metres of bright material and turn this into a table cloth to cover a boring looking table or eating area in the kitchen.
- A centrepiece always looks good on the table, so use bright coloured fruit or freshly cut flowers to brighten it up.
- Invest in decent crockery and a matching dinner set. This is always money well spent.
- Herbs growing near the window sill lend an atmosphere of homespun comfort to a kitchen. They also double for use in recipes. Just don’t forget to water them.
- As with the lounge, take down ugly soft furnishings and replace them with spruced up alternatives.
- Use a bright and funky material over the top of an ugly headboard. Pin this at the back with easily removable tacks. Nobody will notice if you put pin tacks into the back of the headboard.
- Get a large mirror to place in the room to create the illusion of more space.
- If you live on the ground floor where others can see in, then invest in some plants in high quality terracotta pots to sit on your balcony. Just ensure that you match them to the amount of sunlight hours that the spot receives and remember to regularly water them.
- Alternately, if you don’t have a balcony, lace curtains are good for adding privacy and personality to a place while also letting in sunlight.
Sectioning Off Living Spaces
For tiny apartments or studios you can section off living spaces to create the illusion of separate living areas. You can do this with furniture very effectively. An IKEA bookcase can be placed in a part of the room and separate out your bed from the rest of the living area. For more information on this technique, see here.
Let me know if you implement any of these tips. I have used these in the past in various places and found they really do work. I am now living in a place where thankfully I don’t need to hide stains on carpet or furniture, but it’s always handy to know.