8 Ways To Decorate Your Apartment When You Can’t Paint It

Decorating your apartment may seem like a daunting task if your landlord has specified you’re not allowed to paint, but don’t worry—those bland taupe walls aren’t there to stifle your creativity. There are easy ways to bring color and uniqueness to the space and decorate your apartment without rolling bright green paint on the walls.

1. Twinkle lights are your friends.

Hanging holiday lights is a really easy way to give a wall personality without using a paintbrush. You can either hang the lights at varying angles with tiny pins in the walls, or you can use them to highlight a focal piece of art.

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2. Collect unique wall art.

Nothing takes the boring out of a bland wall than interesting, eye-catching artwork. You can frame pretty much anything you like that’s flat: Magazine pages, printed napkins, band fliers, whatever. Try hanging it in a gallery style.

The Everygirl NYC Fizz 56 Apartment Shoot by Michelle Lange Photographer

3. Branch out from neutral-toned furniture.

Your couch doesn’t have to be brown, tan or khaki to “match” your apartment. Investing in a statement piece like a brightly colored couch may be just what your apartment needs to make up for the lack of colors on the walls.

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4. Use color in unexpected places.

Smaller items like end tables, lamps, lampshades or photo frames can pack a big punch if you paint them a bold color. After all—your landlord only outlawed painting walls, right?

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5. Put down some rugs.

The carpet or hardwood in your apartment is much easily colorized than the walls. Just throw down several big rugs, solid or patterned, in your different living spaces.

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6. Hang fabric.

Rumor has it (on Pinterest) that you can attach fabric to a wall with starch, and that it won’t harm the paint. Give it a shot! And if you don’t want to do that, you can always hang it up with pins or tacks.

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7. Hang your magazines on the walls.

Hey—magazine editors put a lot of thought into their covers. Why not utilize their hard work? Try using them as art on your walls.

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8. Use scarves and jewelry as wall decor.

You already have the jewelry  and the scarves, so why not make the most of them? It’s way easier to use them as color on your walls then letting them get tangled up in a drawer or closet. Use shower hooks to suspend them from curtain rods for easy access.

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Haley

Haley is a writer and editor based in Birmingham, Alabama, who specializes in narrative nonfiction. She began writing at age 16 after enrolling in her North Alabama high school's newspaper class. She later studied journalism and history at the University of Alabama. In her spare time, she prepares for her eventual sorting into Slytherin House, has frequent chats with her bust of Abraham Lincoln, and feeds an inordinate amount of lettuce to her pet bunny, Ray Bradbury. To contact her, please shout into the nearest void or talk loudly about Jason Isbell’s discography.
Haley
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