Damage-free Decorating

trianglesHow One Family Made a Rental Feel Like Home

By Meridian Herman Lupu

One thing that frustrates renters trying to make an apartment feel like home is the prohibition of nails or screws in the wall. How can you make a rental feel like your own when you can’t hang framed artwork or install your preferred light fixture? But there’s good news: If you have to avoid making holes your rented walls, there are ways to be crafty with wall-friendly decor.

washi tape

Washi tape designs

Check out Gavin and Sarah’s creative approach. When they found their apartment through the Housing Center, they were faced with the aforementioned rental dilemma. But they went to work making the place theirs.

In the living room, they took the simplest, low-budget approach: With triangles of construction paper, they created a colorful geometric design. Adhered with removable mounting putty, they assembled a banner-type piece of artwork to define the space above their sofa.

With washi tape, Gavin and Sarah made their dining room pop with bright colors and a completely original pattern. A burst of modern design in their classic vintage Oak Park place instantly brings a personalized feel to the room. The best part? They can adjust and even reuse the washi tape to create any design they want, wherever they want, and whenever they want! And, of course, the tape will not remove the paint from the wall.

feathers 1

Feather and bird decals

Feather cutouts

Paper feather cutouts

In a small bedroom, they introduced character using a theme: feathers. First, they set the tone with a large decorative wall sticker. (Note: Be careful with these! make sure you read the package to ensure the adhesive won’t take off any paint.) The design is a feather that transitions into birds, and provides a sense of movement; which in turn creates an illusion of more dimension and space. It’s another bright and bold color that immediately draws the eye. To complete the theme, Sarah picked up some colorful paper feathers from Oak Park’s Paper Source. With the pre-punched edge of the quills, they strung the assortment of bright colored feathers, tying the twine to the cable cord already clasped around the baseboards and doorframe.

There are all sorts of mounting materials you can purchase to allow you to decorate your walls without damaging them. Gavin and Sarah paired these resources with their craftiness – and the results make their apartment look like home.