Here are some of the renter-friendly products I used to decorate and personalize my rental studio apartment:
Double-sided Removable Tape: https://amzn.to/2t9TMTL
I’ve used this double-sided tape for anything from hanging art on walls, to molding on doors, to holding up supports to make extra shelves in my kitchen cabinets and closets. It’s very strong (will hold up to 2 lbs) and the best part is that it’s removable and won’t leave any residue on the wall. I always make sure I have a roll in my tool kit and in my “everything” drawer.
3M Command Strips: https://amzn.to/2taJXoy
These 3M Command strips have been my best friend for many years. They are surprisingly strong and I’ve used them to secure a variety of items to walls but they are perfect for picture frames but also for items that are bigger. As long as the items are resting on the floor, they can stay secured to the wall, like I did here with a wall panel I made with a rug, and this coat rack.
Nono Brackets: http://amzn.to/2nWD5Yt
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I dislike vertical blind and how I’m always looking for ways to get rid of them or camouflage them. These nono brackets slide onto the existing vertical blind track, and allow you to hang a curtain rod and curtains, all without drilling any holes in the wall! You can see how I use them in this bedroom makeover.
Drapery Hooks: http://amzn.to/2et8z47
I’ve also used these to hang curtains from the existing vertical blind hardware.
LED lightbulbs: http://amzn.to/2et8z47
The first thing I do when moving into a new apartment is to switch out all the incandescent light bulbs for LED light bulbs. They last longer and consume less energy so you save money in the long run. I like to buy dimmable ones because they can be used with any type of light switch. I’ve also recently started using smart LED bulbs you can control with your smart phone but they also work with Alexa or Google Assistant.
Wall mounted switch and plug-in receiver : https://amzn.to/2t9XvRf
My life changed for the better when I discovered wall mounted switches and plug-in receivers and I’ve used these in just about every home I’ve lived in since! They give you the ability to add a light switch anywhere to control plug-in lamps. You simply plug the receiver into an outlet and then plug your lamp into the receiver. Then you place the light switch anywhere you want in the room.
Easy Plug-in Dimmer Switch: https://amzn.to/2liFRWZ
Having light switches with dimmers makes it easy to change the mood of a space – it’s fairly easy to switch out regular switches to dimmable ones, but an quick alternative is to use plug-in dimmer switches instead. You simply plug the lamp into the switch, plug the switch into an outlet and you’re done! Just be sure you select the right one depending on wether you have incandescent or LED lightbulbs.
Thanks to these things and many DIY projects, I completely transformed my small NYC studio apartment into a functional, stylish & livable space, & then transformed it back to its original state: It was a wonderful place to call home for the past 3 years – no only was it the inspiration for “Engineer Your Space”, it was also the source of many of the projects you’ve seen on the show. But it’s now time for a change, and before I make the move to my new home in sunny California, I want to take you on a tour of my rental apartment.
You’ll see how I made small space living work for me using DIY home décor projects to make my small studio apartment a beautiful and functional place to live and work. One of the main things I did was create distinct areas like an entryway and a bedroom that are visually separate from the rest of the apartment using bookcases and a hanging wall divider from IKEA. From removing closet doors to making my own custom lighting, there is no shortage of DIY projects in my studio apartment. All of these projects were easy to build in my apartment, easy to take apart, and left the apartment exactly the way it was when I moved in, ensuring I got my safety deposit back!
I hope you enjoy the tour of my apartment and that you can use some of these studio apartment ideas to decorate your rental like you own it!
Want to see what I’m working on next? Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eyspace/