Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › How to Decorate Walls without Painting

If you’re a renter you know the difficulties behind adding a little personality and color to your apartment. Restrictions like ‘no painting’ doesn’t allow for very much creative freedom. And given that your apartment is your space, your personal retreat from the rest of the world; it’s hard to be surrounded by bare white walls. Desperate to find solutions to this persistent problem, here are a few tips to help alleviate the madness.

Mirror, mirror on the wall.
Did you know when you decorate with mirrors that it can give the illusion of more space? Hanging a mirror on a wall opposite a window can also help with that effect while bringing in the color scheme of the outdoors. And my favorite, hanging multiple mirrors in a pattern is eye-catching as well as functional for adding dimension to the space.

Vinyl decals are lifesavers.
One day while sifting through the dollar store (you know, my favorite store), I noticed that they had wall decals. I bought a couple different sheets in a shells/beach theme to decorate my guest bathroom. They were a perfect solution to not being able to paint in there.  I put the decals on the tub as well as on the walls. The variety of color and artwork really was ideal for that small space. A friend of mine also purchased some for her bedrooms. Brightly colored flowers that coordinated with her bedding set. It was a wonderful compliment to her space. And with the variety of options out there, phrases, themes, graphics, colors, etc., you really can choose one that is all your own.

Plate Collage
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Collage of….EVERYTHING!
When you think of collages, you probably think of photographs. There isn’t just one way to do a collage of photographs though. You can do them by stringing them on a grid like patter, like we mentioned in our ’20 Simple and Sensible Decorating Ideas’, or in frames. Varying the sizes and how you hang each one would make a big impact as well. In addition to a collage of pictures, you can also do plates. I saw on Home Décor with Kelly Edwards that this really makes a one of a kind art piece that is completely personal to you.

Think fabric & texture!
A rug doesn’t have to be on the floor! You can totally tack that sucker up on the wall for more vivid colors. You can also do one wall completely in curtains, Hildi taught me that (referencing Hildi Santo from Trading Spaces). It’s a way to make a very big impact with whatever pattern you want. Plus, you can change it out as often as you’d like. Another way to create visual interest on your walls is to do fish netting. I have that up in my bedroom with various shells weaved through it as well as a couple shell necklaces and sea glass. The netting itself doesn’t give any real color (besides the sandy color of the string) but what I can accent it with sure does!

When you purchase a home one of the main things, I’ve been told, you look forward to be being able to do is paint! Decorate those walls to your heart’s desire. But unfortunately, for us renters that is not an option right now.   So hopefully these tips will help you express yourself in your living space.

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  1. Great ideas. I find that many of these tips can apply to decorating walls at the office too. I wrote about them in my blog as well at http://officeinteriordesign.wordpress.com/. I love the fabric idea. It provides a lot of color and change, but without the permanence.
  2. Nice and simple ideas to do…don’t leave your wall empty.

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