Obtaining your apartment is a liberating experience. Whether moving out of a dormitory or by your parents home, the sensation of having a place to call your own gives you a sense of accomplishment. I had this very discussion with new college graduate setting out on her own for the first time. She had taken off her cap and gown before she signed a lease at one of their premiere apartment complexes close to her new occupation. After pouring over pictures on houzz, she dreamed of a paint palette for the whole apartment long before she read the home’s policy. No painting permitted. She was crushed.

This ideabook is for her and others who become discouraged when painting is not an option where they live. Decorating encompasses more than painting a space, it is about injecting character and function to a new digs. This ideabook gives eight reasons to appreciate a blank canvas and provides smart advice that prevents your decorating plan from turning into a dream deferred.

Amy Lau Design

Add color to casegoods. Create a hand-me-down piece feel like new by adding a coat of paint. This entryway sets the tone for a vibrant, lively home with its own painted console, coordinating chandelier and dhurrie rug.

Greifenstein Boyce Associates

Warm up it with brown. If white partitions bring a chill to your bones, add heat to your area with brown. Rich, aged leather and warm wood furniture evoke a cozy atmosphere and is one of the quickest ways to earn a sterile environment feel like home.

Elad Gonen

Examine your location in a new light. Installing new light is generally permissible provided that you replace the original lighting before you depart. This dining table space boasts a set of industrial metal pendant lamps and a complementary metal wall sconce from the backdrop. These metal fixtures borrow tones in the brick wall.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

Place focus on cloths. Picking a high-contrast color palette will make you forget about your limitations with paint. A yellow coverlet allows the sun into this bedroom while the gloss black furnishings include polish and elegance to the space.

Tara Seawright Interior Design

Pick investment pieces sensibly. It’s true, you get exactly what you pay for, so invest in the ideal couch you can afford. Everything shows against a blank canvas, so put your best foot forward with quality furnishings.

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Function that brick wall. I admit I have never met a brick wall I did not enjoy — unless I prevented me from getting into something that I wanted. Play this up architectural attribute by making it a focus of this space. Its variation in color and its feel adds interest to the space, at no charge!

Leslie Saul & Associates

Place focus on window treatments. You will find a variety of alternatives for vanity table from blinds to shades, draperies into valances. Cornice boxes paired with panels provides this bedroom using a custom look unexpected in an apartment setting.

Vanni Archive/Architectural Photography

Display a piece with impact. If you’re lucky enough to have a least one amazing object of art, your work is completed. Maintain other furnishings and fabric low key to stop your eye piece from battling for attention.

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