When it comes to decorating a rental, being sensible is often the best approach. Having said that, we’ve shared a list, courtesy of Julia Millay Walsh of Dumaine, of six home décor items renters should avoid if possible. Be stylish and smart.
Heavy items: Walsh recommends not purchasing extremely heavy furniture if you move often. In small city apartments, it often takes only a friend of two to help you move. An overweight piece, however, might force you to hire a mover.
A sectional sofa: Plan on living in the rental space awhile? Walsh says go ahead and spring for the sectional sofa. If not, she says it’s best to avoid it. The alternative is to get a standard sofa and an upholstered ottoman, which can easily be moved around.
Tall pieces: Walsh recommends sticking with pieces that will accommodate the standard apartment height of 8 feet. You never know when you’ll be forced to move from that loft apartment with tall ceilings to a “vertically challenged 70’s unit.”
Wallpaper: Though the results can be dramatic, Walsh strongly advises against wallpapering your rental, which can be costly and time-intensive to install and remove. As an alternative, Walsh recommends temporary wallpaper, which “more or less has a peel-and-stick application.”
Wall-mounted items: Walsh advises renters to select freestanding furniture rather than pieces that require extensive installation (and multiple drill holes in your walls). Your landlord will be happy and you’ll avoid headaches when the time comes to move out.
Custom-sized décor: Walsh says it’s not wise to invest in custom-sized décor and that renters should go with curtain panels or drapes instead, which are easy to shorten or lengthen when you move.
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