How do you make a space look and feel permanent, even when you know you may be moving on? And what about solutions to decorating and storage woes that don’t involve springing for built-ins you would only need to leave behind? If you don’t plan to stay in your current home long term (no matter whether you rent or own), check out these 12 ways to bring the color, style and space-saving storage you need — with pieces you can pack up and move with you when you go.
CDA Interior Design: Click to View the Original Photo on Houzz!
1. A hefty furniture piece with architectural detail. Just one large-scale piece of furniture, like the stunning armoire shown here, is enough to give any space a more permanent look. A richly detailed piece can also make up for a lack of architectural detail in the space itself — and, like all of the pieces featured here, this one can go with you when you move.
2. Artistic investments. Original paintings, sculpture, handmade pottery, glass art and iconic designer pieces you adore are all worthy investments to make for the long haul. You can take them with you anywhere, and they will hold — or even gain — value over time.
Caitlin Wilson Design: Click to View the Original Photo on Houzz!
3. An upholstered bed. Rather than spending on fancy wallpaper for the bedroom when you think you may move, bring in a big dose of color and pattern with an upholstered headboard. The height and shape of the headboard, paired with a print you love, is enough to make a focal wall — so you can leave the wall behind it bare.
4. Portable clothing storage. If you are short on closet space, pick up a clothing rack attractive enough to be on display. Store only your prettiest pieces on it, tucking the rest out of sight in drawers or in a closet. If you move to a bigger place in the future, you can always use it in the laundry room, or pull it out at parties to hold coats. If you have the closet space but lack organization, look for stand-alone storage units that you can tuck inside your closet to customize the space — without paying for built-ins.
Matthew Bolt Graphic Design: Click to View the Original Photo on Houzz!
5. A piece with a built-in quality top. Even renters can have the satisfaction of “renovating” the kitchen with this neat trick: Buy a portable piece with a luxurious surface, like marble, copper or zinc, instead of the usual butcher block top. A breakfast table, baker’s rack or kitchen island would all work well.
6. Colorful rugs and lightweight furniture. Small- to medium-size woven rugs can bring a punch of color to a whole room without painting. Use them alone in smaller rooms or layered on top of larger rugs in a big space. Lightweight rattan chairs, small poufs and other accent furniture are also great for changing the look of a room — they can be the stars of the show in a small space and take on a supporting role in a larger home.
Lauren Liess Interiors: Click to View the Original Photo on Houzz!
7. Natural-fiber and hide rugs. You can never go wrong with natural-fiber and hide rugs. They look great separately or layered, in living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. They can bring textural interest to a neutral scheme or provide a soothing neutral base to a home filled with splashes of color. And to top it all off, they are virtually indestructible.
8. A great big mirror. An oversize mirror instantly opens up a room and gives the impression you’re fully settled in your home, even if you just moved in. A mirror that looks equally good hung on the wall or propped against it is the most versatile.
Emily A. Clark: Click to View the Original Photo on Houzz!
9. Simple shelving units in multiples. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on shelving unless you want to — just buy multiples of basic bookcases and line them up side by side for a custom look.
You can personalize your shelves by adding a coat of color or patterned paper to the back wall, or by gluing grosgrain ribbon trim across the shelf fronts.
10. Your own light fixtures. You do not have to live with light fixtures you don’t like, even if you rent.
Most landlords won’t have a problem with you swapping out the light fixtures, as long as you replace the old ones before you move out — which you will want to do anyway, so you can bring your classy light fixtures along to your next place.
Can’t change fixtures? Find a Variety of Floor Lamps Instead.
Vanessa Francis. Click to View the Original Photo on Houzz!
11. Stuff on the walls! Even if you are in a very temporary place, don’t skimp on putting stuff up on the walls.
Filling holes and touching up paint before you move out will take only about an hour — it’s worth it. Before moving to your next place, take a photo of your art wall so you can re-create it in your next apartment without starting from scratch.
12. Houseplants and potted trees. Greenery can solve a plethora of decorating dilemmas, from filling blank corners to disguising unattractive features. And plants clean the air to boot. It’s true you must be careful when moving your plants to a new home, but it can be done — and it’s definitely worth the effort.