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May, 2009

From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream bathroom in mind.

Decorating Solutions for Renters

Decorating Solutions for Renters

Moving into a new rental property and wondering how much your landlord will allow you to decorate to make it feel like your own? You're not alone. According to a recent Apartments.com survey, 90 percent of renters will decorate when moving to a new apartment; with 81 percent decorating within the first three months of the move. Luckily, there are many landlord-approved updates that can turn the bland white walls of a rental into a warm and personal space.

Living Large

In the living room, accessories such as clocks and art work will add personal style and a splash of color. Strategically placed mirrors can also help the room appear larger in size.

Worried about nail holes? New wall hooks from companies such as 3M attach using a removable adhesive that won't damage the walls. Or, vinyl wall stickers, like those from www.wisedecor.com, are another option to add design and color to the walls – and they peel off easily when you move out.

Finally, focus on floors and windows. If your rental has less-than-perfect hardwood floors or carpeted areas, throw rugs are a perfect solution to add a soft touch, a hint of color throughout your space, or to cover up blemishes. Hanging curtains or drapes, such as the Hutlet drape from IKEA, can also be an inexpensive way to add soft texture and make a personal design statement.

Add Beauty to the Bath

As one of the most used rooms, the bath should be a beautiful and inviting space. However, most rental bathrooms are small and border on the blah side. Installing a Moen curved shower rod, hanging a new shower curtain and accessorizing with plush towels can pull the look of the bathroom together, provide more space and give a more upscale feel.

Swapping out your showerhead is another option that not only creates a more enjoyable spa-like showering experience, but can also save water. Moen's new Nurture™ water-efficient showerheads, available at Lowe's, feature three distinct settings to suit any mood – and they use up to 30 percent less water while still providing a superior, full-body shower experience. Great news to help you enjoy your daily shower and lower your monthly bills! (And, if your landlord pays the water bills, it's a great way to stay on his good side!)

Kitchen Rental Re-do

Cook up some style in the kitchen by adding colorful placemats and a centerpiece, such as plant or glass vase, on the kitchen table or breakfast bar. Posting pictures of family, friends and pets on the refrigerator can also help make your rental feel more like home. Finally, add a decorative chalkboard or dry-erase board to help spruce up the kitchen walls and provide a clutterless place for notes, recipes and grocery lists.

Love to cook? Start by purchasing quality knives and butcher block to keep the countertops safe. Next, add compact – yet multi-functional appliances -- such as a Cuisinart Griddler Jr. to allow you to grill burgers or Paninis indoors. Finally, upgrade the kitchen faucet to a high-arc, pulldown model. It will make a beautiful focal point in the kitchen while also making tasks like cleaning, filling large pots and pans and cleaning fresh produce easy, while also reaching outside of the sink to water plants or fill a bucket.

Soon after moving in, your rental space will go from bland to grand and will feel like home in no time!

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