Milano switch plateMy son has moved into his first apartment. He just couldn’t take another semester of dorm life and managed to find a rental close to his school in Monterey which was affordable enough to pass the budget imposed by dad.

So we have been checking Craig’s list and garage sales and made a trip to Ikea. For the first time he has a bed larger than a twin size and gave up his tattered denim bedspread for something a bit more sophisticated. He was never one for plastering his walls with posters – in fact he asked for one of the framed Miro prints we have to put in his apartment.

All this takes me to the subject of fixing up a rental space – and there are so many things you can do to personalize and upgrade the look, without spending a fortune or breaking the rental agreement. Thinking in terms of the lighting, you can replace the switches with dimmers to add more flexibility to harsh overhead lighting. Then frame it out with a decorative switch plate. They are easy to install and then remove and take with you at moving time.

I love these new wall decals you can put them up in any space to add personality, then just peel them off when you move or just want a change. They really make short work of all those white walls.NIGHT LIGHT

I have given night lights to practically everyone I know. You can brighten up a dark corner or light the way to the bathroom at night. With more than 100 designs to choose from, there is one for every personality or theme. This on matches my son’s little red car.

For his kitchen he chose black laminate dishes and cups, flat ware with red handles and red and white dish cloths and pot holders. So I added a refrigerator magnet with veggies on it to remind him of his mom.

See our Squidoo page for more ideas.

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January 21, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . custom gifts, decorating, design, functional art, home decor, Meaningful Gifts, switch plates, Uncategorized.


  1. H. John (The Decorating Pro) Johnsen replied:

    Sounds like a very good use of creativity. I lke the ideas of looking for items in garage sales. Why spend a fortune when someone may have what you want…at a great price. Flea markets are also a great shopping place.

  2. Ashley replied:

    I just moved into my apartment, and the tip about the lights is a great idea. I hate the lighting in my apartment, but changing to a dimmer or adding lamps would really help and wouldn’t cost much. I’m searching for decorating ideas, and came across this article about decorating for $50 or less, and there are some useful tips for cheaply decorating.

  3. Chris Newald replied:

    Hanging art always makes a rental apartment look great. When I was a student I bought posters but they were pricy and didn’t last long and tended to tear easily. I recently learned that a neat trick for apartments is to frame quality magazine articles (the one page kind) – cooking recipes for the kitchen and so on. If you’re artistic they can look great and be personalized around topics you enjoy. Great post!

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