You found a place with the perfect square footage, overlooking a scenic park and located next to the best coffee shop in the neighborhood—but once you took a second look at the lease you realized a hitch in your plans: NO NAILS, it read ominously.
So now what do you do? Moving into a new apartment should be an exciting experience, and dressing up your new space to make it as welcoming and comfortable as possible generally is high on the list of to-dos. Planning the interior design of a rental can suddenly become a difficult prospect if the apartment lease stipulates that you cannot put holes in the wall–not for pictures, shelves or even a calendar.
To help make your decorating experience less stressful and more fun, here are some no-nail wall decor ideas for your new place, which will help you avoid crossing the landlord or losing your deposit.
Not all pictures require a classic, ornate frame. Take your favorite artistic landscapes, or even cherished selfies, and hang a montage or collage of images that tell a story about who you are and what you love.
No nails are required for this wall gallery–simply print out your images on reusable, adhesive-backed paper and decorate to your heart's content. Websites like WeMontage can provide this service for you or you can order the specialty paper and DIY. Another, more affordable option is using poster putty or painter's tape.
One of the most popular ways to add color and pattern to just about anything–including walls, notebooks, and furniture–is with washi tape, which is a pretty, lightweight masking tape that originated in Japan. This adhesive tape comes in a stunning assortment of colors, prints, patterns and sayings from the basic to the bold. Think leopard prints, polka dots, and mini mustaches.
Washi tape is available cheaply at craft stores and online. Scoop up the styles that appeal to you, and use the tape to make a faux frame around a picture, "draw" a shape on the wall or add colorful edging to bookshelves. The best part about washi tape is that it's washable and removes easily–perfect for that no-nails stipulation in your apartment lease.
Vinyl decals are a new way to add elegance without painting or using framed artwork. Sometimes called cutouts, these decals are removable adhesive images that can be stuck and replaced as many times as desired with no harm done to the wall, furniture or other items on which they are applied.
These decals come in a variety of designs, including trees, woodland creatures, monograms, heart-warming sayings, chandeliers, or just about anything else that you can conceive. Vinyl decals can be a bit pricier than some other options, but they are long lasting, don't require nails and won't violate your apartment lease terms.
Though paint may not be an option for most renters and removable wallpaper can be pricey, adding color to the walls is still possible if you get a little creative with fabric. By using starch and water, you can quickly "glue" your favorite bolt of fabric to the walls for an instant wallpaper effect.
Best yet, you're only limited by the selection of prints and patterns of available cloth. Make sure you measure your wall carefully to get the right amount of fabric. You'll also want to get a bit more than you think, as the starch can cause some shrinkage. When moving day arrives, just pull the fabric off the wall and wash off the starch with a sponge and warm water.
Not all decor ideas have to involve attaching anything to the actual walls. Some renters can bypass strict lease restrictions by repurposing unexpected items in fun, playful ways.
For instance, an old, beat-up ladder may not be safe for climbing, but it can lean against the wall and provide a shabby chic accent that also holds blankets, magazines, small potted plants, and other trinkets. You can even paint the ladder a bright color for a statement piece.
Another example is old shutters, which can be turned into letter holders, or you can add hooks to the slats and hang a variety of items, from cooking utensils to accessories such as jewelry or purses.
Do you have more great tips for beautifying a space without nails? Let us know on Twitter!