Creating Your Own 'Wall Paper'
Chances are your landlord won't allow wall paper, but painting geometric shape designs on your wall that look like wall paper (but without actually hanging the paper) make for an inexpensive and trendy accent to the room.
Leslie Ezelle, a contestant on season six of HGTV's "Design Star," offers these detailed tips:
1. Choose a geometric shape that suits your taste -- simple shapes like triangles will make a great pattern, but other more complex shapes add a classy look to the space. Cut out the geometric shape using a piece of cardboard -- for this example, we'll use a diamond as our geometric shape of choice.
2. Make a diamond that is 14 inches vertically and 10 inches wide (it should look "skinny")
3. Before painting take a ruler measure left to right 10 inches, and measure floor to ceiling vertically
4. Use a level or a ruler and with a pencil create vertical lines that go from floor to ceiling and are 10 inches wide
5. Make sure your pencil stripes are 10 inches apart
6. When painting, use a small brush 1/2 or 3/4 inches thick. Use colors that are a few shades darker than your white wall.
7. Put the cardboard diamond on the wall and trace around it with the paintbrush. Remove the cardboard after tracing
8. Move the cardboard up on the wall so that it connects with the last shape that you just painted.
9. Continue until you have completed the entire wall
Plenty of landlords don't provide any window treatments, let alone stylish ones. Ezelle share these ideas:
1. If the standard mini blinds came with your rental, take down by unscrewing the top. They will then snap open.
2. Clean the windows and the window sill or ledge.
3. Use wood filler for the open holes from where the mini blinds were originally.
4. Paint the inside sill or moulding white.
5. Install roller blades or draperies.
"Drapes are great for renters, because you can take them with you when you go," she adds.
When you're rushing to work in the morning and you whip open your closet to grab some clothes, it helps to have your to-do list posted conveniently on your closet door, so you don't forget about your 11 a.m. meeting. Author Janet Lee clarifies the process:
1. Decorate some clipboards with patterned scrapbook paper or decorative duct tapes.
2. Adhere clear wire hooks to a wall or filing cabinet for damage-free hanging.
3. Hang the clip boards on hooks.
A rental society doesn't mean the American dream has to get any uglier or less classy. As a matter of fact, with home budgets tight and longer rental terms for many Americans, we may just be living in what should properly be called the DIY Society, whether it's linked to a mortgage or lease.
--By Scott Gamm