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ADVICE: Think outside the box

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Personalise your place in clever ways to overcome leasing restrictions

Expert: Interior Designer Kelley Proxmire

Living in an apartment doesn’t have to mean residing in a sterile white box. Interior designer Kelley Proxmire has several suggestions to help tenants make their place feel more like a home despite constraints in the lease.

1 Paint is one of the easiest ways to brighten a space and make it your own. Keep the colour consistent throughout the home and consider an accent wall in a vibrant colour that would work well behind a gallery wall. Keep in mind the lease agreement might require you to paint the walls the original colour when the lease ends.

2 Add art that you can take with you when you leave. Use removable hanging strips to hang the art rather than nails.

3 Incorporate rugs in each room. You can layer them in the main living area and add accent rugs under the dining table and in the bedroom. Patterns are a great way to add colour to a space, especially if layered with a solid colour or a sisal rug.

4 Throw in pillows that pick up the colours in the rugs for a cohesive look. Or splurge on a fun fabric for pillows to add colour.

5 Buy a couple of quality pieces that you can move from place to place. Since apartments tend to be smaller than a house, limit the quality pieces to accessories, such as lamps and side tables, so that the scale will work in a future home. Acrylic tables are versatile accessories.

6 Ottomans provide extra seating for guests, are compact and portable and easily moved from place to place. Plus it’s another way to add fun fabrics and colours at small cost.

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