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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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rental "renovating"
by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3

For most of us quasi-adults, decorating our digs bears little resemblance to the sorts of radical, knock-down-the-walls, tear-out-the-floors transformations generally featured in glossy home magazines. Stuck in rental hell, we find ourselves living in abodes featuring teal carpeting and peach bathroom tile that we would never in a million years choose of our own free will. We dream of the day when our budgets will allow us to purchase a place of our very own, and we can paint the walls whatever funky color of the rainbow suits our fancy without worry of incurring the wrath of our landlords. We fantasize about what we would do if we were the owners of this little apartment - how we would pick new kitchen cabinets, and tear out the wall-to-wall carpeting, and replace the worn bathroom lino with fresh new tile. And while we wait for the day when we really can do whatever we want to our nests, we make do with what we're given. Still, living in a rental place shouldn't have to mean sucking it up wholesale. There are plenty of inexpensive temporary changes you can make to transform a less-than-ideal rental place into a space that you truly love.

easy updates
Sure, every rental pad can be relied on to come with the basics: overhead lights in most rooms, cabinets in the kitchen. For the most part, however, you'll probably find that existing fixtures are ho-hum utilitarian at best, totally dated at the worst. No need to despair, however, as many of these things can be easily and cheaply replaced -- and simply restored back to their original states when it's time to move house. Hate the drawer pulls in the kitchen, the cabinet knobs in the bathroom? Head to the hardware store and you'll find an array of more enticing options. Knobs and pulls come in pretty standard sizes, making it easy to update fixtures with something a little more snazzy, a little more you. Lighting too, can be easily spruced up. One of the simplest fixes is to replace the light bulbs in existing fixtures -- try brighter or warmer-toned bulbs, or get a little wacky, and go with a colored bulb. Also, there's no need to rely on overhead lighting alone -- funky lamps not only add to the overall lighting situation, but contribute to the décor as well. In replacing anything, of course, you should be sure to save the originals, so that come moving time, you can (a) return the apartment to its former landlord-friendly, characterless state, and (b) take your fixtures with you so that you can use them in your next digs.

scamper along this way


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