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05.01.2006

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it's only temporary how to make your short-term pad feel nice and home by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3
continued from page 2

Curtains away: Me, Iím not a big window covering fan, but I can well imagine that if a more privacy-conscious person were ever to sublet a pad of mine, coming up with some way to obscure the windows might be high on their to-do list. Curtains are also handy for hiding ugly blinds, or providing some coverage for an open doorway. Sadly, curtain rods and curtains can get mighty pricey; moreover, chances are good the terms of your short-term rental or sublet donít really allow you to be drilling into the walls willy-nilly. Never fear: tension rods to the rescue! Tension rods are inexpensive and can be fit in most window casings without any hardware or drilling at all. Just wedge them into place, throw on some light fabric (these babies arenít terribly heavy-duty) and voila Ė instant curtains. Best of all, you can bring both the rods and the curtain fabric with you when it comes time to pack up and leave.

Make contact: When it comes to tile, Iím generally of the opinion that simple is best. Thereís nothing like a wacky color or pattern to ensure that the tile will look absolutely hideous in about ten years time. Sadly, all too many people seem to get suckered into the trendy colors and weird decorative tiles when theyíre redecorating their kitchens and bathrooms; a decade or two later, when the abode gets handed over to some owner whoís buying solely for the rental income potential, that turd-colored tile is inevitably holding up just fine as far as the new landlord is concerned. And we, the poor renters, find ourselves starting day-in and day-out at some vile hue. Still, assuming weíre not talking about an entire room of tile hideousness, all is not lost. Replacing the offending tile is obviously out of the question; for a quick fix for dopey decorative tiles or tile borders, cover up with some contact paper instead. Just cut the contact paper into squares thatíll fit over your tiles (a paper cutter makes the job go much faster; borrow one from your scrapbooking-fanatic pal if you must), peel off the backing and press them carefully into place. (Do take the effort to try a test square first; leave it up for a week or so, and make sure that it can still peel off the tile without leaving a residue-y mess.)

Bathing beauty: Judging by many of the bathrooms in rental places Iíve seen and lived in, most folks donít seem to realize that those cheap plastic shower curtains? Really arenít meant to last for all eternity. If you find yourself faced with a particularly dingy, mildew-ridden specimen, find a replacement for it asap; itíll improve even the iffiest bathroom dťcor immensely. Of course, even if the curtain isnít a hygiene horror, you might find that a new shower curtain is just the remedy for a tired-looking bathroom. Choose a sleek new hue; pick a fun, funky pattern. Come moving time, just pop the icky/blah old curtain back into place, and you can take your purty investment along with you.

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Make use of some of these non-permanent, lease-friendly and low-cost tricks, and youíll be at home in no time, as you turn those temporary digs into a place that feels a whole lot more you!

o

check out these related articles:
  rental renovating | minor makeover miracles

plus, get inspiration in the open house gallery!

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