For this week’s “Ask Homepolish” question, our designers tackle the constant issue for renters: How do you make a temporary apartment feel like home?
I love your guys’ work, and I wonder if you might be able to help me. In the last six years, I’ve moved apartments three times. It’s kinda made me afraid of putting down roots and designing my apartment, because I know I could move soon. What are some good temporary but meaningful design elements that I can enact for even a short-term rental? Thank you!!
—ON THE MOVE, PORTLAND
Read on below for our designers’ expert tips.
Kathleen Mannis, our Homepolish designer based down in DC, gave some great advice for temporary spaces: “Moving around can be tough, not to mention daunting for making long-term design decisions. A great option for a *very* temporary but homey touch can be removable wallpaper. I don’t mean peeling and sticking, I mean affixing it to a dowel or foam-core board and hanging it like a wall hanging or poster. There’s this really amazing tutorial that has been inspiring renters across the US, and it reminded me of when our designers in NYC designed the Bloomingdale’s pop-up space.”
She continued: “Adding in plants always warms up a space and makes it feel more homey. If you don’t want to invest in big exotic offerings—so you don’t feel bad about giving them away during a move—Ikea offers a great variety of cheap ones. Pro Tip: go to Ikea on a weeknight or first thing on Saturday morning, so you can have your pick of the litter.
If you want something temporary and easy, then consider picking up a few corkboards and covering a wall. You can tack up inspiration, move it around, add new layers, and toss things that are no longer inspiring without having to worry about framing and difficult transportation during a move.”
Caroline Wolf, a Homepolish designer in LA who just completed this Silver Lake home, gave her advice as well: “My favorite way to decorate meaningfully is through showcasing art that you love. I recently had a client who relocated shortly after we finished her space, and even though it was a stark contrast from her old house, putting up all of the art we had found really made it feel like home. It’s easy to move around and will always feel like you.” Your walls will speak volumes of your personality. Just be sure to use those removable hooks!
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