Low-Cost, Simple Modifications You Can Make To Personalize Your New Apartment

Moving into an apartment doesn't mean you have to surrender your individual style and tastes; instead, it provides you with a blank slate upon which to add your personal touches and make your apartment into a real home. In fact, you can make a few initial, low-cost changes that will provide a meaningful and instant impact. Below are several ideas you might want to implement:

Before you begin

While it is expected that renters will personalize their apartments, some apartment managers are more lenient than others regarding specific changes permitted. That's why you should always check with prospective landlords to be sure your modifications are permissible. If possible, have specific permissions written into your lease to guarantee your protection; for example, if you wish to install a shelving unit, be sure that permission to drill holes in the wall is specifically listed in the lease. Otherwise, you may suffer from a loss of your security deposit or even be charged for additional damages after the lease expires.

Kitchen and bath hardware

A simple change that can add individuality to your apartment is replacing the kitchen and bath hardware. Drawer pulls and knobs are available at a modest cost and can quickly replace existing hardware; simply unscrew the knob from the bolt that holds the knob in place and screw the new knob onto the bolt. You may need to add small washers to the head of the bolt in order to keep the connection tight and avoid slipping. Just be sure to place the old pieces of hardware in a small box and tuck them away safely. You will need to reinstall them before you move out of the apartment.

Light fixtures

Another easy update is changing light fixtures in your apartment. Changing fixtures can be as simple as removing plain, builders-grade glass covers or globes and adding ones with a little more sparkle. Ceiling fans are particularly easy to customize; just unscrew the ordinary glass bulb covers and replace them by choosing from a vast array of options on the market.

As with any electrical work, safety is the most important factor. Never work on a live circuit, and be sure to follow recommended building practices when making more intrusive modifications.

Temporary wallpaper

Temporary wallpaper offers renters a real opportunity to add color and life to their apartment homes. Unlike permanent wallpaper that uses paste to hold it in position, temporary wallpaper is attached using a removable adhesive that allows you to cover a space but avoid the need to use hard-to-clean glue.

When installing temporary wallpaper, focus on accenting individual areas rather than attempting to cover all the walls in your apartment. For example, install wallpaper on a wall that protrudes into your living room, or use it on a back wall located at the end of a long kitchen. Get help installing the wallpaper, as it will difficult to hang straight, level and without wrinkles if someone can't come alongside to assist you. Also, avoid hanging temporary wallpaper over areas already containing wallpaper; the permanent paper may tear when lifting the temporary paper.

Bathroom faucets and shower heads

Another area of apartments that frequently needs to updating is the bathroom plumbing fixtures. While installing new toilets, tubs and sinks is well-beyond the scope of renter-driven renovations, replacing fixture handles, spouts and shower heads is a nice, low-cost touch that can completely change a room's look.

When changing plumbing fixtures, be sure to turn off all the incoming water to your apartment to prevent leaks. Once the new fixtures are installed, run the water on its cold setting for several minutes to cleanse the pipes and remove any residue from the factory.

Keep these tips in mind as you look at apartments like the Wynn Residential Apartments in Toronto, and you'll be sure to transform your new apartment into a personalized home when you move in.