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Most recent posting below. See other articles in the column to the right.

Reversible Room 'Redos' For Renters

(ARA) - Renters face a perennial decorating dilemma: Do you personalize your apartment decor, knowing that when you move out the landlord will likely require you to put everything back the way it was? Or do you live with bare white walls, neutral-toned carpets and homogeneous decor?

You may not be able to make major changes - like replacing that bland sand-colored carpet with one in your favorite hue of purple - but you can personalize your rental space with some easy-to-reverse upgrades. While the effort to install, and later remove, these upgrades is small, their impact on your home's decor can be very big, indeed.

Here are a few simple room "redos" that can add pizzazz to your apartment - without creating extra work when it's time to move out:


Paint is an easy way to switch up the color of a room, but if you paint the walls, be prepared to repaint them back to white before your lease ends. Peel and stick wall decor can be a better option for personalizing a space, while leaving the white walls intact - especially if you opt for high-quality peel and stick wall murals like those offered by

SmartStick peel and stick wall murals are backed with a patented adhesive that allows you to easily place the material on nearly any surface (walls, windows, even doors), pull it down, reposition it, even move it to a different wall - all without damaging the mural or the wall beneath it. Unlike wall decals or wall stickers, the mural does not rip or wrinkle and can be reused hundreds of times. carries thousands of murals that can all be printed on SmartStick fabric and customized for size. Log on to to learn more.


Replacing apartment carpet is usually a big no-no. Even if the existing carpet is worn and stained, unless you strike an agreement with your landlord for replacing it at your own expense, it's better to simply cover up the carpeting you can't stand.

Fortunately, it's easy to find decorative throw rugs that will add color and personalization to your space - and help protect neutral-toned carpets from wear, tear and staining, all of which you may be required to pay for when you move out. You can opt to arrange several smaller carpets in key areas of the room, such as placing a long runner in high-traffic hallways, or a large area rug to anchor furniture groupings in living areas. Or, you can even find a very large rug that covers almost the entire floor. When it's time to move out, simply roll up your rugs and go, leaving the carpet beneath looking exactly the way it was when you moved in.


Often, apartments will have no window treatments beyond blinds when you move in. You could install your own curtain rods and drapery, but the landlord may require you to remove the rods, and repair all those little holes left by the hardware, before you move out. An easy way to get privacy, without having to install hardware, is to purchase removable window film. The frosted film affords privacy, but is easily removed, leaving the windows clear.

Or, you could minimize the amount of hardware needed by placing decorative holdbacks (usually used to hold a curtain away from a window at about the midpoint) at the top corners of a window and draping yards of fabric in your favorite color or pattern over the holdbacks. The holdbacks leave just one hole each in the wall, so wall repair time is significantly less.

From reusable wallpaper murals to creative carpet options, it's easy to redecorate your rental -- and you won't have to worry about restoring everything to its original state when your lease is up.

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Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Maura Mills - Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty
Beatrice Bloom - Weichert Realtors - Princeton

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