Hygge-the Danish art of creating a cozy home-is one of the biggest decorating trends of 2017, so it’s no wonder we’re all thinking about how to make our homes a bit more comfortable. But, if you rent your place, especially in New York City, you might be faced with a few extra challenges when it comes to making your apartment cozy. (And of course, we’re not talking about “cozy” in the square-footage sense, because almost all New York apartments fit the bill in that case!).
We mean that nearly 70 percent of New Yorkers rent their homes and apartments https://www.nakedapartments.com/guides/nyc/renting-in-new-york-city/high-demand-low-supply), , and when you have a landlord to answer to, it’s often hard to get permission to make big changes to your home (or if permission isn’t an issue, to justify the cost of updating a place that you don’t own). But, that doesn’t mean your only option is to live in a hygge-less white box, either.
HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS WE’VE COME ACROSS FOR DECORATING YOUR RENTAL TO FEEL LIKE HOME THAT WE’VE GATHERED WHILE WORKING IN THOUSANDS OF NYC RENTALS OVER THE YEARS.
ADD WINDOW TREATMENTS.
Naturally, our first piece of advice is to dress up those windows. Adding window treatments in a rental makes sense for a lot of reasons. For one, it gives you the ability to add personality to your space in a big, but not permanent way. Custom drapery is almost as good as a paint color when it comes to giving a room a bold backdrop and transforming its look. Plus, window treatments can help control both light and temperature in a room, adding major cozy factor. Finally — if you move out of your space, you can take your window treatments with you to your next rental.
CHANGE OUT LIGHTING.
Most people don’t think about lighting as being a flexible element of their rental apartment, but built-in fixtures can be surprisingly easy to change out and have a dramatic overall effect. Good candidates for swapping include sconces, vanity lights, flush-mounts, pendants, and chandeliers. Have an electrician replace the existing fixtures with ones that better suit your style, but hang on to the old ones so you can swap them back in when you move out. Better yet: Install a dimmer switch so you can create the perfect mood lighting, too.
HIDE UGLY FLOORS.
Aside from requesting your landlord replace them, there’s not much you can do to fix ugly carpeting, dated tile, or worn-out floors. But you can cover them up with area rugs. Even if your rental apartment already has wall-to-wall carpeting, adding in a stylish area rug is an effective option for cozying up the look of your home. Any time you improve the look or add your personality to the space you live in, you make it feel a bit more like home.
ADD WALL ART.
Don’t let the thought of patching holes when you move out deter you from adding art to your walls. Like adding window treatments, wall art is one of the best ways to make your space look finished and feel home-y. To minimize damage done, opt for single, large pieces instead of smaller ones hung gallery-style.
FOR MORE TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR NEW YORK CITY APARTMENT FEEL LIKE HOME, CHECK OUT:
The Best Window Treatments for a Brooklyn Brownstone
9 Perfect Drapery Fabrics for an Industrial New York City Loft Space
The Best Window Treatments for Minimizing Drafts