So, I think we can all agree that apartment hunting can be a big headache. Not only do you have to worry about rent, and probably paying additional fees, plus renters insurance, but you may be stuck at least 30 minutes or more away from work, or from your favorite shopping centers.

When it comes to decorating an apartment, and making it your own, it’s an even bigger problem. Most rental agencies, and even private landlords, have very strict criteria governing what you can and can’t do with your apartment space. For people who love to paint their own walls, choose their own styles and themes, or even just have a lot of stuff, this can be a big hindrance.

But it’s not impossible. There are some things that you can do, and factors you can compare, that will help in finding the perfect apartment that will support your own sense of interior design. Below, we’ll look at a few of these factors, along with some recommendations that will help you transform your space into your very own creation.

Three Tips for Getting an Apartment that Fits Your Design Style - rental, rent, design, apartments

Check the Terms First

Whether you want to totally redecorate every square inch of your living space, or are perfectly fine with wallpaper that’s been peeling of since the 1990’s, it doesn’t matter: start your search by understanding the terms and conditions that you’ll have to abide by in that apartment. Like I mentioned above – most rental agencies are very clear about what you’re not allowed to do in an apartment, and even for changes they’re okay with, you often have to request written approval to make the change.

If having control over the look and feel of your own space is important to you, look for property management and upkeep terms that allow you plenty of flexibility. Use caution – the rental industry is all about giving and taking. A place that affords you plenty of wiggle room to do what you want with the place may charge a higher rent than what the property’s worth, or may cut down on their own obligations, like maintenance and pest control, to allow you that freedom.

Gauge the Space

If decorating is what you do, and you insist on selecting everything in your space yourself, from the shower curtains to the mattress, then you really need to pay attention to how much space your apartment offers you. More often than not, some the best pieces are also some of the biggest. Whether you’re talking about a beautiful entertainment center, a gorgeous area rug, or the most comfortable couch in the world, these all take up a lot space. If you like to “go big” with your decorations, you’ll need plenty of room to accommodate your pieces.

Again – this will often require a trade off on your part. More space means higher rent. You should also pay attention not only your interior space, but access points for moving furniture in and out of the apartment. If you’re on the ground floor, then you’re golden, but if the only lot available is on the fourth floor in the corner? You’re going to find yourself struggling just to get your brand new refrigerator through the door.

Think About How you Want to Introduce Design Elements

Not only will you most likely need permission to makes changes to your apartment, but you’ll also be required to put everything back to the way it was the day you moved in, should you decide to move out. To make things easier for yourself, while still introducing the look that you want to achieve, let yourself get a little creative in how you introduce your design elements.

A perfect example is wallpaper. It’s all the rage right now, and it might not be too difficult to get permission to put some in your apartment. But think long term – sooner or later, if you leave, that wallpaper will have to come off, and anyone who’s done it will tell you…it’s a real pain. It takes a long time, and it’s almost guaranteed to sleeps scrapes or holes in the wall, that you’ll then have to fix, or pay to have fixed.

Instead, think outside the box. Ask yourself, “What is it that I like about this particular wallpaper?” Is the colors? The patterns? If that’s the case, see if you can find a similar color or pattern in easier to install items. I know I’m a big fan of stripes, but I don’t have to have them all over my walls. I buy striped couch cushions and throws, so I still get the look I’m going for – I’m just using a simpler, easier to reset method to do it. Even paint is easier to deal with than wallpaper; just make sure you match and buy a few cans of the original coat color, before you go down that road.