Here’s How to Make an NYC Apartment Your Own without Violating Your Lease Contract

Apartment living room

There’s a good reason NYC homes are sometimes called shoebox apartments. They’re tiny!  The average size per square feet is only 733. To compare, a rental in Tallahassee, Florida, can measure 1,038 square feet.

These properties can also be dreary and dull. How can you make it appear spacious and beautiful without your landlord breathing down your neck for what you did?

Here are five ideas:

1. Choose Your Wallpaper Carefully

Wallpapers are more comfortable to attach and remove, and they can already spruce up a property nicely. They can also cover imperfections. One option is decal wallpaper. It’s a sticker with three layers for easy peeling. Initially designed for the outdoors, it is sturdy and doesn’t fade right away.

You can also choose different decal designs:

  • Flowers fit a tropical-themed living room.
  • Cartoon characters are great for children’s rooms.
  • Striped decals can lengthen a space.
  • Decals that are mostly white can provide a beautiful focal point while creating the illusion of more space.

2. Add a Mirror—On the Floor

Mirrors remain one of the cheapest ways to “add” more space, but what if the landlord discourages you from hammering? You can place a big mirror on the floor instead. It can still bounce light and even create a beautiful warm corner glow.

3. Use Fancy Carts and Multi-Tiered Stand-Alone Shelves

If you can’t put up mirrors, then you may not also add shelves. Where will you place your accessories and knick-knacks? Fancy carts and stand-alone shelves are the best solutions. You can buy Ikea’s Raskog or even invest in a slim bookcase.

You can also look for stainless-steel shelves to organize heavier objects, especially in your kitchen. These include pots and pans, and microwave oven and toaster.

These furniture pieces can be multipurpose and versatile:

  • Transform your cart into a minibar with some bottles of wine and flute glasses.
  • It can also store magazines and books.
  • Shelves can be a mini-office. One layer may work as a laptop station.
  • Bookshelves can hold your collection or even store your succulents.

4. Grow Plants

Another way to add more color to your space is to add plants. Green can also help you feel more relaxed since it reminds you of nature. It fits your NYC lifestyle, which may be hectic and stressful.

Some of the best indoor plants to grow include:

  • Aloe vera (use its gel to create DIY skincare products)
  • Snake plant
  • Rubber plant
  • Fiddle leaf figs
  • Bird of paradise

Some of these may need indirect light, fertilizer, or a small amount of water regularly. All, though, are easy to maintain and handle. You can paint their pots or place them inside woven baskets. To be more eco-friendly, reuse old cans, cups, and even shoes.

5. Make the Most of What You Have

Modern apartment

When you don’t have a budget to buy any new decor, you can transform your possessions into decorations:

  • Pile up books on the floor and place a single large piece of wood on top to create a shelf.
  • Use command strips to display scarves, belts, and bags.
  • Cover tables with a decorative blanket or fabric.

Just because it’s a tiny rental space doesn’t mean you can do nothing to make it more livable and your own. The ideas listed above will help you spruce up your apartment and still get your deposit once you’re ready to move on.

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