You know what they say about death and taxes? Well, in 2018, I think it’s safe to say you can add renting an apartment to that list. Homes are a big investment most people have to save up for years to afford, and with more and more young adults moving to new cities for jobs instead of staying close to home, ending up as a renter is nearly unavoidable at this point.
From a design perspective, renting can pose serious limitations. Most home renovations and design updates you’ve set your heart on (and endlessly saved to your Pinterest boards) simply aren’t possible in an apartment or house you don’t own. And that can leave a lot of renters feeling like they’re stuck in a boring, cookie-cutter space that doesn’t fit their personality or design style. But even if it’s a temporary one, your rented space still deserves to feel like home.
If you’re a savvy (and likely, experienced) renter, you’ve learned some of the high-impact design updates most landlords and management companies allow (as long as you undo them before you move out). Think: painting the walls and switching out cabinet hardware. But one of the less frequently exploited design hacks renters can use is one that often makes the biggest impact in your space and instantly makes it feel more like your own: Changing out the light fixtures.
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If you’ve ever lived in an apartment you’re likely familiar with what are affectionately called “boob lights”—the cheap and dreadful flush-mount light fixtures that have disgraced the ceilings of far too many apartments and builder grade homes (if you have no idea what I’m talking about—lucky you, but click here). If your home has any of these lights, or other offensive light fixtures you’d rather not see ever again, it means you already have the necessary wiring and electrical box to change out the entire fixture to one more fitting of your home, whether it’s another simple flush-mount light or a dramatic chandelier. As far as your landlord is concerned, there won’t be any additional wiring or holes in the wall. Just make sure you know what you’re doing before messing with the existing electrical wiring. Or better yet, call in a pro.
Changing out a room’s light fixture will undoubtedly make a huge difference in your rental apartment—not only will the unique style make your space feel more fitting to your taste, but you can also change the level of brightness the light shines into your room—something that standard-issue fixture likely wouldn’t allow you to do. Just be sure to keep the original light fixtures you take out in a safe place—yes, so you can appease your landlord by replacing them when you move out, but also so you can take that beauty you invested in with you to your next home!