Congratulations! You’ve signed a new lease and you’re on your way to making your new rental, home sweet home! At Avilla Homes, we encourage you to personalize your new space by adding paint to the walls or other decor. However, moving can be expensive, so consider these DIY decorating tips when refining your living space.

Work Your Budget

Remember that a good price isn’t always a good deal. “When you have a budget, it’s easy to buy things for the price, rather than buy good things,” says interior designer Rita Konig. “But if you buy good things, they will always be with you. If you buy the bad couch, for instance, you will always want to replace it as soon as you can.” So, be picky and choose items that you love. If new furniture is out of your budget, look to estate sales and secondhand stores. You can always refinish a piece or have it reupholstered.

Start with Lighting

Lighting is important. Whether it is the sunlight that comes in your windows, the glow from a frosted pane, or simply the overhead lighting in a room, lights make a room home. While Avilla properties have better lighting than most rental communities, adding some ambient light can work to improve any space. Choose vibrant lampshades and use light bulbs that simulate soft white or outdoor light. Thanks to innovative technologies, you can now even purchase light bulbs that have speakers in them that connect to your smartphone!

Look to the Walls

Next, shift your perspective. Those blank walls are a canvas, and they are just begging for some color. Buy some prints and hang them gallery style or create your own oversized original works and lean them against the wall. You could also use some of your favorite photographs or blow up a favorite image. Use caging or contact strips in order to prevent wall damage. If you want something a little bolder, try wall decals, removable wallpaper, or colorful curtains. The options are endless. Just remember that you don’t need to cover the walls with art or patterns — one statement piece will do — so choose something that you would want to keep.

Accessorize Everything

Also, look at getting some accessories. Throw pillows, blankets, rugs, and statement pieces are a perfect way to express your individuality and add color to a room without blowing the budget. For example, if you have an outside area, you could add a small patio set but it is going to look bland and generic if that’s all you do. A colorful plant, bright seat cushions or an outdoor rug will add the pop of color you need to make this outdoor space yours. While these things can get pricey, a good budget saver is to buy what you can easily afford and improvise the rest. For instance, instead of buying a big area rug, you can buy a remnant from a carpet store and ask them to bind the edges.

Add Custom Storage

Adding bookcases, shelving and other organizing solutions is an easy and often inexpensive way to give your home a more finished look and increase your living space at the same time. You can find lots of affordable storage options at your neighborhood IKEA. Make it your own and avoid having your storage furniture look inexpensive by adding a coat of paint, colorful paper, adhesive mirrors or new hardware.