Set Up A Rented Apartment To Feel Like Home UNDER INR 5,000 - Here's How!

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    Rented apartments are bittersweet territory. You've found what you were looking for after months of searching - it could use some change, it is a little dated, and you want to do so much - but you are bound by owner rules, by your own apprehensions or most commonly by budget. Good news is, all this can be dealt with and you can still make your rental space uniquely yours. What's needed is obviously this guide on how to set up a rented apartment on a budget and the basic know-how of strategic design. We're also going to be hooking you up with pieces of decor and furnishings that aren't committal or you know, non-portable or space bound. Also get excited because in the process you will find many budget-friendly home & kitchen brands to save and share! 

    Note that we're breaking down this list to different elements that you can use to set up a rented apartment and will equate that to different areas like the living room, dining area, kitchen, bathroom & bedroom too. You are free to choose where and how you want things.

    The Walls Are Literally Blank Canvases

    Krita & Penna

    Available on LBB

    There's a lot you can do with the walls in a rented apartment. Most may suggest painting as the first step which may come across as a big spend. But usually, even if the home has been repainted before it was handed over, the colour scheme may not fit. A budget-friendly way to paint is to do it yourself and get the landlord to pay for the paint, this way they don't have to pay for labour in the future. Get them to think of this as sweat equity! Once you've changed the paint, you may proceed to decorate and decorate you must because wall art and functional elements are usually not too expensive, plus you get to take them with you whenever you leave. DIY art again, is free and at the least very inexpensive to make. You could also create a whole gallery wall of artwork in the bedroom or living room with a mix of inspirational or graphic/printed framed wall quotes/art. We cannot recommend brands like IMI Studios, Krita & Penna, Going Desi, and Custde enough for a setup like this. They cover all bases, all tastes, and prices start as low as INR 400. A much more inexpensive and a temporary but clever way to display art would be through posters. Try Strawycubes, The With Love Store, or Cheerylittlecheery for this. Wall art can also hide home imperfections or draw away attention, we're talking about damp walls, chips in the paint, patched surfaces, unsightly light switches, and the likes. If you have more money to spare, do the same with wall plates or wall hangings like tapestries - they add colour and texture, so the few extra bucks are well spent. Mirrors are also a frugal way to enhance the look of the walls while making a small space look bigger or dark space brighter. The key is to look out for discounts, LBB's collection of mirrors always have offers, plus you can use perks for additional discounts. We particularly recommend Hollyhock, the stylish rattan mirrors here start at only INR 1,300.

    Pro-tip: Look for easier ways to install wall art - tamper-proof wall stickers rather than having to drill holes. Wall hooks like this jaw wall hook from SPIN or pinewood wall hook from Inara and floating shelves like this wooden shelf from Niche Studio or this kitchen towel and rack shelf from The Weavers Nest will space in the kitchen, living room or bathroom and also show off your decoratives. They can also be moved around easily.

    Attack The Floors With Style & Design Too

    Sashaa World

    Available on LBB

    Rugs and carpets are a renter's BFF - living room to bathroom and dining room. They establish a sense of space, can easily cover up ugly tiles in the bathroom and protect any floor. Another reason we love them for a rented home is because they also double as decor - choose from colourful prints and patterns or muted chic options or texture too, to transform any dull space. Affordable rugs and carpets brands for you to explore on LBB are Saraswati Global Pvt Ltd, Jasmey Homes, Sashaa World and Award Velvets. Prices here start as low as INR 450. Check out more options, for all budgets here. If you have a long-term lease, you can invest in floor reglazing for a brand new look. Carpets also add warmth and a certain cosiness to any space, so if you're looking for a homely vibe in a rented space, this is your best bet. Floor cushions also fit the aesthetic of Indian homes and are another way to make your apartment floor interesting and cover space. We're a fan of this Rajasthani embroidered floor cushion from Zawadi and this shibori floor cushion from N Square Studio.

    Pro-tip: Make a judgement based call on the sizing. Larger carpets or rugs fit better in the living or dining area. They may be a tad more expensive but worth the investment. Throw in a few small rugs to cover areas like the entrance, restroom, and bedroom.

    New Lighting Can Change The Whole View

    Soulspiti

    Available on LBB

    The ambiance of your not-so-great-looking-yet rented home can do a full 180 - all you have to do is fix bad lighting or add new lighting. The biggest relief is that this does not need to be hardwired ceiling fixtures. Instead, divert your attention to table or nightstand lamps or lamps to place on side tables. Floor lamps for the living room or dining and battery-operated accent lamps to place in corners of the bathroom and kitchen are other ways to achieve this goal too. The simplest and cheapest way to add new lights to your new pad is to browse through LBB's lamps & lighting section. Brands like Galiretrovali, Decon, Soulspiti and Insanitiez are more affordable than the rest but if you're okay with parting with some extra cash for light that doubles as a fine home accessory, Brands like Aadyashre, Design Vesign and Fos Lighting are ace and start at around INR 1,500. An entirely inexpensive way to give your home character and life through lights are fairy or string lights. Available in multiple designs and styles, these can add sparkle to any room including the balconies and outdoors. We love Glimmer Lightings and Samoolam hands down for lights at throwaway prices of INR 399 only!

    Pro-tip: Upcycled lights are soon becoming a favourite among the younger generation - think waste bottles transformed into artful table lights. Check out Pretty Things India and Wasted for the same. Under-cabinet lighting or plug-in sconces are perfect to give kitchen work areas or bedroom corners some light to work with. Pick out accent lighting to highlight art, cabinets, or bookcases too, these particularly come cheap.

    Accents & Accessories Are Affordable And Forever

    Bageechawala

    Available on LBB

    Think of home accents, accessories, and small decor items as finishing touches for your rented home. It is also one part of decorating or setting up that you can do all the time, whenever you feel like it because, hello! It's affordable! We also love how only a few pieces can add heaps of personality to any bland space and mind you, these are fully portable too. This means buy-in lot just once, and keep switching things seasonally! Our go-to for a rented apartment especially, are planters and planters. Planters add charm, colour, decor, drama you name it - and they cost close to nothing most times. LBB has pot & planters options in ceramic, metal, jute, concrete, you name it. Brands like Hollyhock, Bageechawala, Trellis Bliss, and Crok Chok start at a princely INR 170 only, so go all out! For some countertop or tabletop magic, we recommend candles and candle stands, pretty trinket dishes, vases, and decor accents from brands like The Essence Store, Navika Home Decor, Amaya Decors, Crayton, Sajja and 1BHK Interiors - with collections curated keeping in mind price and a target audience that appreciates a good bargain. 

    Pro-tip: To help you through LBB's vast home accents & accessories, here's a list of 10 cheap but expensive-looking apartment accents, you're welcome. Also, pick things that go after the aesthetic you desire, believe us, the collection here has something for every home, rented or not.

    Furniture & Furnishings Can Set You Back But We Got You

    Amoli Concepts

    Available on LBB

    If your rental space is small and you aren't living there for too long and have zero furniture, the smartest thing to do is to rent furniture too! Plenty of services are available all over the internet, no matter where you live. What you could also do is buy multipurpose pieces - so a sofa bed or loft bed can be super functional and you can replace large seating with stools, poufs or ottomans. Brands like Amoliconcepts, Sheen Decor, and Sirohi By The Skilled Samaritan Foundation have some good options on LBB. Also, visit flea markets or online exchange/second-hand stores to land more budget options. The ideal thing to do would be to buy everything second-hand except for a mattress when it comes to furniture.  Furnishings are where you should be shelling out a few bucks if you must. Layering with curtains, cushions, and throws from brands like Vermillion Lifestyle, Zeba, Binary Home, and Ambiya will make all the difference to furniture set up, especially in the living room. They will add character, texture, and colour without burning a hole anywhere! 

    Pro-tip: Use furnishings as your weapon - in the bedroom, living room, even in the dining area. Cushions and throws are your friends. Curtains too, don't only have to cover windows - hang inexpensive curtains or fabric along a wall to create a nice feature and provide color and texture to your space.