Small spaces such as apartments can feel sort of cramped and one of the best ways to combat this is with simple upgrades. The first step, of course, is to speak with the landlord or landlady before making any major changes. In most cases, small upgrades will not matter to the landlord/lady; however, they can make a big difference in the look and feel of the place.
One tasks that can open the kitchen or cooking area is to remove the cabinet doors and refinish the cabinets. The lack of cabinet doors creates the illusion that the kitchen has more open space. For those who do not wish to remove the doors or simply do not have organizational skills to keep them tidy, try refinishing the cabinets and doors then replacing knobs and handles with beautiful, ornaments pieces. Replacements are not expensive and can be located at hardware and home improvement stores. To save even more money, try searching for them at flea markets and yard sales.
Whether the doors are removed or not, contact or wall paper may be used to line the shelves and drawers. In either case this will make clean up much simpler. If the doors are removed, choose the paper carefully to accentuate the décor of the room. Add some whimsical curtains, a bright, cheery area rug, and a book case for added storage space. These small and inexpensive changes will create a whole new look.
Bathrooms are small and many times they are overlooked during the process of home decorating or upgrading. The cabinet knobs and drawer handles can be replaced in this room as well. The faucet fixtures and shower head can also be replaced. This alone makes a large difference in the bathroom. Add a new shower curtain, bath mat, and bath room accessories for a more dramatic change. Local dollar type stores often sell bath room accessory sets which include a rinse cup, soap dish, and tooth brush holder. Try purchasing some colored hand soap to match for one dollar. Mirrors are usually very inexpensive and accentuate most any room with a touch of class.
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There are some simple cleaning tasks that can rid Ann Arbor apartment of that gloomy feel. They require some work, but are not too difficult and generally not expensive. Rent a carpet cleaner with attachments. Invest in the really good shampoo for it. Clean the carpets and, if possible the furniture. Wash all of the curtains in the apartment on a gentle cycle with cool water. It is not a good idea to use a dryer for most types of curtains, but they can be hung back up over the windows wet. Sweep all of the cobwebs down and wash all of the walls. These cleaning tasks alone will brighten the entire apartment plus make is smell fresh and clean.
Once the walls are clean consider adding a wallpaper boarder. Most landlords/ladies will agree to this. There are also certain types that are easier to remove, but these may cost just a little more. There are also removable wall decals in numerous styles and designs that can add a little light and décor to a room.