Help spicing up a small rental apartment and hiding ugly meter box

5 years ago
Hi everyone, first off, thanks for being such an inspiring community! I’m new to Houzz, and it’s so cool to see so many people passionate about creating spaces. It’s only now that i realise how important a clean, peaceful space is to wellbeing.

I just rented a new apartment, and being a complete noob, I’m not sure what i can do here. Basically, I want a very clean and minimalist look that I’ll feel good in.

Given certain constraints, I’m very stuck in terms of the colors I can use and options I have in terms of certain things that are already there.

Here are some details:
- i can paint it in any neutral color (thinking ice white)
- the brown door and brown bed is fixed, wondering how to make those work
- trying to negotiate to remove the TV and TV bracket, and get a new one or remove it altogether. If that fails, need to cover it up or use it as a hanger
- im thinking of getting a Philips hue, which will help at night to provide more lighting. But any ideas to help with lighting will be super appreciated.
- a curtain to separate the room from the kitchen area might work as well.

Any help and thoughts for a noob will be very much appreciated! I wish I could have gotten a more expensive and polished rental, but this is my budget right now, but excited to see how I can make it work :)

Comments (10)

  • 5 years ago

    Hey Meow, thanks for writing in with your design dilemma!

    I rent too, and my favourite rental-friendly decorating weapon is 3M hooks and 3M strips – I use the strips to personalise my walls with photos and artwork, and the hooks to hang up fashion accessories like bags and necklaces as decor. Check out more tips in this story: https://www.houzz.com.sg/magazine/9-budget-friendly-ideas-to-personalise-your-rented-space-stsetivw-vs~66926992

  • 5 years ago
    Thank you so much! I’m thinking maybe I can set some 3M stripes on the ceiling and then set some drapes to cover up the power box. Are those strong enough to hold heavy fabric?
  • 5 years ago

    You can check the package; the weight it can hold up depends on the thickness of the 3M strip or the size of the 3M hook. The package will indicate the weight it can hold.

  • PRO
    5 years ago

    Hi Meow! Here’s a few suggestion:

    1. Curtains acting as partition to separate the rooms and cover meter box

    Consider getting white cloth so it matches with the wall!

    2. Colours

    Consider white with warmer base to give a softer feel. For some pop of colour, you can also consider using cool blues or pastel colours on a selected wall!

    3. Lighting ideas

    - Hang a pendant bulb in a dark corner. Use with long cord, you can get creative with the wiring using some hooks.

    - Layering the lights; placing your lights at different heights (floor, shelf, desk) with dimmable bulbs helps create a more welcoming glow

    4. Decorate the space with some greens to liven up the space!

    Hope it helps! :)

    Meow thanked HYJK Design
  • 5 years ago
    Thanks everyone for the great comments!! I’ve decided to incorporate everyone’s comments.

    1) Using Nippon rememberance for the wall color
    2) Using pastel curtains with 3M to cover the ugly door and meter box
    3) Making my own night stand from books
    4) Getting a big art piece for the side wall
    5) Putting a 55 inch TV at the foot of my bed for well, extravagance

    Some quick questions...
    1) what color curtains and table top work best with this shade of grey? For the table top, I might get a fresh piece of wood and laminate myself.
    2) what modern frame do you recommend for this wall and this kind of art, or should I drop the frame, and innovate, maybe just get a big piece of plastic and glue the sides? ;)
    3) any fun ideas for the TV stand? I don’t want to rent a minivan just to transport the tv stand, and the space between my bed and the planned curtain is tiny - like 45cm. So I’m thinking of an adhoc tv stand and stabilising it in a different way. :)

    Ok, you guys have been super crazy helpful! Thank you so much, I’ll share photos (hopefully not too embarrassing) when I’m done!
  • PRO
    5 years ago

    Looks like you have more help than you bargained for. The colour you chose is beautiful. Ice white can be a little stark. A little grey or blue in white is much nicer.

    ASIAN HAMPTONS · More Info

    This wall was painted in a vertical stripe to camouflage some electrical points and ideas poorly designed hdb space.

    Please post some pics of your apartment when its done. Would love to see it finished.

  • 5 years ago
    Thanks for the ideas! The frames look great, what are these frames called?

    Thanks also for the DIY tv idea, I saw some old furniture down the hallway... I’m going to cut them up and turn them into a very small TV stand that can fit the narrow space. Found a shop to cut the wood nearby

    Also, I started painting the wall! Finished work really late so could only paint one wall. Will post pictures as I progress.

    I’m a TOTAL NOOB tho! So don’t laugh :)
  • 5 years ago
    Oh, the light is yellow. Going to replace with mood lighting
  • 5 years ago
    Quick question: I ordered a really large frame 70cm x 100cm. I am not inclined to frame it cause it adds more noise, so I’m think I’m going to get 2 large transparent PVC tabletop sheets, and basically “nail” the poster between the sheets.

    It’s not conventional ( I know), but could work I think? Just worried about the reflection but that might be ok, since I’m looking into mood lightning and I prefer more reflection in the day and will be easy to move when I need to.

    Does not seem too hard to modify the size anyway. Maybe w a pen knife.

    Anyone has any idea how to nail 3 sheets together? Maybe just get a puncher, punch it in the middle, and seal it with one of those stationary seal eyelets?

    And put it under the mattress for flattening, and then just use the 3M command strips to stick it on.
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