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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a small two bedroom apartment at a great price, rent is $450. Its older and has dark paneling. How can I brighten it up on a budget? Painting isnt an option. thanks!
 

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Hang a bright wallhanging of some kind. Or perhaps a mock window and hang a beautiful curtain rod with a curtain of your choice.

Congrats on finding a place!
 

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Here's a project that I'm gonna try because I have a bunch of styrofoam sheets from my last delivery box, and it just might work for youtoo. I got the idea from some wall coverings I bought at Target's, only to realize they'd be a cinch to make with fabric and pins or tacks.

I'm going to get about 5 different pieces of fabric, all different patterns, but all in the same color family. In this case it'll be black, white, red, & purple (nope, i'm not kidding....lol) for my 14 YO's room. I'll just cover the styrofoam in the fabric, then use pins or tacks to hold in place. Stick a $.25 saw-tooth holder on back, and VOILA! Instand cheap decorator-look art. ;)

Or, since I have alot of plain black-wood frames, I might use small pieces of the fabric to put behind the glass. Most of them are the multi framed ones that just might work out pretty cute. If I get feeling really creative, I just might sew up a valance and few matching throw pillows for her bed. We'll see about that part ;) And ya know what I think would look really nice, is my favorite ways to group frames the same size, is to hang them on a narrow wall all in a straight line, reaching almost to the floor. I did that with calendar page "pictures" once and I LOVED it!!

The other thing that came to mind was using a collection of small/medium, different shaped wall mirrors, all painted the same color, or 2-3 colors of those in your fabrics. Again, cheap to make. And if you should happen to have a thrift store or two around, it'll probably be so easy to find some too.

To me the trick for your wall panel problem would be to draw the eye away with the use of alot of co-ordinating fabrics/colors throughout the room.

Anyways, just my own 2 cents there. Hope it helps, and hope you get alot more ideas. Please let us know how you do. Would love to see some before/after photos.

Most of all, have fun!!

Theresa :)
 

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I saw the subject and came here to say PAINT, but I see that isn't an option for you. We have a rental duplex that had ugly cheap dark paneling and we painted most of it white. Place looks so much nicer and brighter and bigger now it is incredible. But if you can't do that, I would suggest taking some attractive light colored fabric, perhaps patterned flat sheets, and pinning them up on the wall. Or just large colorful wall hangings, maybe tie-dye some plain white sheets?

I second the idea to add mirrors, also be sure the lighting is really bright. Dark rooms can be depressing, so adding light and reflecting it is good. Burning candles can make the place seem cozy, friendly, and warm so that is a nice idea, too.
 

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Liquid starch will make a "glue" where you can put fabric on walls without any damage to them. when you want to change or remove the fabric, just dampen slightly and it peels right off.

Mirrors are good for small, dark places -- with lights, and candles.

Use lightweight fabrics for pillows, bedspreads, curtains,etc.
 

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I like the idea of hanging the curtains or sheets to brighten the space and hide the dark wood. If you haven't asked if you could paint already, maybe you could. I would guess that even with rent that low they have a difficult time renting to people because of that wood paneling. If you can't paint then I would try to hide it the best you could. I have turned down many apartments because of that wood paneling, of course they usually came with shag carpeting and other features from the 60's and 70's like avocado green and bright orange appliances :bigglass:.
 

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trying adding some colorful rugs on the floors. Another thing is light colored furniture or throws over furniture will also help lighten it up. You can also look for a large painting, that would add some color. Good use of light, as in lamps would also help a little.
 

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Mirrors can be really useful. Hanging them on the wall can reflect light and brighten the space a bit. You can also use small floor/canister type lighting to shine up on the wall and illuminate a photo or painting. Hanging fabric sounds good to me too. Nails or hooks (in the ceiling, right at against the wall) and ring clips would do the job pretty quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for some great ideas! One thing I've though of...i recently inherited an old quilt of my grandmas,its in tatters but still lovely with tiny multi colored squares...this would be great for one wall and could cover a large area...I could just nail it up as it already has holes in it. Thanks again for some great input!
 

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Thanks for some great ideas! One thing I've though of...i recently inherited an old quilt of my grandmas,its in tatters but still lovely with tiny multi colored squares...this would be great for one wall and could cover a large area...I could just nail it up as it already has holes in it. Thanks again for some great input!

Not only a great decorating idea/conversation piece, but what a nice way to remember someone special :rose:

Theresa :)
 
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