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10 Renter-Friendly Ways to Add Color & Pattern to Your White Walls – without Paint!

Almost every renter or dorm dweller knows the challenge of decorating around walls. On the bright side, renter white can provide a clean, fresh backdrop for neutrals and colors alike. On the not-so-bright side, it can be a challenge to transform that clean slate from blah to flawless.

If you're in a dorm, you're most likely stuck with the white. If you're renting, you may have options. Even if it explicitly states in your lease that painting is now allowed, go out on a limb and at least ask the landlord. They might be willing to compromise if your desired color is light and neutral enough for future tenants or if you're willing to paint it back before you move out. 

If the answer is still no, there are plenty of creative and clever ways to incorporate some color and pattern into your white wall space. 

Apartment Therapy
 1. Tack Up a Tapestry
Tapestries are affordable, easy to take down / put up, and often come in
beautiful patterns and colors from bright florals to exotic ikat prints. 

Source Unknown
2. Put Up Pegboard 
Buy a few slabs of cheap pegboard, paint it, and screw it to the wall.
It will add a big splash of color without painting the actual wall.
Plus, hanging pictures on pegboard does much less damage to the
wall – you won't be hammering in as many nails! 

Chasing Paper
3. Stick On Temporary Wallpaper
Renter-friendly removable wallpaper has been around for a while,
but with its growing popularity you're more likely to find trendy
patterns and colors. It's affordable, it's easier to hang than regular
wallpaper, and (if you're careful) it can be removed and rehung elsewhere.

Life as a Thrifter
4. Fabric Scraps
Hit up your local craft store and pick out some fabric scraps.
Hang them up with vintage pants hangers and you'll have
an easy-to-swap out installment of pattern and color.

Fresh Idea Studio
5. Wall Art Gallery
A wall gallery can be an explosion of color if you choose
brightly colored frames for your colorful art. Visit discount 
and dollar stores for cheap frames you can spray paint.

Land of Nod
6. Sewing Hoops and Fabric
This DIY project is an oldie but a goodie. It's the same idea
as the fabric scrap hangers, but calls for sewing hoops instead.
Easy to change. Easy to hang. Easy to make. Piece of cake.

7. Fabric and Cornstarch Wallpaper
You can adhere fabric to the wall with cornstarch. I took on this
DIY with a friend in her kitchen once. It took time and patience, but
the result was fabulous and the fabric can be removed with a bit of H2O.

Better Homes and Gardens
8. Patterned or Painted Panels
Pick up some big, cheap canvases from your local craft shop. Wrap them 
in pretty gift paper, wallpaper, or fabric. Canvases are lightweight and easy to 
hang. You can hang a huge one for a big splash of pattern, or smaller
ones to add more colors and prints. Want solid color? Just paint the canvas.

Apartment Therapy
9. Dramatic Drapes
You're going to have to hang curtains anyway. Go big or go home.
Don't be afraid to mix different colored panels with different patterns.
Don't have enough windows? Give the illusion of one by hanging a 
curtain rod and displaying the drapes there. 

Pencil Shavings Studio
10. Wide Format Washi Tape
Familiarize yourself with the DIY magic that is washi tape.
The cheap, removable tape comes in plenty of patterns and 
colors to complement your space. It even comes in wide format –
perfect for large-scale patterns and stripes on your walls!

Which project will you be tackling
to spruce up your white space?

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