Tour a Short-Term Apartment Rental With Long-Term Style

Thanks to designer Ana Claudia, this Upper East Side apartment in New York City is crisp, contemporary and totally personalized. The catch? The space is a rental. Take a tour: Ana has an abundance of decorating tips for renters.

Photo By: Sarah Elliott

Photo By: Sarah Elliott

Photo By: Sarah Elliott

Photo By: Sarah Elliott

Photo By: Sarah Elliott

Photo By: Sarah Elliott

Photo By: Sarah Elliott

Photo By: Sarah Elliott

Come Inside

Decorating can feel pretty permanent, which is why designer Ana Claudia Schultz filled this New York City apartment with transitional pieces. To create interest in the entryway, she laid down a long runner in a bold color. "Then, I anchored it with transitional furnishings you can take when you move," she explains to "The bench can also be used in a dining room, the mirror can work in various spots and the shelves, while shown staggered here, can be mounted on their own or rotated vertically."

Size It Up

When it comes to decorating a rental you want your space to look and feel like a home, so proportion and scale are crucial. Instead of investing in custom furniture you might not be able to use later on, improvise: "If you need a piece that’s larger than the off-the-shelf options, get two and arrange them accordingly," Ana suggests. In the living room, she placed two tables side-by-side to fill out the space.

Perfectly Personal

Don’t be afraid to hang shelves and decorate with special items, as shown in the entry. Remember to check proportions, so it looks custom.

Light It Up

An open floorplan can be tricky, but Ana used a long neutral sofa to separate the living room from the dining room and kitchen. For rentals in particular (and open floorplans), proper lighting can really enhance the ambiance, so Ana placed floor and table lamps throughout the space. Now, this room is bright and cheery, and the lamps add a homey touch.

Loving on Layers

Layer your own artwork, accessories and keepsakes. "It'll add depth and character to what could be a bland rental," says Ana.

Small Details

"Use the existing lightbox and replace current ceiling lights with a pendant or chandelier of your choice," Ana suggests. In the kitchen, she added a pendant that matched the floor lamps and looked great off center.

A Fresh Start

Ana suggests asking your super to paint before move-in. Here, clean white walls set the foundation for furniture and accessories: a perfect contrast.

Make It a Home

If you're worried about returning your rental to original condition, lean artwork on the wall instead of mounting it. Finally, Ana says, "Add lots of personal items and artwork so it feels like your home. Temporary or not, you should feel great in your space."

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