Leanne Ford's Clever Wallpaper Hack For Jazzing Up An Imperfect Rental Space

Planning and decorating a new apartment opens the doors to worlds of possibilities, though being a rental, it does, of course, come with its limitations. And because of this, that excitement for interior design can somewhat subside when faced with less-than-ideal walls, floors, and fixtures. Still, don't get down; you have options, which design guru Leanne Ford can attest to firsthand. For her first apartment, Ford found a clever way to make the most of the wall space in the rental unit.

As she shared on her website, Ford approaches every project with an open mind. "I walk into a space, and I think: Okay, what is good? What can we keep? I'm not looking for perfect. I'm looking for special." This mindset of Ford is exactly what led her to try a clever wallpaper hack in her first apartment. Because she didn't want to make any permanent changes, Ford opted for rental-friendly fabric-lined walls instead of wallpaper. "I hung these spools of fabric I had in the hallways as 'wallpaper' and did a large gallery wall of thrift shop finds and cool art or pictures that I would rip out of magazines and frame," she told the American home magazine Domino.

Create a chic gallery on a fabric wall

Leanne Ford's "wallpaper" gallery hack highlights how versatile fabric can be when decorating. In addition to being rental-friendly, it's also much easier to take down fabric than it is to remove wallpaper. Ford was able to completely transform her rental space with this innovative use of fabric and creative curation of art. Adding an attractive gallery wall to your apartment unit may just be the refresh the place needs as well.

When creating a gallery wall, planning is key. Deciding which wall to decorate is the easiest step. While the hall in Ford's apartment was the ideal spot for her fabric innovation, there are other places where a gallery wall can make an impact. Once you've found the ideal spot for you, the real fun begins because you get to next choose your fabric. From vintage and whimsical to traditional and sophisticated, there's a perfect fabric for your project.

Probably the first decision you'll make is between patterned or solid fabric. An ornate damask pattern will complement a classic or regal interior design, for example, while a bold solid color will draw attention to the art like a spotlight. If you're still working out an overall design scheme, let your chosen artwork influence your fabric choice. Creating a gallery display is like a fun puzzle that results in a beautiful space. It should be noted shelf gallery walls are also popular and can be changed more easily than mounted variations.