Originally posted on: https://www.redfin.com/blog/apartment-art-that-wont-cost-your-security-deposit/

Art can totally transform a space and there’s nothing better than filling your home with art that’s meaningful to you. When it comes to adding art into your apartment, you may be cautious about damaging your walls – and the possibility of not receiving your full security deposit back. There are many ways to add art to your apartment without damaging it. To give you ideas on what that looks like, we gathered artists from Sacramento, CA, to Philadelphia, PA, to provide their insights on unique art that won’t cost you your security deposit. Read on to see what they had to say.

Design a mural on your walls 

The best way to creatively transform an apartment space that won’t damage your walls is to use a sharpie marker (or paint) to create a mural with shapes, stripes, or patterns. If you aren’t brave enough for that, no trouble. Easily fill a wall/space with a unique accent feature like a used or vintage surfboard, vintage bicycle (you can paint it to match your aesthetic if it’s rusty), or showcase a vintage rug by hanging it. – Mitch Allen Interiors 

Create one-of-a-kind art with resin epoxy

When I think of art, I think of something unique and one of a kind, something that nobody else has. That’s easy to achieve with resin epoxy. The technique that is “no-fail” would be the dirty pour. Adding different complementary colors of resin in a cup and just flipping it onto a canvas can create the most magical statement pieces of art. – Unicone Art

Prints are affordable and won’t cause damage

Many artists will happily allow prints to be made of their work in addition to the art available from the big online sellers such as Fine Art America. Pick out art that you love, ask if prints are available, and if yes, make that art your statement piece by going big, 36”x36” or larger. Prints are very affordable and if printed on canvas are light enough for easy hanging with removable Command strips. – Patricia J Finley Fine Art

Maps and globes will fit any aesthetic 

Create a worldly, nostalgic look with maps and globes. The rich history of ancient paths and roads can be displayed in several ways. Set up a coffee table or shelf collection, decoupage maps onto a chest of drawers or a stack of old suitcases, staple one to a roller shade for a window treatment, hang prints from dowel rods, and of course, framed maps with your travel pins are ongoing interactive art pieces and conversation starters. Shopping secondhand for these items keeps costs low and is an eco-friendly option. – The Local Flea

Photo courtesy of Bev Goldie Art

Add a show stopper piece to any room

As a new condo owner, artist, and former decorator my tip for immediate impact is an investment in a “showstopper” artwork for the living room – preferably a triptych (three pieces that go side by side). This allows coverage above any size sofa, mantel, or great room. It also allows versatility if you move and is easier to hang than one huge piece of work. Triptychs also look amazing over a king-sized bed. – Bev Goldie Art

Functional art is non-damaging  

One of the easy ways to add artistic touch-ups to your apartment is to use functional art. For example, side tables, coffee tables, trays, rugs, lamps, vases, and many other art objects can be both a piece of art and functional at the same time. Even one small coffee table with ocean or abstract resin art can change the whole feel of the room. – Art Magic

Lean artwork on mantels, bookshelves, or tables

Fined for putting nail holes in your apartment walls? Place smaller artworks on your mantel, bookshelf, or bedside table instead. Or use 3M Command strips to attach larger works to the walls with easy damage-free removal. – Kathy Ferguson Art

Tall, skinny artwork is great for floor leaning

You can still invest in high-quality artwork and display it in your apartment without damaging the wall. Frame the piece, or leave it unframed, and simply set it up on the floor (or atop a table) leaning against the wall. Tall, skinny artworks look especially great displayed in this manner. You may have seen this technique before with large mirrors? The effect is reminiscent of a Parisian salon, so chic. – Iris Scott Fine Art

Consider different ideas that are perfect for any apartment art

If you’re budget-conscious but are interested in an artist’s work, don’t be shy. Contact the artist directly and ask if they have anything available within your range. Many artists are struggling financially and are willing to work with you, either by pointing you to smaller works or fabricating an affordable custom commission. Textile artists like Colleen Ray Smiley create unique one of a kind fine and functional pieces. Her quilts can be both displayed on a bed or couch as well hanging from the ceiling or wall with tacks or command strips. Shari Mendelson’s iridescent sculptures made from plastic bottles, reminiscent of roman antiquity, bring a contemporary edge into an old artistic form. These pieces are light and easy to stabilize on shelves or a table with museum wax. Contact the artists directly, tell them your budget, and they may have work that is not represented by a gallery and is available for a reasonable price.

If for some reason, you really need to make a hole in a wall, ask the super if they have the matching paint. It’s really easy to patch a hole with spackle and a clean putty knife. Once dry, dab the spot with a clean brush with paint. Also, Magic Erasers clean scuffs and marks really nicely. – Annie Varnot

Create functional items with epoxy resin

Epoxy resin products are a great way to enhance one’s apartment in a unique way. With an epoxy resin coat, you can make a table, or a painting, look all glossy and shiny. You can also create sculptures of your choosing through molds, for example: beautiful colorful coasters, charcuterie boards, Lazy Susan — you name it. – Magic Resin

4 damage-free ways to present your art:

  1. Lean large artwork against the wall or on a shelf 
  2. Use command hooks or adhesive to hang art or use lightweight objects such as art prints, posters, and fabric.
  3. Having a focal point in your apartment, like a colorful area rug or a painted feature wall—a bold wall color painted only on one side to focus the eye’s attention.
  4. Transform your room in minutes with peel and stick removable wallpaper. 

Design By Size

Mosaic art designed for moving

The world of fine-art mosaics contains beautiful artwork that is rhythmic, colorful, textural, reflective, sturdy, and unique. Although traditional mosaics were created directly on walls and floors, and thus are heavy inappropriate for apartment dwellers, many mosaic artists now focus on reasonably light, self-contained display art pieces similar to paintings, as well as lightweight free-standing display items, occasional tables, and functional pieces such as dining-table centerpieces. Whatever mosaic art you choose for your apartment, you can easily take it with you if you choose to move. – Glass and Grout

Place art on bookshelves and console tables

Bookshelves and console tables are the perfect places to add decor in any form. You can use these spaces to mix and match different types of decor pieces such as vases, wall art, and candlesticks. – Lulu Quadri

Photo courtesy of Mosaic Natural

Add a unique mosaic piece perfect for any apartment 

Depicting a vase overflowing with beautiful flowers, this mosaic features a delicate blend of natural colors. Every petal comes to life in this charming and subtle design. Perfect for inviting spaces, this piece will add warmth to any room you choose. Consider displaying this artwork in your bedroom or living room. – Mosaic Natural 

Invest in wall art from an emerging artist

Perhaps there has never been such a demand for fine art photography available as wall art as nowadays. It’s a modern and unique way to transform any wall of a home into an art space using a small hook/screw or even a solution without a nail. If you’d like to truly express your style without breaking the bank, make sure to choose a limited edition art from an emerging artist. This way you not only put your trust in their work- which means the world for them – but you can even treat your new addition for your home as an art investment that’s value will increase over time. – BEN SZEKELY

Add splashes of vibrant colors

Dress up your wall with an oversized resin art painting. Splashes of vibrant colors are playful while a blend of black and white with gold-colored streaks are perfect for a royal and sophisticated look. You can either buy from an Etsy store online or create a DIY, but remember to pick up the piece that best describes your personality. – Drippy Art

Customize prints for your apartment 

Add enhanced prints to your apartment. After the ink is dried and sealed, the canvas is carefully painted over with the artist’s brush strokes using fine-quality oils and finishes. The finished piece looks almost exactly like a hand-painted piece of art. Or add custom pieces and HD metal prints that really captivate the viewer and make an exceptional showpiece for your room. These can be hung using command strips that will not damage the walls. – Camille Barnes Studio