The living room's orange and blue accent colors carry into the kitchen as a way to link the two rooms. In the small dinette, armless bamboo chairs are less bulky. These were bought unfinished online and painted brilliant blue.
Play a trick on your eyes. Stare at the painting in the dinette. Feel like you're flying? That's because the painting has a definite horizon line. "By hanging a piece like this on a blank wall you give the illusion of depth to a room," Brown explains. "This visual trick leads the eye beyond the wall. A beautiful landscape accomplishes this best."
Bright light: "Most renters are not allowed to install overhead lighting, so we selected a simple lamp with a small base that can tuck nicely under the edge of the sofa," designer Kenneth Brown says. Plus, it swivels to the console table as desk lighting.
Paint pad: If your super approves, paint walls a lively hue that can easily be repainted white when it's time to move out.
Smart art: For an affordable art piece that wouldn't damage walls, Brown hung banners of tangerine wallpaper -- wrapped around dowel rods at top and bottom -- from tiny eye hooks installed in the ceiling.
Super storage: Closet space is usually nil, so put small furniture to work. Under the windows, inexpensive wicker ottomans store throws, unused pillows, board games, and movies.
Color bursts: Did your super nix the wall paint idea? Don't settle for drab. Add color in ways you can take with you when your lease is up. Use colorful boxes to corral small items in bookshelves -- they'll look like objets d'art. Find a quirky flea-market chair (or an unfinished one) on the cheap and paint it a daring hue. Roll out a colorful rug; it doubles as cushy floor seating.
Continued on page 4: Get the Look