High rises and apartments are popping up like wildflowers in Houston, and whether you are purchasing or renting, you can and should make it your own, personalized space.  Although it may be smaller than you would like, or you are downsizing from a larger home, it still should be your sanctuary, a special environment that feels good and functions well. When renting, don’t be afraid to make it your own. The best time to ask about what you are allowed to change in the space is during lease negotiations, as it varies from building to building. Some examples of modifications to ask about include painting or wallpapering, hanging art, mounting TVs, window coverings, or changing out a ceiling fan for a chandelier.
The ceiling fan was removed and a chandelier added to create better lighting and a cozier feeling. Shop the similar items pictured below by clicking on the images, which will lead you to the e-commerce portion of our site.

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The raw concrete columns and gray neutral colors in this space allow the view to shine. We replaced standard lighting with small chandeliers to make the space feel personalized and match the client’s style. Another inexpensive way to add ambiance in any space is to add a dimmer. A dimmer was added in the living room so at night the client could enjoy the twinkle of city lights and soft lighting in their space.

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apartment living doesn’t have to feel limited or temporary.

Switching out basic blinds with customized window coverings softens and personalizes an otherwise cookie cutter space. Another simple way to quickly update the space and make furnishings appear instantly better is by addressing lighting, which can be done in two ways. Replacing standard lightbulbs in fixtures can fix the issue of cool, depressing lighting and better complement the space. Changing the lighting altogether is another option to achieve a more personalized space. This solution includes replacing a ceiling fan with a decorative chandelier. All of these simple modifications can be stored and switched back to their original state when the client moves.
When making changes to an apartment, it is important to find ways to personalize every aspect, including the guest room. For this client, it was important to incorporate pieces from their old home with fresh items to modernize and simplify. By adding new items, we were able to highlight the meaningful pieces in their lives while representing the start of their next chapter.

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Floating shelves are an inexpensive way to show collectibles and add dimension to a wall. In the Museum District high rise, we used floating shelves to showcase collectibles from the client’s travels, making the space more meaningful. Mirrors are your best friend as long as what they are reflecting is desirable. Mirrors can improve the space with the addition of molding that deepens the space and makes it feel more spacious. In this client’s high rise, we improved the powder bath with a custom quartz mirror, custom wallpaper, and a custom build vanity. We added sconces to brighten, and used the large mirror to reflect the gorgeous view.

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With owning the space, living in a high rise comes with its own restrictions and challenges; however, each of these challenges can be met and solved. Although the plumbing in the building cannot be changed, wall hung toilets can allow for a toilet to be moved where it may not be able to otherwise.

High rises without adequate lighting is an issue we see often, but added architectural design to the ceiling will allow for updated and diversified lighting.

This master bath redesign included the relocation of the toilet, shower and tub by opening an unused part of a chase wall and moving the shower, so the shower becomes a larger role in version and opens to the view across the tub. This redesign allows for the client to maximize the space and functionality, all while enjoying the view.

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The rooms are now properly lighted and updated.  The ceiling also has a diamond plaster finish for a soft glow.

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When Design House begins a high rise project, we first discover what is important to the client and the attributes of the space and how they can best be enhanced. In the Museum District apartment, the exposed, raw concrete columns initiated the color scheme, and the rustic look of the columns juxtaposed the mirrored chandeliers.  This all gave a good backdrop to the art collection.  In the second example, the client brought antique rugs and other family collectibles. They were highlighted by the addition of new contrasting pieces. In the third example, the redesign of the bathroom space and addition of custom lighting allowed the new space to feel like home. The way we are able to change apartment living allows the clients to live in a small space that is uniquely theirs. Throughout the post, we have linked similar items inspired by our work in these client spaces. However, if you would like any of the exact pieces from the images, please call or email us to allow us to source these items for you.
The old laundry in a closet was converted to the striking bar shown here with custom burnished steel and brass metal doors.

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