Published on September 30, 2020

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Photography by Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images

Odds are, at some point, you’ve made an apartment wish list: the bay windows you’ve always dreamed of, appliances that will make your life easier, the ideal location. But odds are you’ve also never managed to find everything on said list. It turns out that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. 

According to a New York Times story, “considering an apartment with a flaw that other renters might not be willing to accept” could land you a break on rent. With the pandemic causing many city dwellers to seek more space and lower prices in the suburbs, landlords are more inclined to make rent concessions to ensure lease re-signs, especially if tenants are willing to take on less-than-ideal setups. 

Here are six apartment features that, at first glance, could be deal breakers, and our tips to make them workable. Lower rent, here you come. 

No Dishwasher

We recommend using the money you save to buy chic drying products and dish towels, because even if cleanup isn’t efficient, at least it can be cute.

A Windowless Living Space

Natural light is a must for most home hunters, but luckily there’s a way to re-create it in a basement or garden-level space. If you don’t want to splurge on an artificial window, opt for a sun lamp instead. This one from Amazon simulates natural rays to boost your mood.

No Outdoor Space 

Make the most of your windows with hanging box planters. By the time you’ve moved on to bigger and better things (read: a patio), you’ll be an expert in all things leafy green. 

Limited Closets

Stock up on functional accessories to give your clutter a home. Urban Outfitters’s rolling cart is perfect for storing bathroom essentials if you’re low on medicine cabinet space, and Yamazaki’s portable bins can house everything from tools to toys. 

No Central Air-Conditioning

Especially in the sweltering summer, staying cool is a must. Thanks to millennial-approved AC brand July, a window unit can be an eye-catching decor moment.

A Tiny Kitchen 

Why not at least make it a space that brings joy? Install a stick-on backsplash to hide the grimy original tile and store Technicolor cookware on a wall to brighten up the close quarters. 

Our Fall Style issue has arrived! Subscribe now to get an exclusive first look at Ayesha Curry’s Bay Area home—and discover how design can shape our world.

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