Living in a rental can be a bit of a challenge because you want to make the space your own – even if it technically isn’t. Luckily, we have come up with a few creative (and inexpensive) ways to makeover your rental without upsetting your landlord or incurring hefty fees!
- Paint Your Walls: Most landlords allow you to paint your space as long as you paint it back to the original color when you move out. Painting your walls a different color or even a crisper shade of white makes a huge difference. If you paint your apartment a shade of white, your landlord is less likely to make you repaint it. You can also paint just one wall (an “accent wall”).
- Change Hardware: Changing hardware makes a big difference. Buy cabinet pulls, door knobs, and drawer pulls that match your style. Keep all the old hardware so that you can put them back when your lease is up. Take photos before you make any changes so that you remember where everything goes when it’s time to move.
- Cover the Walls: If you can’t paint, there are other ways to decorate. We recommend making a gallery wall. A gallery wall is a wall of art and/or personal photos arranged to look like a wall in an art gallery or museum. Removable wallpaper and decals are also a great way to cover the walls, without upsetting your landlord.
- Let There be Light: Rentals often have fluorescent lighting or unsightly light fixtures. Take down the light fixtures and put in new ones. Also consider buying floor lamps, desk lamps, or table lamps and using them instead of the main lights for a room. You can also buy new light switch covers as long as you put the old ones back before you move. There are a lot of different types of decorative light switch covers like mirrored ones, or ones in almost every color imaginable.
- Area Rugs: Area rugs can help to divide a small space like a studio apartment into sections like a breakfast nook, living room, and bedroom. They also cover up floors with scuff mark or tiling that you don’t like.
- DIY Backsplash: If you are feeling creative, make a DIY backsplash in the kitchen! We especially like the removable tile and removable mirror ideas from Apartment Therapy.
- Curtains: Buy curtains that match the color scheme or aesthetic of your home. They make a space feel fancier and also hide broken or ugly blinds.
- Furniture: If you are moving or renting a home that is furnished, you can still make it feel like your own. Style the pieces differently and add little things that fit your personality. For example, add some of your favorite books and photos to the bookshelf, coffee table, or nightstand and bring your favorite bedding!
Everyone deserves to come home to a home that feels like home. We hope these tips help you make your rental into a home you love.