Your rental may not be your own, but it doesn’t have to feel like it isn’t! With a few upgrades and personal touches, it can begin feeling like a space you can easily call home.
However, many leases contain provisions against permanent changes, restricting you from several upgrades. This makes forethought and planning essential, so you incorporate changes that upgrade your home whilst also being compatible with the provisions on the lease.
In that regard, here are our top picks for renter-friendly upgrades to spruce up your space!
Treat The Walls
When we think of home makeovers, one of the first things to consider is the walls. And lucky for you, there are several renter-friendly upgrades for the walls:
If your landlord doesn’t allow you to paint your walls — fret not, we have wallpaper to the rescue! There are also removable options, such as peel-and-stick wallpaper. This is easy to apply and even easier to remove, making it a renter-friendly (and relatively inexpensive) upgrade.
If you’re considering installing wallpaper, here are some wallpapering tips and tricks to know beforehand!
Credit: Paper N Stitch
Backsplash is an excellent option for kitchens. Again, opt for a peel-and-stick tile backsplash — it comes in a vast array of styles and easily comes off when you move out. You can also do a DIY budget-friendly backsplash all by yourself!
Washi tape is a Japanese tape that comes in all patterns and colours. It is safe to use on walls and comes off without causing any damage. Use washi tape to mount pictures onto walls or create decorative patterns with it for a customised wallpaper!
Hide The Flooring
Ugly flooring is one of the most common problems in renter apartments — and fixing the flooring can easily bring your apartment to life.
If you’re in for a good DIY, fake a hardwood floor with vinyl planks. They stick to themselves and ‘rest’ on the floor, making them easy to pick up and remove. If you’re doing a small area, they won’t cost you much.
Alternatively, an easier upgrade is disguising the floor with rugs. Rugs cover highly-trafficked flooring and are easy to take along when you move to your next place. Plus, they add texture and make the ambience more inviting.
Here’s how to choose the right rug for your space!
Invest In Quality Artwork
Artwork is a game-changer in rentals — and it’s super easy to carry to your next place, too! Invest in statement pieces that reflect your style and personality.
If you find joy in the simple things, you can opt for minimalist art pieces. For folks who love all things extra, there are plenty of bright-hued pieces to choose from. And if you love to go the extra mile to personalise your space, curating a gallery wall with individually-selected pieces would be a great idea!
If you’re working around a budget, you can create your own wall art with DIY crafts or put together a set of your own photos (such as travel and holiday photos).
Switch Out The Lighting
Lighting has a dramatic effect on interiors, so switching it out makes all the difference. Besides, a well-lit interior feels more inviting than a dimly-lit one.
Overhead light covers are typically outdated and worn-out in rentals, so begin by replacing them. There are multiple ideas on how you can spruce these up to make them look as good as new. If you have other unsightly fixtures, consider replacing them with new ones that you would love to see around.
Additionally, you may want to consider investing in task lighting. Under-cabinet kitchen lights, pendant lights over the island, and floor lamps near reading nooks are all examples of these.
Upgrade The Hardware
Credit: Home Luxe Co
Changing up the details (read: hardware) has a great say in the overall ambience of the space. Because hardware is so “used”, it is one of the first things to appear worn-out in an interior.
Switch out doorknobs and the cabinet knobs in your kitchen and bathroom with more appealing pieces. If you have pulls, be sure to measure the distance between their holes. You may not be able to drill new holes in rental apartments, so you want something that fits the existing holes. Also, be sure to keep the original knobs and pulls safe so you can screw them back on when you move out.
Create Space Illusions
A lack of space is often a turn-off when it comes to decorating rentals. What if we tell you you can create an illusion of more space without actually breaking down the walls?
To do the job, use lighter colours for the walls as you treat them with new wallpaper or backsplash. Light colours reflect light and make the space look bigger. Install mirrors near windows and light sources to further reflect light. You may also want to use glass room dividers in rooms that serve more than one purpose — these keep different working areas separate whilst the see-through glass keeps the space from looking cramped.
For more tips on small spaces, read our post with secrets to making a small space look big.
Living in a rental doesn’t mean it can’t feel like home. Incorporate the renter-friendly upgrades given above and watch your space go from bland and boring to contemporary and cosy!
Need some personalised ideas on how to transform your rented place into a space that you love? Just book one of our Interior Design Gurus here! They can look at your space over video chat and give you tips, ideas and guidance on how to achieve an interior that you love.