10 Easy Steps to a Total Rental Makeover

Ready to breathe new life into your rental but don’t want your landlord breathing down your neck? Check out these temporary upgrades.

Situation: You love your home, but you rent and your landlord won’t allow you to make any permanent cosmetic changes — and they’re not renovating your rental property anytime soon.

Don’t fret. There are countless ways to freshen up your rental this spring and make it your own, all while keeping in line with your landlord’s rules.

You may have heard the standard advice: cover outdated or damaged flooring with a flattering area rug, add splashes of color, and cover your walls with art you love. While these are all worthwhile tips, we think you’ll appreciate a few more ideas you may not have considered.

1. Add curtains

You know those cheap, flimsy plastic blinds? If your rental happens to have them and they don’t quite fit into your dream interior design plan, cover them up with curtains you do love.

Or, if they’re easy to uninstall, remove your blinds altogether and use curtains only. (But be sure to save the blinds for reinstallation on move-out day.)

2. Clean up dingy grout

Whether it’s your bathroom, kitchen or entryway tile (or all of the above!) making you grimace, dingy grout can put a damper on how you feel about the cleanliness of your space.

If typical grout cleaning solutions aren’t working, get grout stain at your local home improvement store. Follow the manufacturer’s directions — your grout should look brand new just a few hours later.

3. Clean the carpet

If your landlord won’t agree to clean your carpets at least annually, take it into your own hands. Either look into carpet cleaning rental options (which usually only cost around $30), or hire professional carpet cleaners yourself.

4. Change light fixtures

If you’re not feeling the outdated light fixtures, why not pick out new ones that are more your style (and decade)? You can hire an electrician to switch out the fixtures (for around $100), but be sure to save the old ones to have re-installed before you move out.

5. Upgrade cabinet hardware

Just like you can upgrade your light fixtures, you can also easily replace cabinet pulls. Look around for cabinet knobs that bring your kitchen or bathroom into the new millennium, and swap them back for the older ones when it’s time to move. If replacing the hardware isn’t possible, try buffing them so at least they look new(er).

6. Hide the washer and dryer

If your washer and dryer units are out in the open, think of ways to hide them that ties into your decor. For example, if they’re in an open closet space, cover them up by hanging a shower rod with curtains that match the rest of the room.

7. Embrace decor quirks

Is your bathroom covered in old pastel tile from the 1950s? Instead of fighting it, dive into the dated quirkiness. Choose a color palette that embraces your current bathroom setup.

8. Add faux light

Most of us would love natural light throughout our home, but when that’s not an option, you can trick yourself into feeling like you’re in a brighter space simply by adding mirrors and incorporating a lighter color scheme into the space.

9. Put up removable wallpaper

Yes, it’s a thing. When paint isn’t an option, look for adhesive wallpaper, which peels off when you’re over it. Try it out on an accent wall. If your landlord is nervous just at the mention of wallpaper, you can use peel-and-stick wall decals for a similar effect.

10. Bring in some greenery

Adding plants to your home is an easy way to both add color and (literally) bring a room to life. From air plants and succulents to palm plants, there are so many easy-to-grow plant options for your home. And the benefits of houseplants are plenty, as they are both therapeutic and add to your home decor.

With these 10 home refreshers, you can upgrade your home this spring for next to nothing.

Bonus rental refresher ideas

  • Paint your furniture
  • Install window boxes
  • Add throw pillows
  • Switch out the photos in your frames
  • Swap out your bedding and towels
  • Add a kitchen cart
  • Rearrange your bookshelves
  • Add a room divider
  • Cover your radiator
  • Add lighting dimmers
  • Cover countertops with a large cutting board

Rather than listing off everything you wish you could change about your rental home, go into action and change what you can. There’s usually an alternative (temporary) renovation plan that will please both you and your landlord.

Posted by Sarah Pike on Zillow


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