Unfortunately, being a tenant can make you feel like … a tenant. After a while, the cheap hardwood floors and outdated kitchen can get in your way, and you might find yourself wishing to just own the place so you can fix it up.
But tenants can also personalize their space. In fact, there are many improvements you can make to a home without going over budget or hampering your lease.
Before you begin, ask your landlord to agree to any more permanent changes, such as painting. Without written permission, your landlord could penalize you or keep your security deposit.
A coat of paint can completely transform a room. For example, my last rental was almost perfect – except the owner had painted the walls a yellow color.
After trying to live with this horrible color for a few months, I finally invested $ 50 in light gray paint and covered the walls in just one weekend. It was like living in a brand new apartment.
Another trendy tip: cover a wall with wallpaper. More and more interior designers use it, you will find a large choice of wallpaper in specialized stores.
Change the lights
Rental fixtures are generally cheap, brassy, and ugly. Luckily, if you have tools handy, you can replace hideous light fixtures with ones you love, and just put them back when you move.
You can find cool and inexpensive light fixtures at resale stores. I bought two second wrought iron chandeliers for 50 dollars.
Replace light switches
Replacing switches is a quick and inexpensive way to spruce up a room, especially since rentals are always cheap plastic.
You can find different styles at any hardware store. Etsy also offers handmade light switches that you can purchase if you want a funkier look.
Create an “open-storage look
The kitchen cabinets in my rental were cheap and outdated, so I gave them a new look. I removed the doors from the top of the cabinets, lined the back walls with decorated shelf paper, and displayed my dishes inside.
In about 30 minutes my kitchen went from a typical rental to a cute modern kitchen. I kept the doors to put them back in place when I moved.
Cover ugly floors
You can always carpet an ugly linoleum or cracked tile floor, or you can purchase removable flooring to cover the entire floor. Hardware stores sell bamboo flooring and carpet squares that you can lay without glue.
Add counter space
Rentals never seem to have enough counter space to accommodate your devices. Many hardware and home decor stores sell rolling kitchen islands or butcher’s blocks without installation.
And if you buy one with wheels, you can unroll it when you’re ready to move.
Add storage space
The rental bathroom had a tiny medicine cabinet, which did not provide enough storage space. I bought a mirror cabinet, towel rack and storage shelf from a department store for around 60 dollars
While your landlord would likely get angry if you rip the tile out, you can change it up a bit nonetheless. Tile stickers come in all kinds of different designs and adhere to your existing tile.
Once they are in place, they look like the original. You can find tile stickers at home decor stores and some hardware stores.
Improve the shower
You can easily replace the basic shower head with a wrench and plumber’s tape. I bought a 15 euro shower head to replace the one my owner had installed at a low price.
The new shower head had ten times the water pressure of the old one – an investment that was well worth it for both me and the owner.