7 Easy Hacks to Turn up the Personality on your Boring Apartment

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7 Easy Hacks to Turn up the Personality on your Boring Apartment

It can be a little depressing when you walk into an apartment for the first time and try to imagine living there.

White walls.

Beige carpet.

Vinyl mini-blinds. 

Empty-Apartment-521806786Does this sound like every apartment you’ve ever been in?

Sure, the location is great, they have an amazing pool and a fitness center that is certain to turn you into a fitness model. But the apartment itself is just so… uninspired.


Never fear! We’re going to reveal 7 rental-friendly upgrades that will turn that boring beige box into a designer’s dream. Best of all, when it’s time to move, you can easily turn it back to boring — as if your fabulous self were never even there.

A Note About Paint

Before talking about how to decorate a rental apartment, let me tell you this first. Always ask the landlord if you can paint.

Typically, the answer is going to be a flat “no”, but sometimes, they will allow it as long as you paint it back to the original color before you move.

A little bit of paint is the least expensive way to add pizzazz to an otherwise boring space, but if the landlord rejects this brilliant attempt at style, fear not! These rental-friendly upgrades are going to make you (and your landlord) happy.


Hack #1 — Removable Wallpaper and Tile


Even if the landlord says no to paint, and let’s face it, that is probably going to happen, you can still add life to your apartment walls with removable wallpaper.

This is no ordinary wallpaper! Think of it as wallpaper meets contact paper. You know the stuff you put inside of cabinets and drawers in the kitchen? It is easy to install and reposition, and you can say goodbye to paste. Wahoo!

Removable wallpaper comes in all sorts of patterns and styles. Whether your style is bold and colorful, or a bit more demure, you will be able to find a removable wallpaper you love.

Removable Wallpaper from Etsy  

Etsy is a great source for removable wallpaper and has hundreds of options to choose from.

Along with the idea of removable wallpaper, you may also want to get familiar with its cousin, peel and stick tile.

Not all peel and stick tile is removable, so be sure to check before you purchase. Like the wallpaper though, peel and stick tile comes in a variety of styles and colors.  

It is generally waterproof so it works well in bathrooms and kitchens. But I would probably stick with locations that just get a splash here and there rather than a truly wet area like a shower.

Best of all, removable wallpaper or tile can easily be taken down when it comes time to move. This makes it a no-brainer when it comes to rental-friendly upgrades. Just be sure to follow the directions to avoid mishaps.


Hack #2 — Window Treatments

Your landlord will probably provide blinds for the windows. If you’re lucky, they will be the wide-slat style wood blinds, but frequently, you will just have cheap vinyl blinds.

These blinds will give you privacy from the outside world, but they’re doing nothing for your style.

To add a little personality to your space, find some beautiful draperies to add drama. Or if simple and contemporary is more your style, bamboo shades will instantly make your apartment feel cool and sophisticated.

Your landlord will likely let you install a proper curtain rod as long as you agree to repair the holes before you move out. But if you absolutely must avoid putting holes in the walls, you can use a tension rod to hang draperies.

Hack #3 — Replace Cabinet Hardware

Kitchen-Hardware-replaced-617354908It is seriously crazy how different your kitchen can look by just changing out the cabinet hardware.

It will take you less than an hour to complete the transformation, and there are so many options. Just be sure that the new hardware you choose will work with the same drill holes, and you keep the original hardware. 

Your landlord will likely want the hardware changed back before you move out, and you’ll be in big trouble if you drilled extra holes.


Another quick and easy change you can make is to swap out the switch plates.

Again, you’ll want to keep the originals to put back on when you move out, but it can make a big difference in the look of your room.

One tip to keep in mind here is to make sure the new plate you choose looks good with the actual switch. There is nothing tackier than a beige switch with a pure white cover.

Hack #4 — Plants

Plants can do wonders for your rental space.

Besides looking pretty, they can help remove toxins and produce more oxygen. They bring life to your space and make you feel good.

But not everyone has a green thumb. I, for one, am the world’s WORST gardener. If someone brings me a hearty plant and says you can’t kill it, I say “watch me.”

However, I love the way plants bring life into your space with a little pop of green on the corner of your kitchen counter. Or how they make a bookshelf come to life.

Luckily, faux plants have come a long way since the early 90’s when we put faded polyester ivy around anything that would sit still. Now, the fakes are so good you have to touch them to know the difference.


Hack #5 — Hang Artwork and Mirrors

When we’re talking about personalizing rental space, there is no better way to get started than to hang artwork that inspires you.

Grouping similar pieces on a blank wall is an easy way to create a focal point.

Mirrors are another essential decorating piece in an apartment. They will make your space feel larger and will help to brighten your apartment by reflecting the natural light into the room.

Hang a mirror over a small table near the door topped with your favorite accessory piece to create a welcoming entry.

Hack #6 — Change Out the Light Fixtures

wall-sconceMost apartments completely miss the mark when it comes to lighting. They’re either completely dark, or the fixtures are the cheapest, most basic version available.

You can add your personal touch and oodles of style to your new place by changing out a few of the light fixtures. Maybe a beautiful chandelier over the table, or some pendant lighting over the kitchen counter. Think of lighting as the jewelry for your home.

This is one of the more challenging rental-friendly upgrades, so you may want to hire someone to help if you aren’t handy

If that’s a bigger project than you want to take on, you can add plenty of additional lighting throughout your apartment with lamps. Vary the sizes of your lamps, mixing table lamps with floor lamps to create a warm glow.

Adding a few plug-in wall sconces in the dining area will provide soft lighting. Or put them beside your bed to provide task lighting for reading.


Hack #7 — Rent Furniture Pieces

The thing about renting an apartment that is wonderful and at the same time not so great is that it is usually temporary. That means you aren’t tied down to any one place and can make a change whenever it suits you.

But that also makes it hard to make a long-term commitment to the more expensive components of your home — the furniture.

For instance, you could buy something for one apartment that looks amazing, but it loses its appeal when you get it to the next home. 

Getting subscription furniture is a good way to make sure that your furniture is always perfect for the place where you live right now. It also allows you to take some risks with your style that you might not otherwise take.

Apartment decor does not have to be boring. It is easy to have a stylish home by making a few bold changes. Using these hacks will allow you to easily personalize your apartment. And they won’t cost you your deposit when you move out.

Furniture Options Rental Furniture

What is Subscription Furniture? 




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