Give Your Outdated Rental The Look Of A Modern Luxury Apartment

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Give Your Outdated Rental The Look Of A Modern Luxury Apartment

Don’t trade style for a great location on your next apartment. Learn how to turn that ugly rental into the modern luxury apartment of your dreams.

When you’re in the furniture rental business, like we are here at Furniture Options, you get a front-row seat to the good, the bad, and the ugly of apartments. 

Some are brand new, modern apartments with gorgeous quartz countertops and warm wood flooring. These clean and sleek elements scream “modern luxury apartment.”

Other places are more vintage with quaint design elements from the past like an ornate fireplace, built-in shelves, or mosaic tile flooring in the bathroom.

Places like these are not hard to decorate. When you’re starting with a beautiful backdrop, the rest comes pretty easy.

But those aren’t the places we’re talking about today.

Today we’re talking about the, shall we say, dated apartments. Unfortunately, there are a lot of apartments that fit into this category. And they aren’t just the cheap places meant for college students either. 

We even see apartments in the absolute BEST locations that are stuck with tragic decor.

But never fear! We’ve compiled a few ideas for you that will bring your outdated apartment out of Napoleon Dynamite, and into a modern luxury apartment fit for The Real Housewives

Get ready…

Great Location, Ugly Apartment

When your ugly apartment is in a beautiful old building, in a quaint neighborhood, across from the cutest, most authentic Italian restaurant this side of Sicily, you figure out how to make it work.

Sometimes the landlord is open to letting you make changes, so it is always worth asking. However, if the answer is no, (truth bomb, it usually is!) you can still do something about that hideous decor.

Update Your Flooring And Still Get Your Deposit Back

One thing most outdated ugly apartments have in common is dingy linoleum flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. If you’re lucky, you may even have real tile. Although chances are it isn’t any more stylish than the linoleum.

The good news is that you are not stuck with that look.

There are several ways to address the flooring. The most simple is to add a small area rug. Of course, this won’t completely cover the existing flooring, but as long as the floor is a neutral color, it will make a huge impact.

If you’re a bit more ambitious, there are renter-friendly options to completely cover the floor.

floating-wood-floorOne of those options would be to put down a floating floor. The tongue-and-groove installation allows it to go on top of the existing floor. And because you are not using glue or nails to secure it, the flooring below is not damaged.

These floors are beautiful and durable, but the drawback is the price tag. If you don’t plan on staying in the apartment long-term, a floating floor may be cost-prohibitive.

Another solution for outdated floors is peel-and-stick. 

One peel-and-stick product is a thin vinyl “wood” plank or tile. These are fairly inexpensive so you won’t be throwing money away when it is time to move, but they look really nice. 

They may not come up easily when you move out, though. So if you want to be sure to get your deposit back, you will probably want to use some sort of underlayment. Thin plastic sheeting or poster board secured with removable mounting adhesive does the trick. You just need something that keeps the tiles from sticking directly to the existing flooring.

Living Room Ideas To Make Your Apartment Look Expensive

Living rooms and bedrooms don’t seem to show their age quite as easily as kitchens and bathrooms. The main issues in these areas are going to be old carpet that is stained or worn, and a general lack of lighting.

Area Rugs Turn Tragedy Into Triumph

Rugs are again going to be your friend. And don’t worry about putting a rug on top of wall-to-wall carpet, it is perfectly acceptable. Besides covering the sins of your carpet’s past, an area rug can anchor your conversation area adding style and color at the same time. 


Rugs are also a good way to visually divide a room. Maybe you have a small home office or a dining area in part of your living room. An area rug can make those nooks feel more like their own separate spaces.

And don’t forget the bedroom. Adding a cozy plush rug next to your bed will cover the ugly carpet and make your room feel more luxurious.

Light It Up 

You might have noticed that apartments in general, but especially older apartments lack natural light. Many will have a sliding door to a balcony or patio, and maybe a window in the bedroom, but that’s it.

Modern, high-end luxury apartments have tons of natural light pouring through the windows. There are a few things you can do in an older rental to create the illusion of those enormous windows while bringing in as much light as possible.

You should always put up some sort of curtains to highlight the windows. Use longer curtains and hang them close to the ceiling. Then make sure the drapes hang to the outside of the window when they’re open. 


This frames the window and makes it seem larger, but doesn’t block any of the precious light from coming in. The added benefit is that the fabric will soften the room and give it a warmer, more luxurious feel.

You can then go a step further in adding natural light to your apartment by decorating with mirrors. Mirrors will reflect the light coming in from the windows into the rest of your space.

Mmmmm… Smells Expensive

One element of luxurious spaces that you might not think of right away is the aroma. Have you ever noticed the light, pleasant scent when you go into a high-end resort?

Our sense of smell is very powerful. Scents can conjure emotions or memories. They can set a tone and create an ambiance in our space.

Think about an old apartment. Is there a certain odor that comes to mind? It probably isn’t a pleasant one.

By perfuming your home with the light floral and citrus scent of a high-end resort or spa, you can instantly make your home feel like a modern luxurious apartment.

Modern Furniture, Artwork, and Accessories

Once you’ve addressed the more permanent areas of your ugly apartment and made them more modern, it’s time to have a little fun.

The furniture, artwork, and accessories you choose when you furnish your home are going to show off your personality. 

Dallas July 2021-1047-sqSince painting is typically a no-no in an apartment, artwork is a great alternative for adding color and style. Enlarge a few photos that make you happy, or frame some art prints that you love.

Furniture can be tricky in a rental. Apartment dwellers especially, tend to move every few years. And what looked great in your last apartment might not work in this one.

One way to ensure that your apartment is always perfectly furnished with the most modern styles is to use subscription or rental furniture

At Furniture Options, you can even get help from our design experts. Since we’ve been in literally thousands of apartments, we can recommend pieces that will fit in your new apartment and will elevate the style of your home.

Furniture, rugs, and artwork are all available on subscription at Furniture Options. And since you can rent pieces for as little as a few months, you don’t have to worry about changing your mind six months from now. Go ahead, get that statement piece that feels risky—you have nothing to lose!

If you’ve found an apartment in the perfect location, but it feels a little underwhelming, don’t worry! With just a few renter-friendly updates you can take that outdated ugly apartment and make it look expensive and modern.

Want more renter-friendly decorating ideas? Check out 7 EASY HACKS TO TURN UP THE PERSONALITY ON YOUR BORING APARTMENT


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