Do you dream of a rustic living room with warm wood elements, weathered linens, and vintage accents? Or perhaps you want a bedroom that evokes a coastal feel, a balcony that screams mermaidcore, and a kitchen that channels Ayesha Curry vibes.
Well, babe, it might be time for an upgrade.
And while most landlords aren’t game with you making permanent alterations to their houses, there are some renter-friendly home upgrades you can make to give your apartment the design and feel you want and not receive any protests from them.
So, if you’re tired of staring at boorish walls and funeral parlor-like lighting fixtures, or using hardware that falls off cabinets after a few uses, below are some of our favorite renter-friendly home upgrades you can make and turn in your house into a haven of peace, tranquility and all the nice things.
PSA: To be safe, check with your landlord before making any changes. If you have the go-ahead, remember to save the original fixtures for when it comes time to move out!
Rather Than Painting, Experiment With Easy Peel & Stick Wallpaper
If you’re not crazy about painting (or aren’t allowed to change the wall color), turn to peel-and-stick wallpaper. It’s the easiest and highest-impact home upgrade you can make to a rental and can quickly transform a dark bedroom or uninviting living room into a vibrant space.
The best part?
It’s not just for walls! You can put it virtually anywhere – in your closet, on your ceilings, lining of your kitchen drawers and cabinets, or even as a backsplash.
Our favorite wallpaper pick is this Metallic Ribbon Peel & Stick Wallpaper Gold/Ivory – Project 62™ ($34). Isn’t it the perfect pick for abstract fans and math lovers? They can admire it as they devour dinner.
And if abstract isn’t your cup of tea, this Textured Brick Peel & Stick Wallpaper White ($33) will help fulfill your dream of having an apartment with exposed brick. And it’ll definitely have your guests doing a double-take once they learn it’s fake!
Or Decorate Your “Landlord Special Walls” With Cool Art Pieces
If your landlord isn’t cool with you painting your walls or even placing a wallpaper (yep, some can be stubborn af), then art is the next best thing.
It’ll give those crummy, washed-out landlord walls a life, create a calming ambiance with the least effort, and give you the home upgrade you’ve always dreamed of.
Target has an incredible, pocket-friendly selection you can learn all about by checking out this lovely article: 10 Budget-Friendly Pieces Of Wall Art From Target That’ll Easily Spruce Up Your Home.
Home Upgrades = Updating Your Kitchen Cabinetry
If you’re not up for an all-out kitchen reno, there are some steps you can take to make a dramatic DIY home upgrade.
Case in point: installing these Sumner Street Home Hardware 10pk 3-1/2″ Flynn Flatbar Pull in Satin Brass ($56) kitchen drawer pulls. They’ll give your kitchen an immediate facelift and make accessing your cutlery and whatever else you need easier.
Just make sure to keep the originals in a safe space for when it comes time to move out.
How About Creating A Whole Wall Of Books?
Short of completely demolishing the mundane walls, building or stacking up a book wall (it’s simple and cost-friendly, we promise) will bring your book-loving aura into your space and also give you that calm, quiet luxury look everyone’s been talking about on TikTok.
To get a book wall, hit up your favorite interior designer or run to Target to get these charming floating shelves ($30). Wayfair also offers individual shelves ($20 per shelf) that you can stack up and transform your living room into the personalized home library you’ve always dreamed of.
Temporary Floors Are A Thing
Yup, you can tweak the “landlord special” floors, too. There’s a wide array of opulent, removable tiles that can get you that stunning appearance of hardwood floors for much less. Plus, peeling it back up before moving out will be easy.
And if tiles don’t do it for you, a fabulous rug like this Block Tufted Area Rug ($24) from Project 62 can completely take your home upgrade from “just okay” to extremely luxurious and cozy!
Upgrade Your Showerhead And Other Bathroom Accessories
If you want a spa-like experience from the comfort of your house, the bathroom is where it’s at. A good showerhead like this 6+6 Power Pulse Dual Showerhead($60) from Target can take your shower routine from “meh” to mind-blowing, soul-soothing, and energy-rejuvenating.
Plus, they are the easiest items to replace if you want a renter-friendly home upgrade. You just need a wrench, some unscrewing, and then screwing the new one.
Replacing your existing bathroom faucet like this one from Wayfair ($46), toilet paper holder, and towel bar (ring) is another easy home upgrade for renters who want to add a touch of luxury without making any permanent changes or damages.
Don’t be scared to put up stuff you really love, as you can bring them with you when you move out. And if all else fails, remember a cute plushy bathmat, body-hugging towels, and a fancy a** shower curtain!
Swap Out The Traditional Light Fixtures For Bold, Modern Options
Sometimes, all it takes to give your home a brighter and more luxurious touch is swapping out the dull, standard-issue hanging lights for a bold, modish option.
This Reeded Glass Pendant Brass ($70) from Threshold™ and Studio McGee will make a personal design statement in your kitchen, kitchen island, or dining room.
Additionally, you can work up a home upgrade by zhuzhing up the existing light fixtures by adding a stylish lampshade, applying a coat of paint, or installing an embellished ceiling light to help add warmth and a welcoming glow to your apartment.
Just remember to save the original fixtures.