6 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Rental


6 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Rental

Staff Writer · May 24, 2022
Living room hooks help this apartment goer keep track of their keys.

Renting comes with its fair share of rules and regulations. Most lease agreements state that you can’t make any major cosmetic changes to the unit you’re renting — including painting, replacing the floor, or swapping out the doors. It may feel suffocating to be stuck under tight-knit rules, but there are still plenty of easy ways to make your apartment feel more like your home without major wear and tear.

Here are a few of our favorite easy apartment upgrades:

Peel and Stick Wallpaper

This is one of the cheapest, easiest, and most effective ways to upgrade your current rental’s decor and aesthetic. You can apply it almost anywhere, and whether you plan on staying in your rental short or long-term, you can easily remove peel and stick without damaging the walls.

Of course, it isn’t just made for walls. Tired of your kitchen’s backsplash (or lack thereof)? Throw up some peel and stick tile. It looks just like the real thing, only without the hassle of sticking individual tiles on. You can also stick on temporary decorative tiles to quickly spruce up the kitchen countertops or your bathroom shower and sink.

Snap Flooring

Man uses a hammer to pop pieces of snap flooring into place.

If you plan on staying in your rental for a while, you may want to consider changing out the floors at some point. Obviously, you can’t just rip up the floor and get new flooring, but just like peel and stick wallpaper, you can use snap flooring to make a drastic cosmetic change without damaging the original material.

It’s exactly what it sounds like. You get your pieces of flooring (generally tile or wood) and snap them together one by one over the original floor. It’s super easy to do on your own — just make sure your landlord is okay with you doing it before you get started.

Door Hooks and Hangers

This might not seem like a brand new concept, but adding hooks and hangers to your doors is a great way to maximize storage space in your rental. A lot of times renters find their existing closets just don’t work for their everyday needs. And since their layouts rarely change over time, the best strategy is to create a more functional system yourself.

Over the door hangers and shelves can also be game-changing in the bathroom. Sometimes the towel rack is inconveniently located from the shower or tub, or the door is right in between the two. Add a door hanger to the mix, and you’ll never have to scramble for a towel post shower/bath again.

Storage space is especially tight in apartment living rooms (especially if you have guests over often). Adding a hanger on the closet door in here will make it easier for everyone to grab their jackets when it’s time to leave. If you live in an area that tends to get a lot of rain or snow, you can also use door hooks to separate damp jackets from other clothes, giving them more space to dry out.

Swap Out the Showerhead

Swapping out the showerhead.

Does your shower not produce enough water pressure — or maybe too much pressure? Swap out your showerhead! It’s super easy to do, and you can always take the new one with you if you ever decide to move out of your rental (just be sure to put the original showerhead back on before you do!).

You can buy a showerhead anywhere that sells bathroom supplies. The fun of replacing these is picking the type of head you want to use, and the finish. Instantly transform your shower experience without needing a plumber.

Replace the Faucet, Kitchen Hardware, and Knobs

Similar to replacing a showerhead, you can easily upgrade your rental by replacing the kitchen sink faucet or adding on a faucet extender. Not only is this easy to do — it can make dishwashing a total breeze. And just like with the showerhead, you can take your new faucet with you if you decide to leave.

Not a fan of the kitchen hardware your rental came with? You can change that out, too. It may take more time, since you have to screw and unscrew the pieces, but you can change the entire ambiance of your kitchen by swapping out the knobs and hardware. Your kitchen can look more like you.

Add More Lighting

LED strip lighting is an easy, safe way to add lots of light into your rental.

Some rentals just don’t have enough lighting. While adding in more lamps may help with this issue, not all lamps are cost or energy effective. A great, sleek, and money-saving way to add more lighting to your home is to install LED track lights. These are stick on, battery operated, and can be used alongside a remote control.

A few great spots for LED track lighting include the closet, kitchen, and bathroom. They can be hidden under cabinets and illuminate light from below or above, depending on where you want to place them. An added bonus is that you can also change the color of these lights. Feeling the color green that day? Switch shades as you please.

Don’t settle for the bland, simple fixtures you got with your apartment. These are just a few of the many things you can do to improve your rental space, but they’re great first steps if you’re not sure where to start.

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