Living the rental life certainly has the benefit of being cost-effective — however, it often feels like you’re unable to truly personalize your home or apartment when you have a landlord. Most of the design choices have already been made for you, and you risk losing a hefty deposit if you permanently alter any of those (often unsightly) choices.
This is why you sometimes have to be a little sneaky when it comes to redecorating your home. After all, as long as there’s no damage to the space, who’s to know, hmm??
Here are some ingenious tricks to update your apartment without incurring the wrath of your building’s management. The best part? You can take them with you to your next apartment!
1. Put up removable wallpaper.
Removable wallpaper totally transforms a room, without permanently adhering to the wall. When you’re ready to move, simply peel it off, and your landlord will never be the wiser.
2. Use wall-safe hangers when mounting photos.
A gallery wall can completely transform a room — but your building manager may not appreciate all the nail holes. Try adhesive hangers, which mount your artwork without damaging the wall.
3. Use decorative wall decals.
Adjustable and easily removable, wall decals help to create a focal point in any room.
4. Hang a few tapestries.
A huge swath of fabric on the wall is an easy and cost-effective way to change up the look of any room.
5. Drape fabric from the ceilings.
If your bedroom is looking a little austere, hanging fabric from the ceiling is a simple way to add a romantic (and removable) touch.
6. Layer area rugs over an ugly floor.
Not only will it hide ugly linoleum, it feels cozy as hell!
7. Hang pendant lights rather than installing them.
Hanging lights can look just as pretty as overheard installations, but they have the added bonus of not requiring any electrical work.
8. Divide the room with furniture.
Obviously you can’t install an entirely new wall — but a large bookcase is a great way to separate the space.
9. Change up the hardware on cabinets and doors.
Just make sure you keep the original hardware and attachments so you can put them back when it’s time to move!
10. Add new shades to pre-existing light fixtures.
Don’t get an entirely new fixture (as that will require an installation), but feel free to change up the shade and bulbs — again, as long as you hang on to the originals.
11. Use outside mounted Roman shades to cover ugly blinds.
No need to take the blinds down at all — these Roman shades will cover them up, and look pretty while doing so.
12. Use washi tape to create an accent wall.
It may require some patience, but the tape won’t damage the wall at all!
13. Apply stainless steel contact paper to outdated appliances.
It may not actually be an upgrade, but it can at least LOOK like one.
14. Or, even decorative contact paper.
Why not add some personality to that boring old fridge?
15. Add a few large plants.
A fiddle leaf fig tree looks great in any room, and can totally update the vibe of your home.
16. Upgrade your shower head.
You should still keep the original for when you move out, but why not feel like you’re enjoying a spa in the meantime?
17. Prop a large mirror against a wall.
Immediately add depth to a room, no installation required.
18. Don’t forget about the switch plates!
A small fix, but something that can definitely make a difference.