8 Home Improvement Ideas for Renters

March 12, 2013

For most renters, major home improvement projects are out of the question. There might be budget restrictions, or the landlord simply might not allow tenants to make major changes. This can prove frustrating to the DIY-inclined renter. Well never fear, dear tenants! Here are eight simple and fun ways you can dramatically change the look and feel of your rental space. Enjoy!


1. Add Mirrors

A few strategically placed mirrors can reflect light and really brighten a room as well as give the illusion of extra space. If you have a big enough budget you can completely cover one wall with mirrors, effectively making it disappear. If not, you can arrange smaller mirrors in stylish and visually interesting ways to get a similar effect.


2. Divide a Room

Rented apartments and houses can sometimes be too boxy. Try breaking up a combined living room/dining room/kitchen space with some sort of portable room divider. Our favorite is a tall open bookcase. This gives the feeling of separate rooms but doesn’t hurt the flow of the space.


3. Use Custom Hardware

You may not be able to replace those dingy cabinets or shabby door, but you can certainly replace the handles! Installing custom hardware such as door handles and light switch covers is a cheap, fun way to personalize your space without doing any major renovations. And when you move you can simply swap out your hardware with the original pieces and take yours to your new place!


4. Paint

Many landlords allow you to paint walls and ceilings as long as you repaint them their original color when you move out. Use fun, complementary colors, and don’t be afraid to make bold choices. Make sure you check with your landlord before painting, though – you don’t want to forfeit your deposit!


5. Add Some Green

Houseplants are one of the easiest and most affordable ways to dramatically change the look and feel of a room. We love succulents – they require little care, thrive in many different environments, and come in a wide range of styles and colors.


6. Create a Closet

One of the biggest pains of living in a rented space, especially studios and one-bedroom apartments, is trying to find room for all your stuff. If you’re looking for a way to conceal your vacuum, broom, mop, garbage, laundry basket, or any other unsightly necessities, consider a screen! A simple folding screen can easily hide your vacuum or ironing board while also adding a pop of color and style to the room.


7. Dress Your Walls

Even if your landlord doesn’t allow you to paint your walls you can still add some color and interest by adding paintings, fabrics, and other wall dressings. Be creative and think outside of the box. Maybe you have an old family quilt that you love but can’t bring yourself to use for warmth. Hang it up!


8. Add Shelves

One of the best ways to make your space feel as big as possible is keeping the floor free of stuff. Adding shelves allows you to keep your stuff off the floor and can also be a great way add some style to your walls.


Are you a renter? What kind of landlord-approved home improvement projects have you done? Leave us a comment and let us know!


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