How To - After Moving

10 Ways to Upgrade Your Rental on a Budget

Upgrade Your Rental

There are a lot of reasons why renting is an ideal way to go when it comes to finding housing. Maybe you prefer the flexibility of not having a mortgage, or the freedom of not needing to worry about fixing major items – whatever your reasoning, you’ve decided to rent.

But what if you want to do some in-home upgrades to change the aesthetic? Here are some fairly simple and budget-friendly ways to spruce up your home without forfeiting your deposit.

  1. Paint a feature wall

    You likely don’t want to make the investment in completely painting a rental (and your lease might expressly forbid such things), but painting one single wall in the living room or bedroom can really update your home’s look. Choose a color that could easily be painted over, purchase stick-on wallpaper that can easily be removed, or add some minimal stencil detail to add some flair.

  1. Use wall decals

    Reusable wall decals are easy to find online. They’re easy to stick on, easy to remove, and can be reused at your next home. Turn your bedroom into a forest, add some birds to your bathroom, or put an inspirational quote by the entryway to make it feel like your home.

  1. Switch out the hardware

    It’s amazing how some new drawer pulls and cabinet handles can really give your kitchen and bathroom a facelift. You could go with something quirky and colorful, more modern and chic, or maybe even go vintage shopping for something classy if that’s your style. Don’t forget to save the old ones!

  1. Make your old couch look like new

    Furniture is expensive, but slipcovers and throw pillows are not. Make an old couch look like new with a well-fitted slipcover and some color-coordinated throw pillows. Choose a solid color if you want your couch to blend in, or use a pattern and brighter pillows to create a focal piece for the room!

  1. Upgrade your old furniture

    You don’t have to buy a new table and chairs, and you can make that old bookshelf even cooler. Don’t be afraid of some sandpaper, stain, and paint! Set aside a project day to jazz up your old furniture. Contact paper in the drawers can make things feel fresh and new, and even a rustic-looking, imperfect paint job can give some character and class to that desk and chair.

  1. Mirrors are magic

    Want to make a small apartment feel bigger? Mirrors are one easy way. Hang them on walls that are opposite sunny windows to brighten the entire room, or break up a large windowless wall with a decorative full-length mirror.

  1. New floors, no problem

    You’re not about to replace your landlord’s worn linoleum floors, so add some color or cover up the not-so-nice spots with some area rugs. A large, soft rug under a coffee table can upgrade your living area, or a smaller rug at the end of your bed can make your bedroom look oh-so-cozy.

  1. Change the lighting

    Sometimes, spicing up your rental can be as simple as some different lighting. Changing just the bulbs can be a simple, inexpensive way to shift the tone of the lights. Use a softer bulb for the living room and bedroom, a brighter bulb for the kitchen and bathroom. Add some floor lamps to give softer options in rooms with bright overhead lights, or even consider replacing outdated fixtures with something a little more modern. Just be sure you remember how to put the old ones back!

  1. Classy artwork = classy home

    Choose your favorite wall or area and highlight it with some beautiful art. Incorporate multimedia – paintings, photographs, and textured, 3-dimensional pieces will draw attention and create an interesting landscape in an otherwise drab area! Add a small mirror to the mix to create the illusion of more space.

  1. Curtains and blinds can make all the difference

    If you’re just unpacking the moving truck and discover that your bedroom window looks directly into your neighbor’s, it’s time to invest in some nice curtains. Choosing the right curtains can brighten up a room, create privacy, or even make the ceilings look taller by choosing floor-to-ceiling drapes. Sheers add a modicum of separation without blocking out the light completely, and more sophisticated drapes with tie-backs can add a little class to your windows.