Renter Probs- How to Personalize your Rental

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We’ve all been there. Many of us are there right now.  Some of us hope to be there forever.

Living in a rental.

Renting can seriously be great.  For starters, there’s no long-term commitment, which is perfect if you are in a job that has a tendency of moving you around from place to place.  A lot of times you can rent in places where you typically could not afford to buy property. If your washing machine breaks, there’s someone to call who will take care of it, rather than have to deal with the headache yourself.  You might not have to deal with yardwork or landscaping if you’re living in an apartment and sometimes even a house. Plus, rental insurance is way cheaper than homeowner’s insurance.

However, renting as opposed to owning has its downsides. Aside from the equity and money aspects, most rentals do not allow you the freedom to create a space that is uniquely your own.  A place where you can knock down walls if you want to, put in a pool outback, wallpaper every room of your house, or gut that ugly master bathroom.

The good news is, there are some very fun and easy things you can do in your rental that your landlord would be totally okay with. Heck, you don’t even need to tell him you’ve done them.  These following 5 ideas can help you personalize your rental space without breaking any of then “tenant rules.”

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1. Swap out Kitchen Hardware

This was one of the first things I did when we moved into our current house.  Hardware is a little change that goes a long way in how you feel about your kitchen cabinets.  You can also make this change at very little cost.

Tips for pulling this off: 1) Definitely keep your old hardware so you can switch them back before you move out.  2) Don’t buy new hardware that requires you to make new or additional holes in your cabinets.

Ivory Lane  //  Real Simple

2. Leaning Mirrors

Leaning mirrors are a good idea for three reasons. 1) They require no hammering or drilling whatsoever. 2) They take up large portions of your wall and make the room feel lighter and more spacious. And 3) They are super “in” right now. Did I convince you? Go out and buy one now.  I like this one seen below and this one from West Elm.

Almost Makes Perfect  //  Studio McGee

3. Use Area Rugs to Hide Ugly Floors

Outdated hardwoods, linoleum, ugly tile- these can all lead to sad and uninspiring living spaces for a renter.  Tearing up the floors and installing new ones probably isn’t going to fly with your landlord, but you can always help the situation with a fun and happy area rug.  Want a fun rug without spending a ton of money? Check out Target or RugsUSA. Also, this post on area rugs for kid spaces has tons to choose from!


Apartment Therapy  //  The Happier Homemaker

4. Temporary Wallpaper and Wall Decals

Wallpaper would be a tough sell to a landlord.  Many times, you won’t even be allowed to paint in a rented home or apartment. BUT- tempaper could be your ticket to happiness.  It goes on easily and peels off without leaving any tacky residue or discoloration.  I always suggest wallpaper, or in this case, tempaper, in a smaller room that tends to be dreary or overlooked- like a laundry room, powder room, or closet. Also, wall decals, which used to make me cringe, are now super cute and fun, and can make those white rental walls pop with color and excitement.

Top Left: Erin Hansen Design  //  Top Right: Etsy  //  Bottom Left: Melodrama  //  Bottom Right: Lovely Wall

5. Switch out light fixture shades or add cool lighting

Light fixtures can make or break a room. If your rental has dated chandeliers or pendants, you might be able to spruce them up by switching out the light fixture shades.  You can also bring in a statement floor lamp to add some character and personality to a room. My favorite idea is these plug-in sconces seen below.  They add so much style and character to a space. And bonus, if you use them on either side of your bed, you save some room on your nightstand.  Urban Outfitters has a ton of plug-in sconces like this one and this one.  Sidenote: I am big-time swooning over this bedroom below. I want it.

Top Left: West Elm  //  Bottom Left: Urban Outfitters  //  Right: Rejuvenation

While these 5 tips may not solve all of the interior design woes of your rental space, I think they give some great inspiration to help make your space a little bit more, you. What aspects of your rental give you the biggest headache? I would love to hear from you and try to help you through it.  Good luck with your upgrades and send me some pics of your happier rental space!

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