When you're in a rental living situation, the space is generally finished to builder-grade specifications that probably don't express your unique style. Tan carpets, plain light fixtures, and boring kitchen cabinets can be dealt with to bring forth your individual approach to living.
First of all, remember if you want to change anything about your rental unit to make sure your property manager approves. Certain property managers won't let you change anything at all, or if you do they'll charge you a hefty fee when you move out to remove it all. Other property managers will allow you to change a few things as long as you know it's your job to put it back to its original state before you move.
Double check with your property manager what is and isn't okay, then make sure you get a signed agreement stating that you got your changes approved by management. To get an idea of the changes you want to get approved by your property manager, check our tips to making your rental living feel like home.
While paint is cheap and a little goes a long way, it's usually the first thing your property management will say no too. But, depending on the color you choose they may just surprise you. If you get approval, changing the color of walls or cabinets will give your rental a whole new look. The impact will be instant and the entire area will feel more like home!
The removable kind of wallpaper or even wall decals are options, especially if painting is a no-go. There is now wallpaper that you can put up and take it down when it's time to leave, without leaving a mark. This allows you to choose from a ton of different patterns to create a dramatic focal point.
Generally, a rental unit is going to have some fairly utilitarian light fixtures. You can add better looking and chic fixtures for cheap that will probably give off more light. You'll be amazed at the dramatic effect just changing how your light looks will have.
You know that the hardware, like knobs, on the cabinets will be as plain as possible in a rental unit. You can easily change them out with ones that are more your style from your local hardware store. This change is fast, inexpensive and will make a huge difference in your rental. Just make sure that you keep the original hardware in a bag in the back of a door for when you move out!
Things like refrigerators and stoves are usually provided when living in a rental, but now you can buy smaller appliances like toasters and blenders in fun and exciting colors and patterns to reflect your personality.
You'll probably laugh at the curtains or blinds on the windows when you move into your new place. Hanging your own curtains is not that expensive and will allow you to showcase more of your style. Better yet? You don't even have to remove the blinds that are on the windows, just hang your favorite curtains and always keep the blinds up!
Rental living means there have been many people there before you, so while the floors should be clean they may not be at their best. Finding rugs that fit your style and personality will not only cover the warn carpet, but also bring some life into the room! Making it feel a little more like home.
Window Boxes / Container Plants
If all the units at your complex look the same consider adding a window box with some nice flowers and foliage plants. You can also add some nice containers to group plants and have your own little garden.
Choose your favorite scent and light a candle when you're home. You'll be amazed by how lighting one candle can create a whole new ambiance within your rental living space.
Remember that even when living in a rental you can still make it feel like home. No matter how long you plan to stay in your rental, a few small changes can have a big impact on your space. When you do decide to move out and need to make your space look as it did when you moved in, use our Cleaning Checklist to get as much of your deposit back as possible!