1. Cover It Up
Although you can’t replace the kitchen or bathroom floor in a rental, you can cover it up. Rugs are a logical option, but so too are carpet squares and vinyl tiles that you can install with double-sided tape. There is also the option of peel-and-tiles like those shown in this dramatic kitchen floor makeover. They’re a cinch to work with and remove when it’s time to leave.
2. Put Up Removable Wallpaper
Wallpaper? Yes, you can. The new removable wallpapers can be applied and taken down numerous times before losing their adherence. And with no paste required, they’re so much quicker and easier to hang than traditional wallpapers. There’s absolutely no reason the walls in your rental can’t be fabulous.
3. Hack a Backsplash
If your landlord lets you hang pictures, you can create a colorful backsplash with decorative fabric or paper in a clear glass frame. Just mount your designs in the frames and hang to imbue a plain-Jane rental kitchen with your unique sense of style.
4. Swap Out a Light Fixture
Lighting fixtures in rentals are often the cheapest and most utilitarian the landlord could find. Upgrade your space—and elevate your style—by replacing a lackluster fixture with something you love. Just be sure to hold on to the one that came with the apartment, because you’ll need to put it back up when you move.
5. Delineate Space with a Divider
Because structural changes—like building a wall—are not an option for renters, consider other ways to separate open space. Floating a bookcase in the room can create a great divide and provide useful storage in the bargain. Or consider the merits of a folding screen, perhaps one you make yourself from salvaged louvers or French doors.
6. Decorate with Washi Tape
Because many renters are prohibited from painting their apartment in anything other than neutral colors (if at all), look for other ways to add color and pattern. Washi tape, used to create this brightly striped wall, is 100 percent removable, comes in a zillion colors and patterns, and is extremely inexpensive. Create a pattern on a wall, door, or even a window, and then enjoy it until your taste or address changes.
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