The Times

House & Garden

5 Ways to Update Your Home as a Renter Without Renovation

  • Written by Lilly Miller

Let’s be real, chances are that your landlord doesn’t want you making any major changes to their property. And it makes sense, because one day you’re going to leave and buy your own home, and your investment would have been for nothing while the landlord is stuck with an altered property that might not accommodate the needs of their future tenants. But this doesn’t mean that you should make your rental feel like home, and luckily there’s plenty you can do to update your current home as a renter without committing to any renovations.

Of course, there are also ways you can remodel your apartment without losing your security deposit, and if your home does require a full remodel, then don’t hesitate to pitch the idea to your landlord. For now, though, all your home needs is a couple of changes and updates here and there to transform the form and the function of the space. Here’s what you can do right away without any risk.

Scale and optimize the lighting

Let’s start by stating the obvious – of course your landlord is going to be fine with you repainting the apartment, and sometimes you can even change the color scheme if it fits their long-term needs. So we’re not going to talk about how you can slap a fresh coat of paint on the walls, that’s a given. What you might not have thought about before, though, is how lighting affects the looks and feel of the space, and how you can optimize it to transform your living environment.

How much natural light saturates the space will depend on a number of factors that are out of your control, but what you definitely can control is the look and feel of the artificial lighting. This is an inexpensive way to transform your home and cut your energy bill if you choose quality LED lights. Another great idea is to introduce accent lighting in every room, and you can do that with freestanding lights in corners and desk lamps. You can also replace light switches with dimmers so that you can scale the ambiance for every occasion.

Repaint the kitchen cabinets and change the hardware

Generally speaking, you can make all sorts of deals with your landlord if you have a healthy relationship, so hypothetically you can bring in new appliances and then take them with you when you move out. But this is a big investment and there’s a big chance the landlord won’t be up for it, so the next best thing would be to spruce up your kitchen cabinetry and other supporting elements. First, simply repaint all the cabinetry, and check if you can use a different color that will breathe new life into the space – chances are your landlord won’t mind.

Next, you’d be amazed just how much you can transform your kitchen with those small updates like replacing old hardware with newer designs and models. Go for that minimalist vibe and choose hardware that’s sleek and beautiful to give your kitchen a more contemporary vibe. You can also replace the cabinet doors with French models (glass doors) for that added aesthetic appeal.

Spruce up the floors to spruce up your home

By far one of the most impactful changes you can make in your rental home, that’s also a long-term investment, is to spruce up the floors with area rugs and accent carpets. This is something that allows you to bring color and life into your living space, but it also serves a functional purpose. To make the new rugs fit seamlessly into the interior, you can choose artisan rugs that will naturally accentuate certain areas of your home with their unique pattern, texture, and color.

The key is to use rugs to create comfy, welcoming zones in your home that will bring a sense of calm and comfort into the space. To achieve this, you will need to pay special attention to the texture of the rugs, because you want them to be as soft as possible to elevate your experience through your sense of touch as well.

You can get away with almost anything in the bathroom

When it comes to the bathroom, you can get away with pretty much anything. Save from tearing down the built-in bathtub to put in a walk-in shower, your landlord will probably welcome the idea of a bathroom remodel, because that’s usually the biggest investment. That said, you don’t want to commit to any major bathroom renovations as a renter, so a couple of minor upgrades are the best choice.

For example, if the tiles are in good condition, you simply need to bring a steam cleaner for that thorough clean that will make them sparkle once more. You can also replace the mirror and choose a more contemporary model with a beautiful white frame. Then, repaint the vanity and the shelves, and put the cherry on top by introducing a single potted plant on the shelf next to the mirror.

Follow the time-tested Feng Shui rules

A big part of transforming your rental home is improving the energy in the space, and that’s where following some important Feng Shui tips can help you big time. Firstly, commit to symmetry. Make sure that every space in your rental follows a symmetrical structure, and then go ahead and banish all clutter from your living environment. Invite a sense of freedom in by eliminating the clutter and stick to neutral, earthy tones for your décor elements and accents to bring in a sense of peace and serenity.

Over to you

As a renter, you might be a little confused as to how to spruce up your temporary home while staying in your landlord’s good graces. Well, forget about any major renovations and instead stick with these simple tips that will transform your living environment while being kind to your wallet.

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