Customize Your Apartment With These 15+ Hacks For Renters

Diply 26 Sep 2018

Renting has a lot of upsides. You can move fairly frequently and maintenance isn't yours to pay for. But it also has downsides, like a lack of space or strict rules about what you can and can't change in the space you pay for.

Some of us are lucky enough to rent in a place with an open-minded landlord, but a lot of us aren't. It means finding ways to decorate and personalize our homes without doing any lasting damage. That's what these hacks and projects are for.

1. Swap out kitchen hardware.

Camylla Battani | Unsplash

The knobs and handles in rental kitchens are often the most basic of basic. It's about being functional, not fashionable. Swapping them out for some nicer ones can make a big difference.

Keep all the old hardware safely stored away and swap it all back before you go.

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2. Cover up ugly wire shelves with a little DIY project.

Today's Creative Ideas | Today's Creative Ideas

Like with hardware, rental properties aren't going to shell out for fancy storage. Today's Creative Ideas has a great tutorial for how to make plywood covers for those basic wire shelves.

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3. Update old appliances to look like stainless steel.

Julie Blanner | Julie Blanner

Contact paper is one of the greatest inventions for renters. Blogger Julie Blanner shared her trick for using a roll of faux stainless steel to make old appliances look new again.

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4. Make the most of a limited closet by doubling up your hangers.

The Chic Site | The Chic Site

I once lived in an apartment that had a single closet. For everything. This trick of using pop tabs to hang a second row of clothes would have come in handy then.

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5. Make easy-to-remove wallpaper with fabric and starch.

Sincerely, Sara D. | Sincerely, Sara D.

Yes, you read that right. Removable wallpaper is becoming more common, but it's still pricey and may not have the look you want.

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Sincerely, Sara D. has a great tutorial showing how easy it is to use liquid starch to securely hold fabric on a wall.

Sincerely, Sara D. | Sincerely, Sara D.

The options are endless when it comes to fabric, and since it's just starch, it'll all come down easily when the time comes.

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6. Vinyl is a great way to add stripes to walls.

The Homes I Have Made | The Homes I Have Made

Vinyl is a great option for adding color or pattern to a plain wall without any lasting damage to the surface.

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It can take a bit of finesse and an extra set of hands, but the results are worth it.

The Homes I Have Made | The Homes I Have Made

For the full instructions, check out the post on The Homes I Have Made.

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7. Create a shiplap wall that'll come down again easily.

Mr. Kate | Mr. Kate

Command Strips are a renter's dream. You can hang pretty much anything with very little cleanup required when you move out.

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That includes hanging boards on a wall to create a shiplap look that's completely reversible. 

Mr. Kate | Mr. Kate

The important part of using Command products is to follow the instructions. If the specific product says it requires you to wait before hanging something on it, wait.

To make a wall like this, check out the tutorial from Mr. Kate.

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8. Hang a pendant light in a dark space.

Girl Meets Apartment | Girl Meets Apartment

You can also use Command Hooks to hang pendant lights. You can string the power cord down through a hidden corner and plug it into the wall, using more hooks to hold the cord in place.

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Girl Meets Apartment has the full steps on her blog.

Girl Meets Apartment | Girl Meets Apartment

I'm not sure I'd choose a light with a lot of weight, but it can make a big difference in a space without a lot of natural light.

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9. Use a tension rod to hang baskets in the kitchen.

Instructables | W1LL7

Tension rods come in many lengths, so if you don't have a setup with cupboards like the one pictured, you can put one between two walls.

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10. Get an upscale-looking countertop with marble contact paper.

Make Do And DIY | Make Do And DIY

You're not going to be able to swap out a rental countertop, but with a bit of patience, you can make yours look brand new with contact paper. This one was shared by Make Do And DIY.

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11. Improve ugly blinds with faux Roman shades. 

The DIY Playbook | The DIY Playbook

If you're lucky enough to have window treatments included, they may not be the most attractive, and it can be hard to improve them without drilling holes.

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I'm definitely saving this trick from The DIY Playbook for my next apartment, though.

The DIY Playbook | The DIY Playbook

With some iron-on hemming tape and a trio of tension rods, they created these fake roman shades for their kitchen.

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12. Make a no-nail gallery wall with Command Strips.

The Homes I Have Made | The Homes I Have Made

Sometimes, I read horror stories about people's art falling down when hung with Command Strips, but I've never had that problem myself.

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Like The Homes I Have Made, I've used the velcro-like strips to hang tons of art in my homes. 

The Homes I Have Made | The Homes I Have Made

The key is patience. Get all the artwork in the right place and then take the actual frame down for a day or two. This gives the adhesive time to cure and will help it hold strongly.

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13. Frame a plain mirror with trim and velcro.

CoopCrafts | CoopCrafts

A framed mirror can make a huge difference in a boring bathroom. Velcro strips will hold lightweight trim to a mirror without any issues.

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14. Fake a tile backsplash with removable wallpaper.

The Crazy Craft Lady | The Crazy Craft Lady

You can now buy removable wallpaper made to look like tile, which is a product destined to be perfect for renters. Unless guests are rubbing their hands against it, they'll never guess it's fake.

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15. If you prefer real tile, try putting it on MDF.

Instructables | wilgubeast

Instructables user wilgubeast had a common renters' problem: boring walls made of cinderblock. But they didn't let that stop them from adding a simple backsplash behind their stove.

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The tile is adhered to a sheet of MDF, which fits snuggly behind the stove.

Instructables | wilgubeast

When it's time to move, you can just take it with you to your new place.

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16. Another backsplash option is colorful contact paper.

The Nic Studio | The Nic Studio

You can use marble contact paper for a chic, clean look or go bold with a mosaic-inspired option like this one from The Nic Studio.

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17. Hang curtains without drilling holes.

The Happier Homemaker | The Happier Homemaker

Yes, this is more Command Hooks, but if you didn't know that, would you have guessed that's how The Happier Homemaker used to hang these curtains? By painting them to match the trim, the hooks pretty much disappear.

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