7 Simple Renovations You Can (Probably) Do in Your Apartment or Rental

JustBlinds Team

April 20th 2024


It’s a predicament many of us have faced: the moving boxes are packed, your friends are bribed with the prospect of free pizza and various refreshments, and your heart pounds as you receive the keys to your new rental. Whether it’s an apartment or a house, opening the door for the first time and seeing the stark bareness of your new home opens the mind to endless design possibilities.

Possibilities that will never come to fruition, in most cases. Painting the walls, installing new fixtures, and really settling in falls to the wayside under the imposing threat of losing your precious security deposit. You scrimped and saved your heard-earned cash to even rent this place to begin with, surely you’re not about to throw away your deposit because you couldn’t resist nailing a dreamcatcher to the wall above your headboard, right?

As it turns out, there are certain renovations and improvements you can make to a rental property. Don’t neglect turning your rental into a home you can be proud of. Follow these tips for ideas on simple rental renovations you can most likely perform in your apartment or rental home.

roller shades in a living room


1. Always Check with Your Landlord

The first, and undoubtedly most important tip we can offer, is to always check with your landlord – or at the very least, read the fine print of your rental agreements for guidance on what you can and cannot do to your apartment. These guidelines may not be universal for all renters. Certain buildings or landlords may have specific rules and guidelines depending on the age and style of your rental property.

General rules, such as only making small holes when hanging artwork or picture frames, are considered to be safe no matter where you rent. For larger improvements, it’s always recommended to get your landlord’s permission before beginning any major projects. Make sure to always get their responses in writing. And who knows – they might even encourage you to renovate and may even contribute some costs if it makes the property more valuable for them in the future!

2. Paint

According to ApartmentTherapy, painting your apartment is one of the most commonly misperceived “rules” you shouldn’t break when renting. In reality, painting the walls a different color is actually one of the renovations your landlord will most likely allow, provided you return the walls to their original color when you move on. It’s a good idea to acquire a can of the original paint before you make any drastic changes.

If painting all the walls seems too daunting of a task, consider painting accents such as molding, trim, or window frames to add a touch of personality to your apartment or rental without pushing the envelope too much.


3.  Fixtures


Another popular renovation for rentals is to switch out light fixtures. If you can handle the installation yourself, carefully remove the original overhead lights and replace them with something more to your own taste. Remember to store the original fixtures in a safe place and pay careful attention to how they were originally installed – you’ll be putting them back before you move out!


You can replace other fixtures as well, such as cabinet handles, doorknobs, or ceiling fans.


4.  Removable Wallpaper


If you’re intimidated by painting or simply not allowed, consider removable wallpaper as an alternative. It’s the perfect solution if you’re afraid of making an irreversible design statement, and there are endless patterns, colors, and styles to choose from.


Better yet, most removable wallpapers are actually reusable, so you can take it with you when you move out. It may take a bit of grunt work to remove and sticky adhesive left on the walls, but that certainly sounds easier than re-painting an entire apartment, doesn’t it?


5. Remove Cabinet Doors

Here’s a trick for giving your apartment kitchen a new look: remove the doors from your cupboards and cabinets for open concept shelving. Put your kitchenware on full display without damaging or renovating the kitchen, or throw in a few other decorative objects in the cabinets to make a design statement. As usual, make sure you keep the cupboard doors and hardware in a safe place so you can easily re-install them on your way out.


6. Outside Mount Window Treatments

Changing or updating your window treatments can make a huge impact on the style of your room. Want an insider tip to make a big design statement? According to our expert design consultants, an outside mount window treatment can help make your windows look bigger than they actually are. Since they don’t have to fit within a window frame, there are more options to fit your space.

outside mount cordless blinds on a living room window

7. Shelving

Don’t feel bound by the storage or shelving space in your new place. You can install shelves with minimal hardware and effort, and they’re easy to uninstall when it’s time to move on. Expand a pantry in your kitchen, or add a few splashes of color to your living room shelves with books or houseplants.


With some careful planning and creative initiative, you can make your rental property feel more like home!