ll archives: 10 Ways to Upgrade Your Apartment Without Ticking Off Your Landlord


The typical apartment is dreary and uninteresting. Standard, neutral and cold, these spaces could easily belong to anyone. Luckily, living in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t have a home that reflects your individual style. While most landlords won’t allow painting or structural changes, there are still many creative ways to add your personality to an otherwise uninspired space.

Here are 10 ways to help you personalize your apartment without relinquishing your deposit or landing you on the curb:

1. Give the Floors Some Love

Standard apartment living rooms are approximately 12-feet by 12-feet. A large area rug can hide most of that traditionally dull carpet without breaking the bank. You can opt for a new one or check out your local Craigslist or thrift store for deals on gently used versions. No matter what your style, the countless available options can quickly transform your floor, adding color and excitement to your main living area.

Thanks to modern ingenuity, you can also upgrade that ugly vinyl kitchen and bath tile. Garage mats and removable tile offer unique options to spice up these often overlooked rooms. There are many styles and colors available to give you just the look you want.

2. Replace Cabinet Pulls

Replacing cabinet pulls is a fast, easy way to update your kitchen and bath. This small change can modernize the look of the entire room. Just be sure to get pulls that use the existing holes, and save the original ones so you can replace them when you move.

3. Add Wall Shelves

Wall shelves come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and designs that will add a decorative touch to any room — with the added bonus of extra storage space.

Lighted vertical shelves add a touch of elegance in the bedroom or living area, while modular shelves offer a contemporary display for art or books.

Floating shelves are a modern alternative that can be used in any room. Entry shelves have hooks to conveniently hold coats, umbrellas or other outerwear, freeing up some space in your hall closet.

4. Use Removable Wall Paper and Decals

One of the most frustrating things about apartment living is the white walls — yards and yards of stark white nothingness. Again, modern ingenuity and creativity come to the rescue. Removable wall paper and decals can create a personal statement and offer relief from the mundane, uninspired wall. Whether you want to cover an entire area or just add a special touch or message, these completely removable overlays are a work of art, sure to brighten any room.

5. Think Multifunctional

Multifunctional furniture gives you more for your money by creating usable space in a cramped environment. An attractive sofa or chair that transforms into a bed is a handy way to add a guest bedroom. Loft beds with a desk often contain storage space as well, and they take up minimal space. A bar cart can act as a handy sofa table until you are ready to pull it out for its intended purpose. Multifunctional design can range from the simple futon to extreme examples of functional art.

6. Upgrade Your Bedding

Even white walls can provide a perfect backdrop when you choose the right bedding. Elegant, fun or eclectic bedding can set the mood for your bedroom and dress up even the most lackluster space. You might even take advantage of the white by adding shades of black and gray to create a sophisticated monochrome design.

7. Utilize Decorative Storage for Your Bathroom

Apartment bathrooms are usually not equipped with ample storage space. Decorative units, such as over- the-toilet cabinets, towel racks, and small shelves are often sold in sets and add to the character of the bathroom, while providing much needed space. These collections are available in a variety of wood tones, stainless steel or even wicker, so you can choose a style that enhances the design of your room.

8. Go Green

Plants can be used in many ways to enrich your environment. Indoor herb gardens are an excellent way to beautify your home, provide fresh herbs year-round and remove toxins. These mini-gardens can be grown just about anywhere.

If you have good light in your apartment you can plant a single pot, create a hanging garden or even eye-catching wall art.

If you lack sufficient lighting or doubt your gardening abilities, though, you can opt for a table top or wall kit that provides simulated sunlight, automatic watering and in some cases, an app to monitor your plants.

9. Hang Interesting Wall Art

This can be an inexpensive way to highlight your room or to show off your expertise if you have more expensive taste. Either way, choosing interesting paintings, photos or tapestries will give character to an otherwise monotonous expanse of wall. Canvas art, monochromatic photos and bold paintings add drama to a room and attract attention. Personal photo walls are also an inexpensive and interesting way to feature treasured moments and adorn exposed areas.

10. Enhance Your Lighting Options

It’s been said that lights are jewelry for your home. Though a seemingly small part of the overall décor, eye-catching or unique table lamps will stand out to reflect your personality, much like a personal piece of art.

By thinking outside the box, you can discover a number of removable options to make your apartment a true reflection of who you are. The best part? When you’re ready to move, you can take your new-found treasures with you.