5 Easy DIY Rental Upgrades

I have yet to be a homeowner and I cannot wait for the day because I find extreme satisfaction in renovating, decorating, and finding new ways to organize my home. Living in a rental doesn’t allow much in the way of renovating beyond paint so I find myself having to get pretty crafty in order to achieve a home I most desire. The apartment we’re living in now was built in the 70s and some of the original charm can still be found – and something I so badly would love to rip out and replace! But, considering I can’t, I have found a few ways I can easily upgrade this rental that is budget friendly and instantly adds a personal touch!

It doesn’t take much to make simple, yet transformative, upgrades to your rental. Here are 5 easy ways you can upgrade your rental to reflect your personal home style!

*Always keep in mind that before starting any project in a rental be sure to gain approval from your management and/or look over your lease agreement.

Instant Granite & Backsplash.

I just love the look of granite and to find out that it’s possible to achieve this same look not only on a budget, but that’s perfect for apartment dwellers like us just made my heart skip a beat. Instant granite is similar to contact paper and simply adheres to any surface. I love this option because you can transform any countertop with minimal effort and money. It’s also something that is easily removed with a hair dryer.

*Keep in mind it is like a sticker so be cautious of hot items on countertops or just normal wear and tear when used in a kitchen or bathroom.

Backsplash is also an easy way to add some depth and design to your kitchen or bathroom, but living in a rental I can’t apply the real thing. So, insert some peel-and-stick backsplash to instantly create the same look and can be easily removed when it’s time to move out. Backsplash looks gorgeous no matter if it’s in your kitchen or added to your bathroom and there’s so many options in terms of design and color.

Replace Cabinet Knobs & Fixtures

Image Source:

A super easy DIY fix for any cabinetry whether it’s in your bathroom or kitchen is simply replacing the knobs you moved in with, with fun new ones! You can easily upgrade furniture pieces too with a simple replacement of knobs and other fixtures likes faucets and shower heads. The nice part about this is that you get to keep what you invest in – just swap the new with the old when it’s time to move.

Vinyl Floor Coverings

Image Source: Kerra Huerta via Apartment Therapy

In the bathroom we not only have those ugly sliding doors that look like they haven’t been replaced in years, but we also have some pretty ugly tile to pair with it. The tile is an ugly color and the grout just makes the whole thing difficult to keep clean. I love this idea of covering it all up with  vinyl flooring, which will give my bathroom a fresh look and make it so much easier to keep clean.

Command Velcro On Mirrors

Image Source: Shanty 2 Chic

I hate that in rentals, especially in our older apartment, there’s no design whatsoever when it comes to bathrooms let alone any other room in the house. We have a large mirror in our bathroom and one way to spruce it up is by adding a simple trim around the edges using Command velcro strips! It’s perfectly temporary and leaves no damage when it’s time to take them down. This takes a bit more prep in terms of cutting the trim or staining it if you wanted a color other than white, but the outcome looks amazing and definitely worth the work you put into it. Another option is using square corners so you can skip the trimming. It’s just fascinating the transformation of just adding trim to a mirror.

Just these five things alone can make any rental feel a bit more cozy and reflect your personal style and tastes in the process. The best part is that each of these ideas are fairly inexpensive, easy to apply or install, and a snap to remove when it’s time to move out. Who says you can’t enjoy your rental the way it was meant to be?

What are some of the ways you’ve upgraded  (or would like to update) your rental? Any other tips or tricks to share?



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  • Isn’t it crazy how simply switching out some hardware can completely change the look of the cabinets?! That’s next on my list of things to do 😉 Fun post!

    • Yes! Once we pay off our credit cards and have some money to play around with I am so wanting to give our place a little makeover – especially our bathroom! Until then it’s pinning my inspirations and living vicariously 😉

  • Those all look like such fun projects! And did I tell you before that I LOVE your layout & header?! Looks amazing!!!

  • My fiancee and I really want to buy but with the market being the way it is we will probably end up renting. I love these ideas for helping make it more of a home!

    • Definitely! I love the instant granite and backsplash idea the most. I also love DIY projects that are a snap to put together 🙂 thanks for stopping by!

    • Definitely! I love the instant granite and backsplash idea the most. I also love DIY projects that are a snap to put together 🙂 thanks for stopping by!

  • These are such cool ideas!!!!!!!!!!!! We’re in the process of buying so hopefully we’ll never need these tips again but I wish I would have had these five years ago! <3

    • That’s so exciting! I can’t wait to own a home, but while we are living in CA that doesn’t look too imminent. But these ideas are great until I can own something of our own 🙂

  • Leslie Nichole

    I’m loving the back splash! I have a few friends that rent, even if rent and my landlord is awesome. I’m pinning to show these!

    • Thanks for the pin! And I love backsplash and can’t wait to try and apply it in our bathroom after they come through and fix it up.

  • Leila

    I love this! I bookmarked this so that I can do some of these to our house. We have been renting for several years and will be stuck here for another 3 years at least before we try to buy our own house. I would love to “upgrade” what we are in during the mean time, but not break my bank!!

    • And these ideas are perfect for just that! They’re so easy to do and I can’t wait to start some of these projects this summer 🙂

  • These are great tips! A backsplash can change everything!

    • It really can! I love that they have peel-and-stick options. I can’t wait to try a few of these ideas in my own home.

  • These are great tips! A backsplash can change everything!

  • Tess

    I love these ideas. We recently bought a home, but even some of these ideas would be good for our home too. I love the backsplash idea the best.

    • How exciting! I can’t wait to be a homeowner so I can do more without worrying I’d have to change it back. If we are staying for another year where we’re at then I’m definitely adding some paint on the cabinets in the bathroom then just paint them back when we leave.

  • I had NO idea that you could do those sorts of things! Thanks!

    • Yeah! Everything is temporary and easily removed without causing damage. Who says you can’t have an awesome looking rental?! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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