I’ve utilized about every DIY I can come up with to make my small apartment a real home. I’ve redone the kitchen 4 times now in 6 years. And each time I tend to do something completely different.
My daughter (who flips houses) helped me redo my kitchen this spring and I absolutely love it. For around $500 the look of my kitchen is vastly changed.
I decided to buy a new refrigerator, a real treat for myself, simply because I hated the one that came with the apartment. This one looks spiffy clean and has plastic shelves, which was missing in the other one.
I paid around $700 for the refrigerator, but I find it’s well worth it. The refrigerator is of course above and beyond the $500 I mentioned above.
I took the doors off the cabinets to make the kitchen appear larger than it actually is.
I redid the countertops. Again.
The first time I redid the countertops around 2015 I applied contact paper. It stayed down pretty well for a while.
Around 2016 I was gifted a DIY counter top kit from GianiGranite.
This last time I also used a GianiGranite product. They had come out with a more expensive marble kit that I purchased.
I really didn’t want the marble look, so I opted to leave out that step and just go for a nice shiny white counter top with epoxy. By no one’s standards could you say I did a perfect job because there are mistakes everywhere. But they’re not something most people notice.
Years ago I changed out the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom. I also tore out the vanity and huge mirror and had my own vanity put in. With that ugly probably 6 foot mirror gone, I replaced it with a simple scalloped mirror that I hung from a nail for $21.
I had my own toilet installed before I moved in because I needed a taller one with my chronic ankle injury. So the only thing in my bathroom that hasn’t been switched out or improved upon, including the floor, is the bathtub/shower.
I’ve listed the top 5 improvements that made the most difference for the money in my rental apartment:
- cabinet hardware
- counter top kit
- cabinet trim for both kitchen & bathroom
- peel & stick subway tile
An apartment tends to be pretty generic. These apartments were built in the sixties. And there really hadn’t been many improvements since then.
So I sat down and went over the things I most wanted changed that would fit in my budget. And then over time made it happen.
I purchased wood trim and paid someone to add it in my bathroom and kitchen. I painted. I switched out the kitchen cabinet drawer and door pulls and added some I ordered online.
I also ordered peel and stick subway tile that my daughter added to the backsplash in the kitchen. And I redid the countertops myself.
No matter how long you live somewhere, it is your home. You should give your rental home all the character and personality your budget can afford so that you will love it. And of course what your landlord will allow.
If you switch out cabinet hardware, keep the original ones so that you can put them back on should you decide to move.
With the other four changes I’ve listed, you have to decide if you can come to terms with whether it is worth spending your own money to make the improvements.
I’ve lived in my apartment for over 6 years now and have no intention as of now of moving anytime soon. Every improvement I’ve made was well worth it.
I have to be happy with where I live. I’m not going to compromise that happiness just because I rent instead of own my home. It is your own individual decision of course. But I know that I made the right decision for me.
You might also be interested in reading these posts about improving a rental home…
- Cheap & Easy Renter-Friendly Kitchen UpdatesThere are many renter-friendly ideas you can utilize to update your rental home without getting in trouble with your landlord. It just takes a bit of creativity, googling, or checking out Pinterest. As I research…
- Cheapest Rental Improvements For Your MoneyI’ve utilized about every DIY I can come up with to make my small apartment a real home. I’ve redone the kitchen 4 times now in 6 years. And each time I tend to do…
- Decor Tips For RentersThose who rent are confronted with landlord rules that inhibit changing much in their leased home. So I’ve come up with decor tips for renters. If your landlord isn’t flexible about letting you painting the…