When I moved to this patio apartment four years ago, I had a clean white slate and vinyl wood floors.

I had a dated kitchen and bathroom from the sixties and a large empty fenced patio being pushed down by overgrown trees.

I set out to make it my own in every way. Over time I feel that I have created a home that reflects my personality. I have not let the fact that I rent keep me from making improvements.

As a result, I love where I live.

living room

Easy Changes That Pack A Punch:

Switch out the generic wall outlet covers. Keep the old ones and switch them back should you decide to move.

Switch out the shower head. A simple fix and you will be glad every time you step into your shower.

Paint what you can. Paint is a very cheap fix.

Artwork will reflect your personality. Plants will bring nature in and pretty up any room. At the same time plants will purify the air you breathe.

Change ugly window treatments. Take down the blinds if you hate them.

There are many budget-friendly changes that will transform your rental home.

dining room

It is a mistake to approach decorating your rental home as “temporary” because then you skimp on the details that will make it yours. You owe yourself more than that.

You don’t know what the future holds. No one does. So it’s a mistake to approach your rental home as merely a place to land until something better comes along. You sell yourself short that way.

If you plan to stay awhile, even just a year or so, then it is worth it to make changes that will help you love your home.

Two rooms that typically need the most help are kitchens and bathrooms. So let’s see what creative changes you can make in your rental.


1. Hate your ugly or non-existent back splash? Peel and stick tile sheets will transform a kitchen back splash. I did it a couple of years ago, as shown below.

peel and stick back splash

2. Hate your kitchen cabinets but the landlord won’t let you paint them?  Maybe you could take the cabinet doors off altogether.

Another quick idea for ugly counter tops is to cover them with large wood cutting boards.

I found wonderful large cutting boards at that are 17 x 23 inches. I have three of them. I see they’ve gone up to $55 since I purchased mine.

3. Drawers won’t open and shut properly? Mine don’t. I hate them. So I just don’t use them. It’s too aggravating trying to open and shut the drawers and make them line up properly. I have what I need in plain sight and I love the way it looks.

4. Detest the hardware on your cabinets and drawers? That’s an easy fix. Take off what’s there and replace them with hardware you love. Save the old ones and you can replace them when you move. You’d be surprised what a difference it makes.

5. Is your kitchen faucet hideous and cheap looking? I replaced mine in the kitchen as well as the bathroom. Makes a world of difference to me.


1. Do you have ultra ugly bathroom floors? There are vinyl floor cloths that can be cut to size and laid down like a rug. They are heavy duty and will completely cover your floors. Read about them here.

2. Hate your counter top? You can cover them with contact paper. Check it out here.

3. Hate that huge generic rectangular mirror on the wall? I had mine taken down, but many landlords won’t allow that. (I didn’t ask. I’d rather lose my security deposit than have to live with things I hate.) I found a scalloped mirror for $21 that I put up instead.

But if you don’t want to take it down, frame it as they did here.

4. Have ugly lighting? Switch it out but keep the old lighting.

Don’t live in a home you hate. Look around you and get creative. There’s a fix for most everything.

You can make big changes to your rental home by getting creative. There is no reason not to love where you live.


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  1. Well-said, Brenda! I am looking forward to clicking on the links in your post, too. I don’t rent but I know there are some things I could do to my house that would make me like it more. The bathroom floor, for instance. It has tiny, one-inch ceramic tiles. You can never get the grout clean without using a toothbrush! That sheet flooring sounds like just the thing.

    Thanks for all the ideas!


  3. So many wonderful ideas—thank you, Brenda! I’ve bookmarked and saved ’til my fingers are tired. ?

  4. You have done a beautiful job and have every right to be proud of your home. Everyone should have a place that welcomes them home–rental or owner. It makes such a difference in life.

  5. Very nice ideas!
    I am a home owner, which means Iā€™m broke because of my house payments. So when scanning Pinterest for updating home ideas I always look up renters ideas simple because it makes the financially impossible possible. Also changeable should I ever what to change back. Also when looking for ideas on saving money on electronic bills or water bills always look for renters ideas. You will find doable and affordable ideas instead of huge purchase ideas.
    Blessings to you

  6. Great ideas even if you own your home. We have a multitude of costly renovation projects planned for this 1925 house but we sure cannot afford to undertake them all at once. The kitchen will be one of the more costly projects and will not take place in the next few years. So…. I plan to incorporate some of your suggestions (new hardware, faucets, hiding ugly counter tops with cutting boards, look for some peel and stick tile sheets, etc). I might even attempt to paint my cabinets this spring.

    Thank you for this wonderful post.

  7. We used to be renters too. But, always treated the home as if we owned it. Fixed things up so that we would like it. You can do a lot with cheaper fixes like you already have said and make it your own. Our landlords were always happy that we took such good care of our home. A lot of renters don’t do that & make it hard for those of us that do. Make your space your own and enjoy everyday to the fullest with your “stuff”….

  8. Love this post – your home is beautiful! I have one of those huge,ugly (to me) mirrors in the master bedroom over a double sink. We own the condo so I could change it. My question is this – is it glued in place? How tricky was it to get rid of yours? This thing is really big!
    And I love your rattan type blinds!

  9. Hi Brenda,
    It is so great that you could make your rental apartment your own and feel like it is home to you.
    These tips are great for people that rent and still want to feel like their place is their own.

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