12 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Rental Home
You don't need to be a homeowner to make smart design decisions. Even if you're renting, there are still steps you can take to transform your abode into one that reflects your personal style. While major overhauls that involve knocking down walls, rearranging electrical wiring, or redoing floors are out of the question, small changes and additions can make a world of difference.
Here are 12 things to tackle to customize and upgrade your home.
1. Replace the Kitchen Faucet
Perk up an uninspiring kitchen with a brand new faucet. Choose a statement piece such this Vigo Edison pull-down spray kitchen faucet in matte black, and you’ll not only elevate the look of your kitchen, but you'll also have a long-lasting, easy-to-clean faucet that will help expedite your daily chores.
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2. Install a Luxe Shower Head
An upscale shower head like the Nebia Shower System can turn routine into a spa-like experience. Requiring just under 20 minutes to install, this shower system produces smaller water droplets at a larger quantity for a soothing, steam shower experience. The Nebia uses up to 70 percent less water than a standard shower head, which will also help lower your utility bills.
3. Add Bathroom Accessories
Don't settle for a ho-hum bathroom vanity; outfit it with design-forward toothbrush and soap holders. Interesting options include the Boxy line of accessories from Kartell by Laufen, designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba. Choose from translucent pink, green, and glossy black or white.
4. Invest in Freestanding Shelves
When making new purchases for a rented home, it’s important that you can move these items when you leave and relocate to a new abode. Freestanding shelves—such as this sturdy, whitewashed Douglas fir bookshelf by Umbra Shift, is ideal for keeping your living spaces clutter-free and well-organized.
5. Choose Stylish Floor and Table Lamps
Removing and reinstalling ceiling or wall light fixtures can be a bit more of an effort when you relocate, but a stylish floor or table lamp is an investment that you can take with you to your next rental or permanent home. This Bell Table Light from Tom Dixon—available in copper, chrome, or brass—will certainly add a good dose of glamor to your living room, study or bedroom.
6. Switch Out Cabinet Handles and Pulls
For those wanting a quick fix, swapping out boring cabinet hardware can transform the look of a space in an instant. If you really want to get creative, consider using unusual materials like glass or precious stones for knobs or handles.
7. Upgrade Your Curtain Tiebacks
Bring a hint of elegance to even the simplest of curtains with an elaborate curtain tie. German brand SACHO has a selection of sleek, braided leather tassels or bead tiebacks that will suit different interior concepts.
8. Bring In a Study Desk
No matter how small your home is, a study desk is always a useful addition that can follow you when you move. The Nelson Swag Leg Desk by Herman Miller is a compact and versatile work desk that was created with today’s computing systems in mind.
9. Indulge in the Perfect Armchair
An ergonomic and well-made armchair can last for generations, so it’s never a bad idea to invest in one even if you’re renting. An iconic midcentury piece such the Cassina LC2 Armchair, designed in 1928 by the creative teams of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand, can serve as an elegant, timeless focal point.
10. Add New Cushions to the Mix
You can’t go wrong by adding pattern, color, and texture through new cushions on your bed or couch. We like these soft grid cushions by Anderssen & Voll, which are minimal while still offering depth.
11. Lay Down Vibrant Rugs
Some landlords don’t allow tenants to drill brackets in the walls to hang paintings, but one way that renters can introduce art to their homes is through rugs and carpets with eye-catching designs. Nanimarquina's Formosa rug by Michael Lin lets you bring the vibrancy of a floral garden indoors.
12. Cover Up With Contact Paper
While you may not be able to replace countertops and cabinets, you can conceal less-than-ideal surfaces with contact paper. Try updating weathered wood cabinets with matte white paper, or introducing color into your kitchen with a bright toe kick, as seen below in Oh Joy's Studio by Emily Henderson.