How to Make an Old Rental House Look Nice

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Do you have a hard time finding easy, damage-free workarounds for decorating your rental property? 

Don’t let the limitations of your lease prevent you from fixing up a beautiful home. 

Here, we’ll show you how to decorate an outdated apartment or rental home to create a space that’s polished, comfortable and inviting. You’ll find that most of these ideas are landlord-friendly and budget-friendly! 

How to Update a Rental Home: 8 Landlord-Friendly Hacks 

  1. Update window treatments
  2. Swap switch plates and cabinet knobs
  3. Use removable wallpaper
  4. Apply contact paper
  5. Decorate with Washi tape
  6. Upgrade your showerhead 
  7. Turn your radiator into a shelf
  8. Use area rugs 

1. Update Window Treatments 

Start with your windows, which are likely a focal point of your rental home or apartment. Hanging curtains can do wonders for a room! You’ll be surprised at how much window treatments can impact the entire look and feel of a space. 

To preserve your security deposit and avoid damaging your walls, try Kwik-Hang’s no-drill curtain hardware

Use Kwik-Hang to hang curtains perfectly without the need for drills, nails or measuring. Just align the curtain rod brackets to your window trim and tap them in with a hammer, and you’re good to go! 

Once your lease is up, you’ll be able to remove the brackets quickly and effortlessly with no damage in sight. 

how to make an old rental house look nice

2. Swap Switch Plates and Cabinet Knobs 

Small changes, big impact. For a quick, budget-friendly upgrade, consider swapping dull cabinet knobs, light switch plates or furniture pulls and handles for something more modern or stylish. It’s easy to reinstall the original hardware once it’s time to move out. 

Pro-tip: Most knobs, plates or handles are inexpensive – around $5 or less. You can even try perusing local thrift shops to score a bargain or find unique pieces. 

3. Use Removable Wallpaper 

Removable wallpaper is the way to go! You’ll have your friends and family wondering if an interior designer worked their magic on your home.

Hygge and West, Chasing Paper and Graham & Brown are just a few of many popular retailers that sell stylish removable wallpaper designs.

Many removable wallpapers are also reusable, so have no fear if you’re indecisive when it comes to decorating.  

Disclaimer: Removable wallpaper won’t work on textured walls. 

4. Apply Contact Paper 

Use contact paper to decorate countertops, appliances, bookshelves or even stairways. Add a pop of color to your kitchen with a “new” backsplash, or beautify your living room furniture and design. 

Most contact papers are easily removable and very affordable. You can buy a 9-foot roll for under $10 from major retailers like Target or Bed Bath and Beyond. 

Note that contact paper isn’t interchangeable with removable wallpaper (above). Contact paper comes in smaller size rolls and is best for light updates. 

Removable wallpaper has a stronger adhesive and comes in larger dimensions to accommodate entire walls. If you attempt to use contact paper as wallpaper, the look won’t be seamless, since you’ll need multiple rolls to cover a wall. 

5. Decorate with Washi Tape 

Washi tape is a colorful, decorative Japanese masking tape that’s perfect for brightening up a wall, doorway or accent piece. 

Use Washi tape to create an accent wall in your bedroom or office or adorable artwork in the kids’ room. Browse Pinterest for Washi tape wall decor ideas – the color and pattern possibilities are endless. 

6. Upgrade Your Showerhead

Older homes and apartments don’t have the best showers. Luckily, switching out the showerhead is one of the easiest things you can do to transform your bathroom (and pamper yourself)! 

Using the right showerhead for your needs can make a substantial difference in your shower quality. Maintain peace of mind as you move from one rental unit to another, and never worry about clogged valves or weak water flow again. 

Pro-tip: While you’re swapping out the showerhead, make other small enhancements to your bathroom to refresh the look. Update the shower curtain, switch the toilet seat cover or add a new soft bath rug. 

7. Turn Your Radiator Into a Shelf 

Do you have a radiator in your rental property? Try this hot idea in your home! 

Place a wood shelf, stone slab, large tray or thick rectangular cutting board over the top of your radiator. Then, style your improvised shelf with faux plants, a stack of books, picture frames or decorative objects. 

Important: We don’t recommend adding candles or other heat-sensitive objects on your DIY shelf, due to the heat emitting from your radiator. 

8. Use Area Rugs 

The right rugs can instantly transform a lackluster space into a warm and inviting retreat. To cover old floors or unsightly carpet, use an area rug. 

Rugs aren’t always cheap, however. A higher-quality 4×6’ rug can run around $100 depending on the material and construction style. If you have multiple floors that need covering, the cost of rugs can add up fast. 

Before you decide to purchase a rug (or a few), try these tips first: 

  • Give your floors or carpets a thorough deep cleaning or steam cleaning. Hire a professional if it’s within your budget. You might find that your floors or carpet aren’t as bad as you initially thought! 
  • Rearrange your furniture to mask any carpet stains or eyesores. 
  • Add texture to your living space to draw attention away from the floor or carpet. Decorate the walls (in damage-free fashion, of course), throw in some accent tables or add a floor lamp or large plant. 

Update Your Rental Home or Apartment with Kwik-Hang

Affordable, elegant and damage-free home decor solutions can be hard to find. That’s why Kwik-Hang is here to help. 

Kwik-Hang’s no-drill curtain rod brackets are the perfect solution for renters. Hang perfect curtains in seconds without having to measure or use inconvenient tools and hardware that leave permanent wall damage. 

Salvage your security deposit and keep your landlord happy – try Kwik-Hang’s damage-free brackets and curtain rods today! 

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