Easy Upgrades Renters Can Make Without Breaking The Lease

Real Estate

Just because you rent doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade.Stikwood

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau housing data, as of 2017, more people in the US are renting their homes than any other time in the past fifty years. However, there is no data that reveals how many of these households wish their units had a little refresh.

Although most people don’t want to invest time or money into upgrading their rental, the results of an inexpensive weekend project may be worth it for some people. While it’s best for renters to ask their landlord permission before making any changes—most know they are probably aren’t getting their security deposit back in full anyway. Here are a few things that renters can easily and inexpensively change to dramatically improve the look and feel of their h0mes without breaking the lease.

Replace Dull And Dated Lighting Fixtures

This Justina Fela chandelier from Perigold instantly creates a chic ambiance.Periogold

A standard flush mount won’t do your home any favors, so don’t be afraid to switch it out for a chic chandelier. Just make sure the new fixture is the same size as the old one.

While this project isn’t difficult, it may require the help of a professional because there are risks of working with electrical wires. However, this shouldn’t be too expensive or time-consuming. Just be sure to keep the old fixture, so your landlord can reinstall when you move out.

Switch Out Knobs, Pulls And Handles

If you can’t replace the cabinetry, at least replace the hardwareMichael Aram

While those old cabinets aren’t going anywhere, at least the knobs, drawer pulls and handles can be switched in less than a minute. This is an easy fix for kitchens, bathrooms or any room that has built-in cabinetry. Minimal skills and a decent screwdriver are all that is needed.

Create A Backsplash With Peel And Stick Tiles

Wayfair has hundreds of peel and stick tile options.Wayfair

A backsplash created with peel and stick tiles is an easy project that even those with minimal DIY experience can complete because separate glue or grout isn’t required.

Most peel and stick tile is made from vinyl or plastic, although glass tiles are available. While these tiles probably won’t last as long as a regular backsplash will, they are engineered to withstand heat, water, and humidity.

In addition to kitchens and bathrooms, peel and stick tiles can be used between staircase steps, as well as in the laundry room, or even to spruce up a dated fireplace mantle.

Replace Bathroom Hardware

A classic, sophisticated towel bar instantly elevates any bathroom.RH, Restoration Hardware

Bathroom towel bars and other hardware tend to be boring at best and cheap looking at the very worst. A sophisticated towel bar (and a few fresh new towels) can easily elevate a bathroom. It’s a simple switch. Just make sure the new bar is the same size as the old one, as to avoid damage to the wall or needing to drill any additional holes. To complete the look, consider installing a new toilet paper holder or a decorative shelf.

Paint Over Those White Walls

A can of paint can make a world of difference.Backdrop

Any color is more interesting than white or ecru. Consider a neutral shade like gray or light pink, which will be easier to paint back to the original color when you move out.

For those who want to simplify the process as much as possible, consider using paint from Backdrop. The brand offers fifty unique curated colors (no splitting hairs over minor shade differences). Backdrop’s large (12 X 12) adhesive samples also made it easy to see how a color will look on the wall. Even their packaging is innovative, making it easy to pour the paint from the can into a pan instead of spilling all over the floor.

Change The Ambiance With Peel And Stick Wallpaper

Lilly Midnight by Tempaper.Tempaper

Peel and stick is the only kind of wallpaper renters should use. Easy to apply, it’s basically like putting a giant sticker on the wall.

If covering an entire room is too big a project, even an accent wall will work. Wallpaper can also be used to make hallways and archways more interesting.

Channel Chip And Joanna Gaines By Covering A Wall With Peel and Stick Wood 

A shiplap wall in a nursery.Stikwood

Blame HGTV, but shiplap isn’t going anywhere. So, consider using peel and stick wood to create a shiplap accent wall. Shiplap is beautiful in on a bedroom wall, to cover closet doors or even to install on the outside of a kitchen island. There are many different kinds of woods, colors, and textures to choose from.

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