Renovate Your Rental

Renovate Your Rental ( Interior Design ideas For Renters) - Progression By Design

I love living in an apartment. It’s cozier, easier to design, and more affordable than living in a house. However, with that being said, it does have its drawbacks. I love updating my space and making it look the best that it possibly can, but in a rental, I am pretty limited on the amount of changes that I can make. I am well on the road to customizing and finishing my apartment, but it has taken some creativity on my part to get the custom look that I really wanted. Here are some easy tricks to get a custom designed look in a rental:

1 |Use temporary Wallpaper

2 | Update what you already have (furniture, hardware, etc.)

3 | Customize your window treatments

4 | Create your own DIY kitchen backsplash

5 | Landscape your balcony

Temporary Wallpaper

I was always extremely jealous of the home owners that get to lovingly adorn their walls with gorgeous patterns and textures in the form of wallpaper. That is, until I discovered that some genius out there invented temporary wallpaper. I have not used it yet, but I have heard some really great things about it and really want to give it a try.

Renovate Your Rental (Temporary Wallpaper) - Progression By Design

via JWS Interiors

Update What You Already Have

This might sound like a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how much you can do with what you already have! Perfect example: I have a simple black desk that I got from Target several years ago. It has plain black knobs, nothing special. I decided to go buy chrome bamboo drawer pulls from Lowe’s and update its look a little bit with some modern hardware. The desk looks so much better just from that simple ($12) change. Buy some fabric and reupholster that Ikea chair you have had since college! Install different drawer pulls to your bathroom cabinets! These are temporary changes that can be removed when you leave your rental, or in the case of furniture, take with you forever!

Renovate Your Rental (Update Your Hardware)- Progression By Design

via The Hunted Interior

Customize Your Window Treatments

Why anyone would ever create those hideous plastic vertical blinds that are hung in front of patio doors in apartments, I have no idea. You know the ones that I’m talking about… grey, loud, hard to walk through, useless, ugly… okay I’ll stop. But seriously though. HORRIBLE LOOKING.  Take those hideous “curtains” down and stick them in a closet! Or under the bed, or in the trunk of your car… I don’t care just take them down! Your apartment complex will probably frown on this, but as long as you don’t damage them, I promise you its fine and so worth it. Hang a pair of floor to ceiling curtains to instantly make the room feel larger and taller.

Related Post: How To Enlarge Your Space

Create Your Own DIY Kitchen Backsplash

I have always loved the idea of creating your own kitchen backsplash in a rental! I have seen so many great DIY backsplash tutorials and ideas out there, and really want to try to create one myself! I am leaning towards creating a painted wood panel and securing it with velcro like Anna from Door Sixteen did here. How genius is that? These panels are relatively easy to create, and completely temporary! I also am loving these peel and stick tile panels from Home Depot! These tile look alikes can be adhered to any smooth surface. Pretty backsplash here I come!

Renovate Your Rental (DIY Kitchen Backsplash) - Progression By Design

via The Yellow Cape Cod

 Landscape Your Balcony

Who says your balcony has to be the place that you store your cooler and other random items that you have no place for in your apartment? Get rid of the cooler (or stick it in the closet next to your hideous plastic blinds that you got rid of) and add some greenery! Ikea has a lot of generously sized house plants that are perfect to landscape your balcony with. Buy a garden stool and comfy patio chair and you are in business! Not only is it peaceful to sit out there, but it will look great through the window! Go read this article from Apartment Therapy about how to Make the Most Out of Your Seriously Small Apartment Balcony! It’s gold.

Renovate Your Rental (Landscape Your Balcony) - Progression By Design

via Apartment Therapy

I hope that some of these ideas have inspired you to make the most out of your rental! Just because you don’t own it doesn’t meant that you shouldn’t own it. Boom.

For more interior design tips and tricks, make sure and read How to Make Your Apartment Look Expensive!




  • Reply Ally July 8, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    These are great ideas! I especially love the temporary wallpaper idea! It adds an awesome pop to a room without the hastle of paint or more permanent wallpaper!

    Ally |
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  • Reply Darby Shaw July 8, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Great tips! Thanks, Marie!

  • Reply Tiffani July 8, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    I found an awesome removable kitchen backsplash on Etsy and it seriously makes our little apartment kitchen pop! These are all tips I have implemented in my humble abode!
    Tiffani recently posted…Red, White & Cool {Recipe}My Profile

  • Reply Elana July 8, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    I love these tips! Renovating a rental (without annoying your landlord) is tough but you’ve given some very creative options.

  • Reply Jenny July 8, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    That last photo with the balcony looks gorgeous!
    My boyfriend and I are working on getting a cute little patio area on our balcony.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys
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  • Reply Meghan July 8, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I hung curtains with sheer panels in the middle a few weeks ago in my bedroom and it made an absolute world of difference! I did leave the hideous, terrible grey plastic slat blinds up because #lazy and I like my room really dark when I sleep, but the curtains really made my room look no so temporary. I used to have a bunch of great plants on my balcony but winter temperatures unfortunately finished most of them off. I should go get some this weekend and enjoy them while I still have nice weather!

    Southern Belle Secrets
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  • Reply Savannah July 8, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Temporary wallpaper is so cute and cool! I’ve heard it can get pretty pricey, though.
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  • Reply Michaela July 8, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    These are great tips! I feel hesitant to decorate too much because I know I’m leaving son – temporary wallpaper sounds AMAZING!

    Michaela || The Monogrammed Midwesterner
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  • Reply Jazmine July 8, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Decals are always amazing to revamp as well. Such great ideas especially updating what you already have.

  • Reply Lauren Ashley July 8, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    So I work in an office that’s a rental and we put temppaper up in chevron and I’m so in love! It gave the space such a fun feel without being permanent, so that if we ever get sick of it or have to move out, we can do it easily! I love the idea of updating what you already have. I updated my IKEA desk by adding gold knobs that I got for super cheap at Ace… yet they make it look so nice!

    The Fashionista’s Diary
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  • Reply Ashley July 9, 2015 at 1:18 am

    What a perfect post!! I’ve never thought of the temporary wall paper before! Such a fun way to spruce up your space!

    xo Ashley
    Twenties Girl Style

  • Reply Ashley @ Purple & Pearls July 9, 2015 at 8:13 am

    These are such cute ideas! I love the temporary wallpaper idea! My boyfriend and I are looking at apartments soon. It’s such a fun thought!
    Ashley @ Purple & Pearls recently posted…The Dialogue in Your HeadMy Profile

  • Reply Alessandra July 9, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Temporary wallpaper sounds genius! NEVER knew that existed! I don’t rent right now, but I’ll definitely be looking for some if I move out. The DIY kitchen backsplash is a great idea as well!
    Alessandra | The PumpUp Blog
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  • Reply Jordyn July 9, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Okay, the backsplash idea is SO good. I never would have even thought of that! Thanks for sharing girl!
    Jordyn recently posted…I Suck.My Profile

  • Reply Emily July 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Yesssss! I love these ideas! We’re in a rental house and sometimes it feels so limiting. But that temporary backsplash idea, totally never thought of that. Genius! And I’m throwing shade at those terribly ugly vertical blinds that are hanging in my place right now. I hate ’em, they’re definitely coming down. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Alicia July 9, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Never ever thought about temporary wallpaper! Thank you so much for this, I’ve been looking for ways to spice up my rental and this is perfect!

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise
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  • Reply Erica @ Coming Up Roses July 9, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    This might sound like a dumb question…but what’s a backsplash??? Sounds fun, but I haven’t heard that term before! Also I wanna see pics of your new drawer knobs. They sound crafty and gorgeous.

    Coming Up Roses
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  • Reply Seersucker Sass July 9, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    These are AMAZING tips! I plan on renting for a few more years, so I will definitely utilize them. I love the idea about updating furniture that you already own. A lot of my apartment furniture is from Target, but I bet changing out the hardware on it would make it look a little more upscale 🙂 Great post, love!

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass
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  • Reply Felice Raina July 9, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    These are some really fun ideas. I love the temp wall paper. My friend recently had some installed and they really changed the entire aura of her apt.
    Felice Raina recently posted…I Need To Start Living For MeMy Profile

  • Reply Steph July 9, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I’ve never even thought of temporary wallpaper! I love it, and that balcony is gorgeous! 🙂

    xx | Steph @ The Lovely Essentials & Jenssen’s Designs

    • Reply Marie Huang July 16, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Ahhhh I know! I really want to try it out in my apartment. And I totally agree, that balcony is stunning! I wish that mine was a taaad bit bigger so I could do something like this. Some day…


  • Reply Ashley Nicholas July 9, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    My husband and I have been renting for years, and the lack of decor can get so depressing. I’m definitely going to use some of these tips to spruce up our apartment!
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  • Reply Nancy July 10, 2015 at 4:59 am

    Love these ideas, they can even be applied to your home, and I have gotten some awesome ideas!! Especially the temporary wallpaper idea, lol

  • Reply Jenni July 10, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    I love all of these ideas, especially the temporary wallpaper one! Almost all rentals I have been in have white walls which can be so boring.

    Jenni // The Beautiful Little Fools
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  • Reply Courtney July 10, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Woah wait! Temporary wallpaper!? Freakin’ Genius!

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