If you’re currently renting an apartment, condo, or house, then you know there are certain limitations when it comes to designing the space to your taste. While you can’t rip out the outdated bathroom or replace the unattractive kitchen backsplash, there are lots of options when it comes to renting that can help make your rented space feel more like your home. We’ve listed 5 of our favourite and easy ways to inject personal style into a rented space.

1. Paint doors to make it your own.

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While painting the walls of a room can totally transform it, not every rented home allows for this. If your lease states that you cannot paint the walls and have to keep them neutral, you’ll have to find other ways of injecting colour and personal style. If you cannot paint the walls, you might be able to get away with painting the interior doors in your unit. Doors are obviously a lot smaller than the walls in your bedroom, so try painting the inside of your bedroom door a bright colour that brings you joy when you close it. Repainting a door back to beige is much easier than repainting an entire bedroom. Get creative with different styles and designs. If you’re sharing a place with roommates, each roommate could paint their door to reflect their personality. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this makes in your rental unit. Give it a try, you can always repaint if you decide fuchsia isn’t for you.

2. Paint your furniture too!

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Paint that old dresser yellow or give it a funky geometric print. If you’ve got some time and want to get creative, painting your furniture is another great way to inject some personal style into your rented home. Painting your furniture is a great option especially if you’re filling your space with hand-me-downs, curbside finds, or generic furniture from big box stores. You can make your pieces uniquely your own. A quick search online or sites like Pinterest will give you more than enough inspiration to get crafty. The painting process should be easy enough and you can easily change the colour of a dining table, so you could repaint it every year (or every season if you’re really ambitious) to mix things up. As an added bonus, painting your furniture instead of the walls means that you can take it with you when you move on to your next place.

3. Projects that increase value.

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Some landlords are okay with renters making changes as long as it improves the quality of the home or is easy to change back to neutral. For example, if you have a large front yard or backyard to your apartment, building a deck for all of the residents to use would increase property value and appeal of the space. It’s likely this would be an accepted project. Making minor changes such as redoing the kitchen countertops or cabinets with special paint and sealant/epoxy is another way to increase the value of the unit once you’ve moved on. These kinds of paint are available at most paint and hardware stores and are easy enough to do over the weekend. Your landlord should be fine with you painting the countertops and rooms as long as you do a good job. If you’re concerned about your painting abilities, you can always call in a professional. Be sure to always check with your landlord before undertaking such improvements as they have the final say. So hold off on painting the bathroom dark plum without permission first.

4. Accent walls.

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Did you know you can buy temporary and removable wallpaper? If you’re still dreaming of changing the look of your walls, try this option out. Temporary wallpaper can be found online and shipped right to your place, not unlike almost everything else these days. If you cannot find a temporary wallpaper you like, you can always just use regular wallpaper and apply double-sided tape to ensure it sticks to your walls. While we don’t recommend doing this for your entire apartment (or the bathroom!), this method is great for accent walls, especially if you place your bed or couch along that wall. Adding removable wallpaper is also great because you can take it with you when you move, or easily change it if you decide you no longer love the zebra print in your entry way.

5. Invest in pieces you love.

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If painting and DIYs aren’t really your thing, you can always express your inner designer with your furniture and art choices. Buying a red couch or a floor to ceiling vintage print is a great way to express your personal style that doesn’t require alerting the apartment. While this may seem like a no-brainer tip, a lot of renters do not invest in furniture or art that makes a statement because they see their rented space as only temporary. If you’re renting an apartment or condo and plan to stay there for a couple of years, make the investment for those nicer items. You can always take them with you if you decide to one day move to a permanent place, or sell them off to help cover moving costs. Until then, you’ll have furniture and art pieces you love and will help make your place feel like home even if it’s only temporary.

Try one or more of these tips help make you feel more at home in your rented space. Did you know HomeStars isn’t just for homeowners, it’s for anyone looking to improve their living space, including renters. Check out our categories page for services that will be able to help you make your rented space your own.

Posted by Jessica Greaves