Paint, Paint, Paint
Paint is easily the biggest bang for your decorating buck. Plus, it’s easy to “fix” – you simply need to paint the original color again! Tip: If your landlord’s a stickler, though, color-match the current hue and purchase that paint before you cover it up.
Deal with Questionable Counters
Granite may be all the rage right now, but once upon a time brightly hued Formica reigned supreme. There aren’t many reversible ways to cover up counters, but with your landlord’s permission, there are some cheap and easy compromises. Countertops can be painted, tiled, mosaic-ed or even covered with stainless steel. Tip:For a temporary solution, invest in large, butcher-block cutting boards to cover up as much of the offending surface as possible.
DIY a Backsplash
For a kitchen with an outdated or nonexistent backsplash, you can make a “portable” backsplash, which you’ll be able to pick up and move with you. For a grout-free alternative, try contact paper — yep, the stuff that’s used to line drawers! There are some stylish options available, such as beadboard or copper.
Whether the closet simply won’t accommodate your shoe collection or the bathroom counter space isn’t cutting it, add shelves where you need them. This is one of those “Why didn’t I just do that sooner?” upgrades you’ll be glad you made.
Replace the Flooring
New floors don’t have to be crazy-expensive! If you can make a permanent change, your floors may be improved by cheap and easy adhesive vinyl tiles. For a bit more money, you can also lay down high-quality carpet squares, which you’ll be able to take with you when you leave.
Fix the Lighting
Good lighting can seriously improve the look of your space. Before you switch out any light fixtures, be sure to locate your breaker box and turn off the power. And hold on to the old fixtures to swap them back out when you move.
Accentuate the Positive
Chances are, there’s something about your rental unit that you love, or you wouldn’t live there. If the high ceilings make you smile, hang large, dramatic art extra-high to highlight them. If it’s the view that you moved for, frame the windows in low-key white sheers and enjoy the scenery.