AreaRugIt can be hard to motivate yourself to decorate your rental apartment.  After all, is it really worthwhile to spend the money to improve a place that you don’t actually own?  If you plan on living in the same place for at least a year, we’d say yes – especially since there are some simple and affordable ways to add personality to your rental.  Read on for easy ways to customize your rental apartment.


1. Area Rugs

If your rental apartment has the standard issue parquet floor – or worse yet, wall to wall carpeting – divide the space and cover wear and tear with some colorful and stylish area rugs.  By selecting a few playful pieces, you’ll be able to add interest and depth, and work in a few of your favorite colors.  Best of all, you can take these with you when you move out.


2. Lighting

If your apartment features outdating ceiling lights, replace them with something a little more chic and modern.  You’ll probably be surprised what a big difference this small update will make.  In fact, if you want to invest in some really cool light fixtures, be sure to carefully pack and store the old ones so that you can return them to their rightful place when you leave.  That way you can take the lighting that you’ve purchased to your next home.

Learn how to replace ugly rental ceiling shades at Apartment Therapy.



3. Hardware

Too many rentals have awful, outdated kitchen cupboards.  While a complete renovation obviously falls into the ‘not worth it’ category, you may find that something a simple as changing the hardware can help to get those cabinets into the right decade.  Note: this easy fix applies to closets and bathrooms, too!  However, if you’re really looking for ways to update your kitchen, Apartment Therapy has quite a few kitchen improvement tips for renters.



4. Art Work

Putting some stuff up on the walls is one surefire way to help make your rental feel more like home.  While you may be worried about putting holes in the wall, remember that they can be easily fixed with some spackle and touch up paint.  If your landlord is really against anything marking up the walls, consider removable wall decals, picture hanging strips, or placing framed photos on book cases and tables to incorporate your own personal touches.



5. Paint

If you’re lucky, you may be able to paint your rental apartment.  Often the landlord will want final approval on the color, so it’s likely a good idea to stay away from anything too bold.  However, even when neutral, a fresh coat of paint can make a big difference to a space.  In some cases, you may be able to paint the walls the color of your choice, provided that it’s repainted when you’re ready to move out.  If that’s what’s in your agreement, maybe choose one accent wall to incorporate a pop of color, without causing too much work on your part.  You should be able to paint a wall in one afternoon.



6. Accessories

Another way to really show off your style, without making permanent changes to your rental apartment is to invest in funky accessories.  Look for pieces with interesting colors, patterns and textures.  In some cases, you may even be able to update a piece that you already have!  From pillows, to throws and candle holders to vases, purchasing unique accessories for each room is another simple way you can personalize your rental apartment.



Whether you’ve bought your home or are renting it, it’s important to add some personal touches to really make the place feel like it’s your own.  By following these simple tips, you can easily inject your personality into every room – without making big changes to the overall space.

Happy Decorating!