5 Non-Permanent Ways to Remodel a Rental or Apartment

There are benefits to both owning or renting your home. Ownership gives you full creative control and the equity that comes with your purchase but you are 100% responsible for any mishaps that may come up and need to be committed to staying in one spot. Renters have fewer options when it comes to design but large, expensive repairs that come up are taken care of by the property owner and you’re not locked down (unless you have a lease). At this point in my life, I enjoy renting but have been longing to spruce up my rental unit and give it that fresh, new feel. After assessing my options the following list was created of 5 different non-permanent ways to remodel a rental or apartment.

  1. Add a fresh coat of paint

A freshly painted room always looks polished and bold. Some property owners allow their tenants to paint any color, but keep in mind you may have to return the walls to white before you move out. You should always check with the landlord prior to painting. If like me, you can only paint shades of white, it still makes a huge difference in the presentation and atmosphere of your living area. After living in my townhouse for over 3 years my walls were starting to look dingy no matter how hard I scrubbed them. You can see the terrible shade in this video I posted to Instagram.


All I did was fill some nail holes, prime, and add a few coats of basic white but it made a world of difference. This is currently my favorite room in the house and I can’t wait to paint some other rooms.


2. Rearrange the furniture or add a new piece

Sometimes simply rearranging your furniture can really give your living space a new feeling. I find this also helps with preventing repeated wear and tear to the floors. Rearranging the furniture changes the paths that you and your family, or guests, will take around the house and switches up the indentations sometimes left on the floor from large or heavy pieces. Adding to or replacing your current furniture will also make a big impact in the way your room feels.

3. Change up the art/pictures on the walls

I love changing up the art and photos on my walls. It can give my rental unit a whole new focal point and flow. It also allows you to convey your creative designs and preferences without permanently altering your unit. I will point out though, after the number of nails holes I filled before I painted last, I would recommend hanging pictures or other art using 3M command strips or something similar so you can avoid having to deal with that. From now on I’ll be using them.

4. Add an area rug

Flooring is an aspect of renting that can really frustrate a tenant. If the floors of your unit are in good shape there’s really no need for your landlord or property manager to change it, whether you like the style or not. On way to have a bit of control is to lay down some area rugs in the spaces of your house with the most open floor space. Not only will this make a statement about your style it will distract the eye from the regular flooring and give your rental that fresh, remodeled feeling.

5. Change the window coverings

Sprucing up or switching out window coverings is another sure-fire way to change the feel of a room without making any permanent changes. I recently replaced the curtains in my kitchen window with white 1inch blinds and it’s made a huge difference. The room is considerably brighter and more inviting.

If you’re fortunate enough to live in small private rental sometimes a conversation with your property owner is all you need to make some more permanent or lasting changes to your unit. They may be open to the idea of updating your unit and are willing to help or work out some kind of deal with you if it will essentially increase the value of the rental or modernize it.

That being said, if you live in a more commercialized apartment setting, there are often rules and regulations that all the units need to abide by. Educate yourself on those regulations and use the tips above to give your rental that new, remodeled feeling while staying respectful of the property owner.



Brittany Wright is a mother of 2, crazy dog lady, and proud Northern Ontario resident. She created CDN Mom Blog as a place to share stories and experiences aimed at helping other Canadian based moms. She likes coffee, pick-up trucks, travel, and doesn’t mind living where the air hurts her face.

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