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Renter-Friendly Upgrades that You Can Make as a Tenant

Renting a home does not preclude you from adding your own unique style and making it feel like your own. There are plenty of renter-friendly upgrades you can make to a home that add warmth and personality while ensuring your security deposit remains intact.


One of the most obvious but often overlooked upgrades you can make to your rental home is to paint the walls. Of course, like any of these upgrades, you will want to check in with your landlord or property manager and receive permission to do so. A fresh coat of paint whether it be the same color or one of your choosing can brighten the room and make the space feel more like you. This can be an easy and affordable upgrade that will make a big impact overall.

Peel and Stick Backsplash and Wallpaper

Adding a backsplash to your kitchen brings the room alive and it’s completely temporary! Most peel-and-stick backsplashes are made of vinyl so it is easy to measure and trim to fit any space. Be sure to clean and dry the wall where the backsplash is applied and when ready to remove, apply heat with a blow dryer or heat gun while peeling off to ensure no residue is left behind. Emerald green honeycomb can bring an art deco flair to your kitchen or bathroom while classic white subway tile offers a subtle and clean finish. Another peel-and-stick product that immediately injects style into any room is wallpaper. Adorn an accent wall in the living room or finish the entire bathroom, and the best bit is that you can peel it away without any mess before you move out. 

Upgrade your Cabinet Hardware

What may seem like a small detail actually makes a big difference. Swapping out the cabinet hardware can greatly elevate the kitchen and bathroom. Simply unscrew the knobs and replace them with your own, just remember to keep all of the original hardware together in a resealable bag so that you can put them back together before you move out. 

Mood Lighting

Lighting can make or break the room’s ambiance, and most overhead lighting is not all that flattering. Adding a floor lamp or accent light to the room can feel a lot more cozy and less harsh. If you have minimal floor space for extra lamps, corded wall sconces are a great option that requires no hardwiring. You simply mount the unit and plug it in, elevating the look and feel of the room without having to run any wires through the wall.

Change out Switch Plates

In a similar vein to the cabinet hardware, replacing the switch plates and outlet plates is a great way to upgrade the space with minimal effort and zero damage to your rental. There are so many options available to choose from adding style and even a pop of color to your walls. Just be sure to save the original plates and screws so that you can replace them before moving out.

Install Curtains

The majority of rentals come with generic blinds that tend to look pretty underwhelming. They get the job done but don’t add much more beyond function. Installing curtains is an easy DIY solution that gives the room an immediate face-lift by adding texture and color to your walls. They can also offer a more filtered light if you don’t want to completely shut out the sun by closing the blinds. Curtains are a great way to introduce color and accent to a room without having to paint.

Hang Up Your Art

Show your walls some love with collected pieces of art and mirrors. This is one of the best ways to make a rental feel like home. The space will feel much more cozy and hold sentimental value, and small nail holes are easy to patch up at the end of your lease.

Elly Johnson stands at the forefront of content research and online branding at Utopia Management. As the Content Marketing Manager, she delves deep into understanding local real estate and rental markets, fueled by her passion for travel and keen research skills. Elly is dedicated to empowering individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about where to reside. A proud alumna of the University of South Florida, located in the vibrant heart of Tampa Bay, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her academic background and extensive travel experiences uniquely position her to provide insights that resonate with diverse audiences.

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