Make Your Home Feel Like YOU: Easy "Micro Makeovers" To Customize Your Space (Rentals Included)

Make Your Home Feel Like YOU: Easy "Micro Makeovers" To Customize Your Space (Rentals Included)

Katie Holdefehr
Oct 5, 2016
(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Unless you built your house from scratch, creating a home that reflects your personal style can be an uphill (and expensive) battle. But before you order a major renovation or do something that will get you on your landlord's list, check out these five tiny home details you can switch up with low effort—for maximum impact. Cabinet pulls, doorknobs, and switch plates aren't the most in-your-face design details, but change them up, and you'll be surprised how much personality they pack.

Cabinet Knobs and Pulls

When I moved into my first New York apartment, I kicked off my list of rental upgrade projects by painting the kitchen cabinets and switching out the old paint-covered knobs with fresh cheap ones from Home Depot. The painting wasn't landlord-approved, but the hardware trick works in any rental. Each knob was less than two bucks, so to outfit all the cabinets in a super-tiny kitchen only cost about $20. Just save the old knobs and throw them in a storage box, where they can wait for move-out day.

Get Inspired: I'm drooling over the leather drawer pulls in Scott & Kristan's loft apartment, above. To get the look, splurge on the Rejuvenation pulls from our roundup, or DIY your own leather pulls (here's how!).

(Image credit: The Little Design Corner)


Oftentimes, rentals will come with a towel hook or two (most likely splattered with years of sloppy paint jobs), but by switching these out for more stylish alternatives and adding more hooks in the entryway, kitchen, and closets, you can take advantage of unused wall space. Practicality aside, these little details can punch up your home's personality.

Get Inspired: In this kitchen captured by The Little Design Corner, round wooden Muuto The Dot hooks add a playful look and a burst of color to white subway tile. Think about the vibe of your space—is it whimsical, elegant, artistic?—then pick a hook to match that mood.

(Image credit: Jersey Ice Cream Co )

Light Switch Plates & Outlet Covers

This is a small part of your home you probably don't waste any time thinking about, and yet you touch it multiple times per day. The second you swap out a dingy white outlet cover for one that reflect your home's style, you're going to start to notice it much more often.

Get Inspired: The traveling design couple behind Jersey Ice Cream Co spotted this antique brass switch plate in a home in Hudson, New York. The patina here is authentic, but you can steal the look by ordering a vintage cover off Etsy or eBay.

Doorknobs and Levers

It's the first thing you touch when you walk into a home, the often-overlooked doorknob has the power to make a good first impression. If you live in an apartment, you probably can't switch out your front door handle, but you may be able to replace the knobs on interior doors. Whether you go for a Victorian-style cut glass doorknob or a sleek metal lever, these are the little details that lend a space character.

Get Inspired: The playfully mis-matched door hardware above fits with this Victorian home's quirky character. A porcelain knob and a brass lock on a magenta door set the scene for the eclectic mix of decor found inside.

(Image credit: Country Living)


These purely decorative accents top off bed posts, lamps, the end of curtain rods, and almost anything else that could use some embellishing. What else can you do with them? Here are 15 ideas you've probably never thought of. They're a natural fit for homes with history, but new modern styles—check out the arrow and stone slice options in our roundup—work in contemporary apartments, too.

Get Inspired: The real pinecones that crown the posts on this bed from Country Living play on the traditional pinecone finial motif.

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