Though moving into a bland rental apartment with lots of decor limitations can be a bummer, it doesn't mean you've got to stay stuck with a home you don't love — or that doesn't express your personality. Use one or more of these proven tricks for renters for a big impact on the look of your space — without spending a lot of money, either.
1. Paint or personalize an existing furniture piece
You might not be able to paint your walls thanks to a strict lease, but one of the easiest ways to inject a lot of personality into a room is by painting on a lot personality (in the form of color, texture or pattern) to an existing piece of furniture. Remember though, that you don't have to do a lot to bring about a big personality change — even just a well-placed design detail can be attention grabbing and put your mark on a space.
2. Dabble in removable wallpaper
Wallpaper is one of the easiest ways to make a room scream "you," but of course, if you can't paint, you probably think you can't have wallpaper, either. Well, you'd be wrong. Today's selection of removable wallpaper is more impressive and personality-filled as ever, and worth delving into if you're looking for something to really make your rental stand out. With a bold or colorful enough pattern you wouldn't have to even use a lot; just one wall or one part of a wall could do the trick. And of course, you could use non-removable wallpaper in non-permanent ways (like framing) to add personality, too.
3. Layer rugs
Unless you're quite lucky, you might not have the best floors in your rental. In fact you might even have old carpet. The thing you're going to want to try is layering rugs. Though it's true it might come off a bit bohemian (and if that's not your style, this might not work for you), but layering small to medium rugs over floors you don't love gives you control over disguising those floors, and creating your own hip look under your feet. And since buying smaller rugs to layer can be more affordable than buying big versions, you can save some money. Or you can try and keep to budget by DIYing patterns on more affordable rugs, too.
4. Nail the lamp game
You're going to want to really ace the lamp lighting situation in your rental for several reasons. One — great lighting creates an undeniably awesome atmosphere that can make even the most blandest of blank rentals look warm and inviting. And two, dynamic lighting in a space is always a great addition to someone's style. And since you might not be able to do any drilling in the walls or ceiling to hang pendants or install wall-mounted lights, upping your lamp game is a natural and easy way to add personality to a rental. Don't neglect upping each individual lamp, either, by tackling old lampshades. It can be a fun DIY way to add a spot of color or pattern.
5. DIY big art
Hey if you can afford to buy a giant art piece, all the more to you. For the rest of us, we've got to get a little crafty to add personality to our rental spaces. A big DIY piece of art is an awesome way to do that (and depending on the project idea, could be easy too). If you can't drill into your rental walls, consider leaning your art.
6. Incorporate big mirrors
Mirrors are one of the easiest ways to shake up the kind of wall decor you've got in your home, reflect a lot of light and, if you play your cards right, show off your personality, too. Look to thrift stores, Craigslist or garage sales to score really giant mirrors that you can DIY the frames of to add bold color or pattern. Or take a page from Chris and Roger's home and try DIYing a giant leaning floor mirror.
7. Add temporary pattern in the kitchen or bathroom
The kitchens and bathroom of boring rentals can be some of the blandest rooms of the whole home. Often small and sometimes even windowless, when you're stuck with plain white or beige cabinets and walls, you might feel a little confused about how to add personality into these spaces. So go straight for the backsplash. There are lots of ways you can use temporary products to mimic the look of boldly tiled backsplashes in the kitchen or bathroom that will make the place look like it got a remodel.