Just because you don't own your apartment doesn't mean you can't dress it up, cover the not-so-pretty parts and give it your own personal touch. Here are some high-impact (but low cost) ways you can bring temporary personality and style to your home...
You don't have to accept your kitchen counters as-is
Unsightly old counter tops can temporarily become granite with something like Appliance Art's Instant Granite. Similar to Contact Paper, the peel and stick Instant Granite can be applied directly over old counter tops and pulled back up when you're ready to move again.
The same goes for your backsplash (and floors)
Peel-and-stick everything exists now, including backsplash tiles, if you can believe it. If you dream of having subway tiles or even marble, be sure to search your preferred home improvement store for "peel-and-stick backsplash" to check out your options. (We particularly like this marble subway version from Home Depot).
While you're at it, cover up those old appliances, too
Appliance Art also offers Instant Stainless for covering up old appliances in a magnet or peel-and-stick option. Just put in your appliance type (dishwasher, side-by-side refrigerator, etc.) and you'll be on your way to modern appliances in no time.
Easily upgrade your lighting
Overhead lighting in apartments can be quite hideous and unflattering at times, and while it's not exactly simple (or always smart) to start swapping out fixtures, you can opt for plug-in versions like sconces (plus table and floor lamps) to create a more flattering, more inviting lighting plan, instead.
Add some removable style to your walls
Landlords love their white paint (which frankly, seriously beats out some of the more wild options we sometimes see in older rentals) but it can make for a very bland apartment. Put some pattern on those plain white walls with removable wallpaper. Here are a few good sources to check out:
Make the most of your outdoor space
Sprucing up your outdoor space can make it feel like you've gained an extra room. Cover up plain Jane patio floors with easy to install (and uninstall) deck tiles, like some from SnapDeck.
Don't underestimate the power of art
Bring a bit of your own personal history and aesthetic passions to your space by adding in large-scale art. Try an abstract print for some color, a cool black-and-white photo for some modern edge or even a blow-up family portrait.
If you're scared of peel-and-stick wallpaper, try decals instead
You can create your own random or block-print-style pattern on your rental home's walls with decals. They're far less intimidating than peel-and-stick wallpaper, and often much less expensive.
Put your style stamp on your home before even crossing the threshold
Put your stamp on your new apartment before you even walk through the front door with a personality-filled doormat.
Say "Hello" to this Welcoming DIY
Re-edited from a post originally published 3.10.12 - AT