Mid-Year Rental Check-In: 9 Ways to Make Sure You’re Loving Your “Now” Home Enough

published Jun 17, 2016
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

It’s time for a congratulatory toast. We’re halfway through the year! It’s a great time to take a style inventory, get some projects done and tackle a really important topic: Am I going to stay in this apartment?

If you know you’re going to renew your lease into 2017 (So far away! That doesn’t even look like a real year, does it?), make sure your summer plans include tackling some updates to make your apartment into a home.

Here’s our list of things that most renters think they can’t or shouldn’t do, maybe because they feel too permanent or because they’re not worth the work. To both of those excuses, we say, “nonsense!” There’s never a better time than right now to decide that you’re going to make a mark on your space.

Paint the Walls

Carpe diem! If you know you’ll be on the lease this time next year, there are 12+ months that you could be enjoying an accent wall. The only thing you have to do is paint it back. Or consider another easy-to-reverse, high-style-impact solution: removable wallpaper.

Change Out Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures

You’ll want your landlord’s permission before replacing a boob light with a glass chandelier, just to make sure the ceiling can handle the extra weight. But switching out a fixture for something similar but a little less, say, ugly – that’s something you can tackle right away.

Hang Curtains

If you aren’t digging your mini-blinds, here’s an idea: Either snap them out of their mounts or just raise them all the way up, then hang curtains that are more your style.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Hang Artwork

Bare walls be gone! It’s time to invest in some art that speaks to your mind and your taste and get those suckers up on the wall!

Buy Something Specific to Your Space

“We won’t be here forever,” you think to yourself as you pass on that great little banquette that would fit perfectly next to the kitchen. But that’s no way to live.

Replace the Kitchen Faucet and Shower Heads

Changing out some of your plumbing fixtures offers two big improvements: You can upgrade to something with more style and more function. When you move out, put the old fixture back on and take your new one with you to the next apartment (or maybe your first house).

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Switch Out Cabinet and Drawer Pulls

Such a simple style fix, and likely one you’ve considered before. If you’re wondering “is it worth it?,” here’s my advice: Yep. Every time.

Fit In Some Organization and Storage

It’s the little luxuries that really make a difference in your day-to-day life. So go ahead and order a few closet organizers for the closet you have now (or for your drawers, the pantry, etc.).

Talk Your Landlord Into a Project

Got your eye on something bigger and better, like a new countertop or a low-flow toilet? Talk to your landlord and see if you can’t convince them to let you tackle the job or, better yet, do it on your behalf.