The 8 Most Underrated Items at Target for Renters

published May 17, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Joe Lingeman

While there are some definite upsides to being a renter (you’re free to move when you get bored with your space!)—there are some definite bummers, too. High on the list: Boring white walls, ugly lighting, not enough storage, and hideous finishes. But not to worry. That standard rental can feel a bit more glam with a quick Target shopping spree. I asked some trusted designers for favorite products from the store that also solve renter’s common decorating problems. Here’s what they recommend:

Problem: You have a collection of cool stuff… but no more space to put it

Solution: Maximize your vertical space

“Glam up your walls by adding floating shelves or tall bookcases,” says Shandra Ward, an interior designer based in Houston, Texas. “These can provide more storage and make your space more personal and interesting. Use unexpected areas—like a hallway!”

Product Pick:

Problem #2: Your walls are such a boring white

Solution: Use temporary wallpaper to create a jaw-dropping accent wall

“You can quickly transform boring white walls using self-adhesive wallpaper,” adds Ward. “It’s easy to install and, when you get tired of it or just [want to] try something different, it removes cleanly with no damage to your walls. This is a great option for apartment living and for those who may not want to be committed to wallpaper. There are so many design options, you may have a hard time choosing!”

Tip: You can even create a kitchen tile backsplash using peel-and-stick wallpaper.

Product Pick

Problem #3: Your overhead lighting is too harsh

Solution: Use floor lamps to light from below 

“As a renter, I’m stuck with ugly ceiling lights,” says Jenny Gericke, an interior designer and owner of Gather Home and Design in Stone Mountain, Georgia. “Adding some floor lamps helps to add style as well as increase the lighting in the space so it feels more open.”

Tip: Another option: Remove the glass and/or shade on your ceiling fixtures and swap out boring bulbs for decorative ones. Bonus points if you can add a dimmer.

Product Pick:

Problem #4: Your floor have boring wall-to-wall beige carpet

Solution: Disguise it with a rug pile

“In San Francisco we call this type of carpet ‘San Fran Tan’ and if you have it, too, throw a rug on top,” says Kyra Williams, interior decorator at Bungalow, the largest co-living company in the U.S. “This will distract your eye from the ugly carpet and bring you a little joy every time you walk into the space.”

Tip: Don’t skimp on size and make sure your rug gives you a 12- to 16-inch perimeter around the room.

Product pick:

Problem #5: Your kitchen is teensy

Solution: Roll in a bar cart

“Target’s bar carts can double as a kitchen island or extra serving space for entertaining,” Gericke says. “I like one that doesn’t look too much like a wine cart or one that looks too kitchen-y so I can use it as my needs (or rental space!) changes.”

Product Pick:

Problem #6: Your place still feels like a closet

Solution: All hail oversized mirrors

“Mirrors reflect the space to make it seem bigger they also reflect light,” Williams says. “Hang one on the wall opposite a window and your space will instantly feel bigger and brighter—basically adding another window sans construction!”

Product Pick:

Problem #7: Your living space is so small

Solution: Opt for multi-functional furniture

“When you’re limited on space you’ve got to be very strategic about the furniture you select and how it functions,” Williams says. “That’s why I always suggest storage coffee tables and ottomans that can be used as a coffee table or an extra place to sit.”

Product Picks:

Problem #8: Your icky window blinds are bumming you out

Solution: Invest in fun curtains

“The most important thing about drapes is to be sure to hang them as close to the ceiling as possible over the window,” Williams says. “This will give the illusion of taller ceilings and will elevate your space to make it feel more luxe.”

Product pick:

More great Real Estate reads: