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How to Make a Rental Feel Like Yours

Rental homes often leave much to be desired — bland white walls here, generic light fixtures there and seen-better-days carpeting everywhere. But with these five smart, non-permanent upgrades, you can transform your ho-hum rental into a place worthy of calling home.


If the Walls Could Talk …

Add a pop of color and pattern to your rental’s whitewashed walls with removable wallpaper. Non-adhesive wallpaper is available in a variety of trendy textures, colors and prints. If you’re not ready to go wall to wall, start small by lining the backs of built-in shelves.


See the Light

Landlords everywhere must shop the annual clearance sale at Ugly Lights Bargain Basement. How else to explain the glut of outdated overhead lights? Swap out blah fixtures for proper pendants or sophisticated chandeliers. If your lease prohibits such changes, focus instead on amping up your collection of table and floor lamps. Look for classic, versatile pieces that accentuate your room’s décor.


Windows to the World

Window treatments earn an A-plus in multitasking. Not only do they visually frame a space, they also block harsh sun (ideal for south-facing rooms) and add privacy, which is often in short supply in rentals. Hang sheer panels in spaces where you prefer lots of light. In bedrooms, heavier blackout curtains will help you eke out some more shut-eye. In rooms where curtains won’t work, consider using removable adhesive window films in playful colors and patterns.


Art Appreciation

Banish blank walls with eye-catching wall art. Stay on budget by springing for a beautiful photo-rich coffee table book. For a minimal investment, you’ll have pages of frame-worthy pictures at your disposal. Another option is to have artful family photos enlarged and mounted on canvas, wood or metal. Use removable adhesive picture hanging strips to avoid damaging your walls.


Make a Splash

If you’re looking to inject personality into your kitchen, look no further than the backsplash. Sure, you could paint it in a come-hither hue or mount wallpaper in a fun print (see above), but why not go big on style with peel-and-stick tile sheets? The removable tiles look like the real deal and are available in fashionable mosaic, hexagon and subway-tile designs.

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