Rental Refresh

Make like you own your rental (and still get your deposit back).

rental_refresh_illustration Rental apartments come with more than their fair share design of challenges—sterile white walls, awkward layouts and dingy old tiles and floors, to name a few. But they can also be charming, homey and reflective of your personal style. With a few truly genius products and some clever hacks up your sleeve, you can whip your rental into shape and make it feel like home sweet home.

1. Hire a helper.

You know that project you’ve been putting off since you moved in? (For us it’s hanging art and putting up curtains.) These are often the things that’ll instantly make your rental feel like a home. Stop putting it off and have a Taskrabbit do it for you. If you need to have your art framed first, send measurements of all your pieces to Framed & Matted and they’ll send you inexpensive custom frames.

2. Update your walls.

Adhesive wallpaper has all the drama of traditional wallpaper, but it’ll peel right off when you move out. Daring DIY-ers can skip wallpaper altogether and use stencils to create a pattern on the wall.

3. Swap out hardware and light fixtures.

Replace ugly lighting with your own fixtures (we like Schoolhouse Electric and West Elm), and switch old kitchen hardware with pretty knobs. Just be sure to save the originals so you can change them back when you move out.

4. Fake it ‘til you make it.

Most landlords won’t allow you to put in tile or wallpaper. Use tile stickers to make a subway tile backsplash in your kitchen or to update dingy bathroom floors. You can fake a hardwood look with vinyl flooring. It’s not as tricky as it may seem (you can cut it with scissors!), but check with your landlord first because those faux wood floors are there to stay.

5. Fill your space with plants.

It’s a small detail with big impact. #TeamIvanka has a collective obsession with The Sill’s gorgeous plants and colorful ceramic pots.

6. Have someone do it all for you.

Homepolish will send a designer to your apartment for an initial consultation—they’ll know what to do with your weird floorplan—and then you can hire them by the hour to pull your place together.