Living in a rental apartment has its benefits, but not when it comes to adjusting it to your preferences. Every possible idea of renovating and modifying it, mostly for better looks, is shadowed by the image of the landlord or the lease contract. However, not always are the landlords grumpy and cheap and quite often they are willing to hear you out especially if your suggestions can improve the conditions and overall look of the apartment. If not, heads up because there are ways to customize your current place without annoying the owner.
Deal with the carpets
After moving in, when everything is neat and tidy for a while, comes the moment when it’s time to freshen up the place. Carpets are the most obvious proof of time passing, so regardless of how much you clean them, they still look used and shabby. To make them shine again, look for professional carpet cleaners since they are the only ones who can bring back life to this old rag. If you didn’t like the carpets in a first place, instead of bothering yourself with cleaning, roll them and put them away. See if the naked floors will work and if they don’t, look for some cheap rugs since they come in all colors and sizes.
Change the light fixtures
One of the most loathed details of almost every rental place are the lights. For some reason, landlords tend to place most hideous ceiling shades which not only look bad but throw the light in a worst possible way. Fortunately, they are easy to replace with ones that you prefer. Since replacing them already, take a step further and make your light fixture, as a DIY project. If you’re not too crafty, look for some old chandeliers in antique shops, repaint them and place them up
Redo the walls
Ask the landlord what is the exact shade of the color on your apartment walls. While discussing the seven nuances of eggshell, feel the pulse and try to negotiate the color and ask for the approval to bring some life into the room. If it turns out you have a green light for a change like that, feel free to color away, but don’t go wild. And if your idea of lime color doesn’t impress him, then go after some temporary wallpapers. Not only they come in various designs, but they are easy to apply as well as to take off.
Touch up the windows
Most of the rental places have those generic plastic blinds which are simple to replace. Consider making Roman shades, for all it takes is a good fabric choice and some sewing. You can always buy a set of those if you are not much of a seamstress. Curtains can also bring some color the room and to install a curtain rod is relatively cheap. Aside from the fact that they can look lovely, if the windows are old or drafty, curtains will help to maintain the room temperature.
Change the hardware
By changing hardware, you can improve the overall impression, no matter how the kitchen or the doors look outdated and characterless. Even though you didn’t get to choose the cabinetry, you can customize it with the pulls and knobs that you like. Whether you go for a modern style or some antique, a small detail like that holds significant change. In addition to that, you can change the existing showerhead with new, luxurious one and make your shower-time more pleasant experience. Make sure to store the original hardware somewhere safe and easy to remember so that you can put them back before you move out.
Rethink your storage
Unlike owning an apartment, renting means moving more often than one would like. When moving from one place to another, sometimes it happens that we end up with more things and less space. Instead of cluttering the apartment with all the pieces that you’ve somehow managed to get in, consider an option of some affordable long term storage, where your possessions will be safe and ready for your next moving to a bigger place. Perhaps with some luck, you may even move to your apartment.
Change the appliances
Again with negotiations, only this time with some better prospect. You can upgrade the kitchen and the bathroom by replacing the appliances, but make sure to do this only if you plan to stay a longer time in the apartment. Not only that these upgrades will make life easier, but it will save you money in a long run. Consult the landlord since the investment like this can benefit both of you. The advantage of new, energy efficient appliances is the reducing of utility bills, while on the other hand, they can be an attractive feature for future tenants.
Changing this or that will not make you a lousy tenant as long as you play by the rules and manage to find common ground with the landlord. Luckily, most of them are reasonable and willing to play along given that you pay the rent on time. You don’t have to break down the walls to adapt the place to your style because few changes here and there may do the trick just as well. Small details may bring a good taste and character to any room, so look for the harmless solutions and adapt your place in your way.