• Easy Ways to Refresh Old Rental Apartments

February 20, 2018

At some point in our lives a lot of us probably lived in rental apartments. And yes, living in a rental is a little bit of a challenge sometimes, especially for some of us who like a well furnished and nice decorated apartment. But here's the problem: we offten think that what is done is done, so we have to live with what we get in the first place. But that is not necessarily the truth. Of course we can't just demolish a wall that we don't like, but there are still some things we can change and create our »new home« a little bit more likeable and cozy.

And yes, a home is still a home, even though if it's a rental one – it still deserves some love :)

1. Paint your walls (... if your landlord lets you of course)

This is probably one of the first things you can do to refresh or even drasticly change the concept or the look of your apartment. Fresh paint colour on your walls or wall panels will do an instant trick -  the place will look refreshed, newer and cleaner. If you can reach an agreement with your landlord that you can paint your walls according to your taste, you are a lucky one! We suggest you use some basic pastel colours such as white, beige, light grey, coffee etc. which are easy to combine with the furniture and you won't get bored so easily.

2. Cover-up ugly floors

People think they can't do much about ugly floors in a rental. Of course you can't change it, but you can always cover it. Buy some cheap PVC flooring, wooden deck tiles or simply cover the floors with a carpet – it will move the main focus from the ugly floors. You can use different kind of carpets and play with different sizes and patterns or you can just add an extra layer where it is needed the most.

3. Hide ugly radiators

We all know how they look – dusty, painted over and over again, full of skratches etc. Wipe of all the dust you can and cover the radiator with some mask. You can find a lot of DIY projects on the internet which won't cost you much and they will do an instant magic in your home. It can also serve as an extra shelf or small storage on top of it.

4. Rearrange the position of the furniture

Change the layout of the furniture where needed. If you will rearrange it wisely you will get more free space or you will try to divide a room in two separate parts that can function separately. Use a folding spanish wall to cover things you want to hide or put it where you want to divide space a little.

5. Create your own mini spa in your bathroom

Bathroom is what it is. The fact is that in most cases you won't be able to change the ugly tiles in it. But still with small retouches you can refresh it a little bit or maybe give it a character. For example: if the tiles in your bathroom look really old you can emphasize that and give it a retro or vintage look and make it look like it was meant to be so. It's easy to change shower curtains or a toilet seat. You can even cover the ugly floor with some vinil or PVC flooring. Add some lovely home decor such as wooden stool, nice hanger for your towels, soap dispenser, carpet and hang some artistic art on the walls.

6. DIY shelving

Small bookcases, open shelving, storage boxes... These are just a few pieces of furniture that don't cost that much or are easy to make by yourself. The style of those mini DIY projects will add your personal touch into that space so don't be affraid to be creative.

7. Cover up an old sofa

An old and worn out sofa is a NO NO in your home. If you can't replace it, cover it. You can use a thicker bed sheet, bed cover or you can buy some couch cover with a lovely pattern if you like. With different cushions in your favourite colours or patterns you will create your favourite place to relax after a hard working day.

8. Buy new curtains

Hanging new curtains is something you don't need anyone's permission to do. Storage the old ones somewhere safe and hang the new ones. Buy patterned and vibrant ones if you'd like to add a personal note to your home or choose the ones in one colour if you'd like to neutralize the space. You won't belive what kind of change that can make.

9. Repaint your kitchen cabinets (... again, if your landlord lets you)

Upgrading a rental kitchen may be one of the most difficult tasks. If you can get the permission of your landlord to repaint the kitchen cabinets – do so. Buy the colour you like, sand the wood a little bit to get rid of old paint and repaint it. Change the cabinet handles and you will get a »new« kitchen.

10. »Change« your countertops or kitchen backsplash

If repainting the kitchen is not an option for you then we have a few other solutions. Put an easy removable wallpaper on top of the existing tiles. With various foils you can wrap up your kitchen's counter. You can also buy a bigger piece of wood, put on the tiles you like and just place this DIY mask in front of the existing tiles in your kitchen. It's a solution for those who just can't stand the look of their existing kitchen.
Sometimes all it takes to shake things a little is getting rid of the cabinet doors so you get an open shelving type of kitchen.

11. Switch out light fixtures or add some new ones

Nice warm lighting is such an important thing when it comes to coziness of your home. If you can't change the existing lamps then at least change the bulbs to the ones you like – some prefer warm white, some cold white and some just an ambient light. Then buy some floor lamps or table lamps to add more character and that special »hygge« feeling to your home.

12. Add your favourite art or photographs

Beautiful family photos, lovely memories with your friends, great trips and vacations captured on camera are the best things you can use to personalize your apartment. Create your own gallery wall in a living room or hallway, buy beautiful photo frames and share your favourite memories with your guests. If you have some artistic skills you can use them to create your own wall art otherwise find some which will give your home a character and homely feeling.

13. Divide small open-plan spaces

If you are living in a studio apartment you can divide it into small areas such as living room area, kitchen area, bedroom area etc. The easiest way to do something like that is by using some shelving units, bookcases or spanish walls. Place them where you would like to visualy divide the space, it's the cheapest way if you are not allowed to add some extra walls in your rental.

14. Hide the ugly stuff

This one will work for those who get an extra basement or storage room with the appartment. Collect all those things you don't like in your apartment but can't simply throw away, then storage them. Keep them somewhere dry and safe but out of your sight. Some things just can't be upgraded...:)

And remember... Be creative, you probably can't make it worst than it already is :)

Photo source: Pinterest

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