Boring Rental Apartments? Here’s How to Make Them Fab!

Moving into a bland rental apartment can be such a downer, but it doesn’t mean you have to live in a space that doesn’t show off your amazing personality! Try these proven tricks for renters to totally transform your space without breaking the bank. 

boring rental apartments heres how to make them fab

Make It Smell Like Home

Every house has its own smell, and let’s face it, that “someone else’s house” scent is kind of a bummer. Nate Berkus says, “Your home should be a reflection of who you are, and that includes the way it smells.” So, first things first: give your rental a thorough cleaning and air it out. Don’t forget to clean the upholstery and open up that sofa! Next, fill your space with your fave fragrance using incense or an aroma lamp. A diffuser or scented candles could also work. The candles will also add some cozy vibes and a touch of romance.

Add Some Flair to Your Furniture

Okay, so maybe you can’t paint the walls, but you can add personality to your furniture! Nate Berkus suggests, “Painting or adding design details to existing furniture can make a huge impact on your space.” So, go ahead and get creative with color and texture as well as patterns to make your furniture truly unique.

Cover Up Wall Imperfections

If you can’t(or don’t want to) put up wallpaper – you can still hide any flaws on your walls by using photos, pictures or even posters. Just print your favorite image or quote and use a frame to make your art pop, and voilà – instant, affordable, and unique decor that’ll distract from any wall imperfections.

Layer Rugs for a Cool Floor Makeover

Not everyone gets lucky with amazing rental floors so try layering rugs to disguise those not-so-cute floors. This might give off a boho vibe, but if that’s your style, go for it! Layering small to medium rugs can be more budget-friendly than buying big ones, and DIY-ing patterns on affordable rugs is also a great way to save money.

Light It Up with Fabulous Lamps

Nate Berkus says, “Great lighting creates an undeniably awesome atmosphere and can make even the most basic rental feel warm and inviting.” So, nail the lamp game in your rental to not only brighten up your space but also showcase your style! And don’t forget to update those old lampshades – it’s a fun DIY project to add a pop of color or pattern.

Incorporate Greenery

Adding plants to your home can instantly elevate your rental from drab to fab. Indoor plants not only purify the air but also bring life, texture, and color to any space. No matter what your design aesthetic is, plants will always fit in. For low maintenance options, consider succulents or snake plants. And remember, even artificial plants can provide that lush, vibrant feel without the worry of care.

Invest in Stylish Storage Solutions

Storage is often a challenge in rental apartments, but it also offers an excellent opportunity to flex your creative muscles. You don’t have to settle for utilitarian plastic bins when you can have woven baskets, stylish wall shelves, or beautiful vintage trunks. Use them to store your books, shoes, blankets, and more. Consider adding hooks to the backs of doors or inside cabinets to maximize space, and try using a chic bar cart for storing kitchen items or even bathroom supplies.

Swap Out the Hardware

The small details in your rental, like cabinet knobs and drawer pulls, can make a big difference. Switching out the hardware is a straightforward task that can significantly change the look of your kitchen or bathroom. Select pieces that reflect your style, from modern chrome handles to vintage glass knobs. Remember to keep the original hardware to replace when you move out.


With these pretty easy tips and tricks, you’ll be able to transform your bland rental into a space that truly reflects your personality – all without breaking the bank! It might take some time (and effort) on your part… but – it will be well worth it in the end. So go ahead, get your creativity flowing, and make your rental apartment a home you’ll adore.

About the author

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Brad Smith

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.

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