We’d all like to own our own homes and have free rein to remodel as we like. Unfortunately for us renters, we’re usually stuck with old carpeting, drab colors, and a lack of closet space. Renting can sometimes feel like living in a generic hotel room without maid service, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some simple steps you can take to make your rental unit feel like home without giving your landlord a heart attack:

Spice up bland rooms with window treatments

Vinyl blinds. They’re cheap, they’re boring, they’re blah—and they’re in practically every rental out there. While you probably can’t get rid of them completely, you can minimize their impact with a window treatment that effectively hides them.

Cover those crummy carpets with area rugs

Beige carpet is the bane of every renter’s existence. Whether it’s threadbare and worn or brand-new, it’s bland and charmless. Area rugs are inexpensive, easily removable if you decide to move on, and can go a long way toward adding a touch of your own personality to a characterless rental space.

Change out drawer and cabinet handles

It’s surprising how big of an impact this small change can have. Simply changing the handles on your kitchen and bath cabinets and drawers can add character to a generic room. Make sure you check with your management team if doing so requires any type of cutting or drilling, though.

Create interest with removable wallpaper

Most multifamily managers aren’t happy with the idea of residents painting, but now there’s an alternative. Removable wallpaper is easy to install, easy to remove, and doesn’t damage the paint underneath.

Use planters to create a garden

While you probably can’t dig up the landscaping, you can use planters of different sizes to create a garden. With the huge range of shapes, sizes, and styles available, even bushes and small trees aren’t out of the question.

Change the light fixture covers

Light fixtures, like cabinet hardware, are a small item that can make a big difference. Trading the standard-issue covers for something stylish can change the whole character of a room.

Use wall shelving to add storage and focal points

Wall shelves not only add more space for your stuff, but they can act as a focal point in an otherwise boring room.

Dress up your windows with window boxes

Even the tiniest of apartment can benefit from window boxes. They’re a great way to add charm, cheer, and a touch of the outdoors, even in the heart of the city.

Increase your counter space with a free-standing island

If your kitchen is too small for a table and has just enough cabinets to store a box of cereal, try a modular kitchen island. Not only do you get more counter space, you get extra storage space below.

These are just a few of the ways to improve the look, feel, and livability of your personal space.

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