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A Renter's Guide to Apartment Remodeling

Living in a rented apartment can sometimes feel like you're stuck with the space you've got, but that doesn't mean you can't make the most of it. With a little creativity and some smart planning, you can transform your rental into a spacious and functional haven.

This week we'll explore some strategies and ideas to help renters remodel their apartments to maximize space without breaking the bank or violating any lease agreements.

Check with Your Landlord First

Before making any changes to your apartment, always consult your lease agreement and seek permission from your landlord as necessary. Many landlords are open to small upgrades, and these minor changes can have a significant impact on your space.

Declutter and Organize

Before you start any remodeling project, you should declutter and organize your apartment. Donate or sell items you no longer need. Invest in storage solutions like bins, baskets, and drawer organizers so everything has a dedicated place. Don't overlook the potential of under-bed storage. Storage bins or drawers that slide under your bed can store items you don’t use every day, like extra bedding and gift-wrapping supplies. This hidden storage solution maximizes space while keeping it clutter-free.

Change or Add Color

A fresh coat of paint can transform your space. You could brighten the room by using light, neutral colors, then add personality with colorful accessories like cushions, curtains, or artwork. Or you could use a darker color to make the space feel cozy and warm.

Another option is removable wallpaper. This can add color and design, and it can be removed fairly easily when you move out. Removable wallpaper costs $20 to $45 per roll but varies based on brand and pattern. Curtains are also a great way to add color and personality to a room. You might not be able to safely remove the standard-issue apartment mini-blinds, but you can soften them with curtains.

Switch Out Light Fixtures

Light fixtures in apartments are usually basic and, let’s face it, cheap. Switching them out for chandeliers, pendant lights, or other fixtures can make a huge difference in the style of your apartment. You can also switch them back when you decide to move. You may need to hire an electrician or handyman to make sure it’s done properly.

Bathrooms and Kitchen Updates

Admittedly, there is not a lot you can do to upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms in a rental. But there are some things you can do (in addition to paint) that will make a difference. Changing the faucets will give them an instantly- updated look. You may need to hire a professional to make sure it’s done properly and to ensure there is no accidental damage during installation.

Another way to spruce up both spaces is to switch out the cabinet hardware. You’ll need to make sure the new hardware matches the size and holes of the current hardware, to avoid drilling extra holes in the cabinets.

Furniture with Multiple Functions

One of the easiest ways to maximize space in your apartment is by investing in furniture that serves multiple purposes. Sofa beds to accommodate guests, coffee tables that can double as desks, beds with built-in storage underneath, and fold-down dining tables are just a few examples of furniture that saves space and is multi-functional. These dual-purpose pieces can help you free up valuable floor space and make your apartment feel more open.

Utilize Vertical Space

When floor space is limited, look up! Use tall bookshelves to keep your belongings organized without cluttering the room. You can often find good deals in used furniture stores or online marketplaces. Floating shelves are also great for displaying decorative items and can be easily adjusted to accommodate different heights. Check with your landlord before making any holes in the wall or choose removable adhesive hooks or brackets.

Cover Outdated Floors

Using a big area rug (or maybe even several of them) can update the look of your space by covering outdated floors. Even if your apartment has new carpet, it may not be the style or color you would choose. A large rug can add your own personality to an otherwise boring room.


Indoor plants help create a nature-inspired design in your space. Vertical gardens and hanging planters can add greenery without taking up valuable floor space. Low-maintenance indoor plants can keep your apartment looking fresh and vibrant without a requiring a lot of your time.

Remodeling a rented apartment to maximize space can be very rewarding. By using multifunctional furniture, creative storage solutions, and strategic design choices, you can transform your rental into a spacious and inviting home. Remember to respect your lease agreement, ask permission for any major modifications, and always prioritize safety when making changes to your apartment.

With a little effort and ingenuity, you can make the most of your space and create a comfortable and functional living environment.


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