Just because you’re renting out an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own! 

Especially if it’s your first rental, you might feel like you’re limited by what you can change, but you would be surprised by how many rental-friendly upgrades are available to you. And even better — most of these DIY apartment upgrades are neither too expensive nor too difficult to accomplish!

[Related: How to Decorate Your Apartment to Make It Homey]

Rental-Friendly Upgrades: How to Upgrade Your Rental Apartment

By the end of this list, your apartment will have seemingly transformed itself into the perfect representation of you. Let’s start with the basics to make your rental apartment your own. 

Window Treatments

Windows can quickly become a focal point of your apartment. And unfortunately, some landlords choose to keep low-quality, white plastic blinds that may not do much to block out the sun or contribute to your own style. 

The good news is that replacing blinds is a simple process. But if you don’t want to go through the trouble, opt for your favorite curtains instead. 

Window treatments are an easy way to add touches of color and personality throughout your space. Additionally, since they’re removable, you can easily keep these trimmings around for your next move. 

Wall Art

Wall art is another great way to make the space your own. A staple of any interior design includes artwork that represents you. 

Creating your own art, recruiting an artistic friend, or browsing your favorite antique stores are all great ways to have art that speaks to your style on display. 

Showerheads & Bidets 

Something that you might overlook, but is one of the easiest ways to make your apartment your own, is to invest in a quality showerhead! A good showerhead can make a world of difference — especially if the current showerhead has low water pressure. 

Moreover, installing a detachable bidet can add even more luxury to your bathroom through a very quick fix. 


Speaking of upgrading your bathroom, a bathroom rug is crucial to increasing comfort while creating a bit of style. 

If you have hardwood floors, be sure to find a few complementary throw rugs for your living room, bedroom, and even your kitchen. Rugs are one of the simplest ways to give your space a makeover while also adding texture and heightening relaxation.  

[Related: Best Rugs for Small Apartments]

Door Knobs, Outlet Covers, Switch Plates, & Kitchen Cabinets and Doors 

The small details can communicate a lot. In this step, think small to think big! For example, doorknobs are a subtle, but easy change for most rental apartments. 

Furthermore, switch plates or outlet covers can also be swapped quite easily. 

If you want to go even further, think about doors and kitchen cabinets. While you should definitely see if your landlord is on board with these last two changes, sometimes landlords will reimburse you for the work and materials. 

Additionally, although it might seem a little intimidating, swapping out your doors and kitchen cabinets is fairly straightforward. And once you have your own hardware in place, you’ll feel accomplished and satisfied that you’re making every part of your new space your own. 

Light Fixtures 

You aren’t stuck with your landlord’s light fixtures. Find a fixture that speaks to you and complements the style you’re going for, and hang it up! 

Just be sure you hold onto the original fixture so that you can place it back in once your lease is up. 

Removable Wallpaper 

A wide variety of removable wallpaper options are available for you to choose from. When we think of wallpaper, we often think of a long, complicated process. But now, with removable wallpaper, you can find a style that you like, hang it up in minutes, and bring it down quickly when it’s time to move out. This is all without leaving any permanent marks on your rental walls. 


We will always encourage renters to find a few good plants. Plants are a unique addition to any apartment space. First, you get to watch something grow and flourish! Then, they add a natural look and feel to your space. It’s always nice to have a bit of green and life to complement a room. 


Apartments are notorious for having thin walls. Whether you have a neighbor who plays loud music, a tenant above you with especially noisy shoes, or cars outside your window, the sound is almost inescapable. 

And while you may get used to it after a while, soundproofing your rental will transform the way you live in your space. After you do this step, you may be surprised at how much sound was surrounding you at every hour of the day. 

So pick up some heavy curtains for your windows. Thick rugs for your floors. And think about adorning your walls with fabric decorations like quilts or tapestries. The idea is to have thick materials that will absorb incoming sound. 

The next part might be a little more tricky, but it’s completely doable! 

Check out your doors and windows. How well-sealed are they? If you can feel the air getting through, take a little extra time to seal up those crevices. 

And there you have it! A soundproof apartment. Now, you can enjoy a bit more peace and quiet in your own four walls or feel less afraid of turning up your music volume. 

Create a Style With Furniture 

Lastly, picking up a few pieces of furniture that fit your style is one of the best ways to make a space your own. Investing in quality pieces for your living and dining room not only allows you to have furniture to take with you over the years, but can also be a surprisingly fun process! 

[Related: Best Places to Buy Apartment Furniture]

Ready to Make Your Rental Apartment Your Own? Create Your Dream Space 

When you’re about to make the move to your new apartment, having helpful articles, inspiring decorating ideas, and mood boards to look to for examples makes your move that much more seamless and enjoyable. 

So follow Apartment Goals on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest — or visit our website for everything you need to realize your dream apartment space. 

Featured image via Unsplash


The Apartment Goals team aims to bring you tips on how to make your small living space purposeful and a place you can come home to recharge and relax.

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