How to make a boring apartment look cool: Top 6 DIY ideas for renters

Moving into a new apartment can be exciting, but less so if you’re met with white walls and a drab aesthetic. But don’t let “boring” bring you down. With a little vision and a few simple upgrades, you can transform even the most uninspiring apartments into a stylish and cool sanctuary.

Read on to discover 6 rental and budget-friendly tweaks that will infuse personality and style into your new pad. When it’s time to move on, you can easily return the space to its boring beginnings, ready for the next tenant to add their special touch.

Spruce up your window treatments

When you move into your new apartment, chances are the landlord will have already installed some basic window coverings. While they will probably give you privacy, don’t expect anything fancy. The good news is you can liven up those boring windows with a more stylish alternative, such as dramatic curtains or bamboo shades. Usually, landlords are fine with you installing curtain rods or blind fixtures (always check first!), provided you patch the holes before moving out.

Replace cabinetry hardware

You can give your rental kitchen a whole new look in under an hour with a simple cabinet hardware swap. New knobs and pulls come in an endless array of trend-setting options and despite being small, they can help to transform the space. Just be sure the hardware fits the existing holes – you don’t want to drill new ones and risk losing your security deposit. Also, be sure to keep the old hardware handy to reinstall when you move out.

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Apply removable wallpaper and tiles

Even though your landlord will likely say “no” to painting the walls, there are still ways to add personality and style to your rental apartment. Instead of traditional wallpaper, which is permanent and messy to install, removable wallpaper uses adhesive backing. It’s easy to install, reposition, and remove, making it perfect for renters.

Another renter-friendly option is peel-and-stick tile, which is ideal for splashbacks in the bathroom and kitchen. Just be sure the tile you choose is removable and waterproof while keeping in mind that peel-and-stick tile is not designed for direct contact with water, as in a shower. With endless pattern and color options, you’ll find removable wallpaper and peel-and-stick tile to match your style, whether bold and colorful or subtle and chic.

Add some greenery

Plants do more than just bring natural beauty to a rental space. They can play a role in purifying the air, boosting productivity, and reducing stress levels. Even if you’re not blessed with a green thumb, there are plenty of indoor plants that are easy to maintain and will survive if you occasionally forget to water them. Peace lilies, snake plants, and monsteras are all relatively low-maintenance indoor plants, as are tried-and-tested cacti.

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Hang artwork and mirrors

Personalizing your rental space is all about surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy. And what better way to do that than with inspiring artwork. Start by gathering pieces with a cohesive theme or color palette and arranging them on a blank wall to create an eye-catching focal point. Mirrors are another option for making your apartment feel like home. Strategically placed, they can make a small space feel more spacious and bright.

Switch the light fixtures

Lighting can really make or break the ambiance of a rental apartment. The generic fixtures landlords install usually do little to create a warm, welcoming vibe. But with a few simple upgrades, you can transform a characterless apartment into a stylishly-lit space you’ll love coming home to.

If replacing built-in fixtures feels too ambitious, simply layering lamps enables you to customize the lighting in your rental space. Mix and match floor or table lamps of varying heights and styles to create a warm glow and relaxed ambiance.

Tips for renters

Renters can browse the huge range of private property listings at Rentola. This mobile-friendly platform boasts one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, with prices starting from as little as £170 a month.

Average property prices vary depending on the location, with London renters currently paying around £2,500 per month. Tenants can secure a rental in Southampton for just over £1,000 per month while Brighton is more expensive at roughly £1,929.

Rentola boasts the largest number of private rental apartments in Brighton, making it an ideal destination for renters looking to move to this seaside city. It’s renowned for its picturesque coastline, friendly residents and lively nightlife, as well as its proximity to London. Many of Brighton’s attractive houses have been converted into apartments, although you can still find spacious two and three-bedroom properties. In addition to families and young professionals, Brighton is also a popular place to rent for students at the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton.

Registered users at Rentola can search based on price, number of bedrooms, and property type, then click through images of the apartments to get a better idea of their style. A benefit of using Rentola is being able to chat directly with landlords and ask about the possibility of making changes to enhance the space.

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Research shows that 77% of UK renters would like to make improvements to their rental, with 72% saying it would make them feel happier in their space. With a little creativity, you can personalize a rental without permanent changes and turn it into your very own sanctuary. Go from boring to brilliant without breaking the bank, all while keeping your landlord happy.



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