Renting an apartment comes without the commitment of a mortgage, but often without the luxury of customization, too. Generally, the owner or landlord sets the rules on what can and cannot be changed, with some stricter ones even banning holes in the walls for pictures.
But while you probably can’t knock down walls or install a skylight, some smaller alterations can be made and easily restored to the original condition when you leave. Here are a few semi-permanent cosmetic changes you can do to make your apartment more your own.
You can change your cabinet hardware
Replacing cabinet door knobs sounds like a minuscule change, but it can help completely transform a space. And replacing them is easy, just as long as you have a screwdriver and tape measure.
Cabinet screw templates make for easy measuring, and uses a series of guiding drill holes to replace cabinet knobs even without a tape measure. Ask your landlord if painting the cabinets would be allowed as well. With new knobs and a fresh coat of paint, your kitchen can look pretty different.
You can upgrade your light fixtures
Lighting can drastically change the look and feel of a room, but you probably can’t rewire your temporary home. The next best thing is wireless sconces, which are wall-mounted lights, much like the ones you might see on either end of a hotel bed.
Normally you would need to run wiring into the walls to install the floating light fixture; instead, though, you can buy battery-powered sconces and attach the light to the wall. The added light can make the room feel bigger while not obstructing the floor plan, and if you plan to use the lights often you can go for plug-in sconces instead.
You can paint your doors
Most apartments come with builder-grade finishes, which are cookie-cutter and generic. Landlords tend to want something cheap so that they can buy in bulk or easily replace things when they get damaged. But to give the space your own flair, TikToker and handyman Brandon Gentry recommends painting all of your doors. For even more character, switch out the doorknobs to compliment the color and add something more to your style.
You can change your faucets
It’s slightly more advanced so you might need permission, but you can also likely change the faucets to your bathroom and kitchen. Before starting, make sure to locate the faucet shutoff, which is usually a knob underneath the sink.
Unless you are changing out the sink (which you probably aren’t), you’ll need to find a new faucet that fits the available sink opening, but there’s no shortage of options there. With thousands of exciting shapes, colors, and styles for any faucet type you can find whichever fits the look that you want. And if you’re intimidated by installing a new faucet (because it’s a rather involved process), feel free to call a professional who can knock it out quickly if your landlord approves. And they probably will, because a nicer, newer bathroom and kitchen is better for them, too.