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7 Creative apartment upgrades that won’t tick off your landlord

If you’re like most people, you want nothing more than to personalize that drab apartment space into something that feels a little more like home. There are plenty of great upgrades you can do to your apartment that don’t have to cost a lot of money or cause permanent damage to your apartment. That’s why we’ve got 7 creative apartment upgrades that won’t tick off your landlord.

Get ready to make your apartment space uniquely yours and welcome in your new home sweet home.

Puffy Lux
Puffy Lux

Apartment upgrade 1: Greenery galore

Flowers, herbs, succulents, cacti. The options are endless.

Not only can they be a show-stopping addition to an otherwise boring room, but they also have many health benefits.

According to a story by NBC news plants can remove up to 87% of toxins in the air within a 24 hour period. They absorb carbon dioxide (what we exhale) and create what we breath (oxygen). This both purifies the air we breath and actually freshens it up too! Studies have also shown that having plants around helps improve our concentration productivity levels.

For the cooks out there, consider mini-herb gardens that are not only lovely to look at but go great in our pastas. Not to mention, fresh basil smells absolutely divine, even to those of us who barely know how to boil water.

And if you don’t have much of a green thumb, worry not. A faux terrarium or a nice bouquet of cut flowers from the local florist shop will have the same visual impact without all the upkeep of watering and repotting.

If you have a balcony or patio area you’d like to spruce up check out our 10 Best balcony plants for some great gardening ideas.

Faux succulent terrariums from Overstock

Apartment upgrade 2: Wall art

Whether it’s a poster of your favorite comic book character, a modern art masterpiece, or that terrible, yet endearing family photo, wall hangings are the perfect opportunity to express your individuality.

Machu Pichu wall art for apartments
Machu Pichu wall hanging from Amazon

Avoid leaving holes caused by more permanent fixtures such as nails and screws, as this could put you in hot water with your landlord.

Instead, opt for Command strips. They come in a variety of styles and sizes. Durable enough to hold most wall décor, yet offer the flexibility of damage-free removal? Yes, please!

Read our 12 Ways to hang pictures without leaving holes for more great ideas on how to hang without causing pain to your security deposit. 

Apartment upgrade 3: Removable wallpaper

What could be more fun than removable wallpaper? Dare I say nothing? While covering the whole apartment could get pricey, an accent wall is a great way to give the room a pop of color or cute pattern without blowing the budget.

We really like this chalkboard removeable wallpaper, especially for you Millennials out there. There’s something oddly cathartic about getting to draw and write on the walls to your heart’s content grating against convention and driving your moms crazy!

Removeable wallpaper chalkboard
Removeable wallpaper a la chalkboard

Best of all, if you decide you don’t like what you put up or just get bored easily, you can switch out the design as often as you like.

To remove, simply catch a corner of the self-adhesive back and gently peel off the wall. And wah-lah! You can magically leave your apartment just the way you found it.

Apartment upgrade 4: Cabinet hardware

If your humdrum kitchen cabinets are bumming out your festive side, an easy way to add some great personality to your kitchen is to swap out the knobs. It’s pretty cheap, unless your tastes run more expensive, easy to do, and easy to put back the way you found it when you move.

Vintage style ceramic knobs from Amazon
Vintage style ceramic knobs from Amazon
Roost Tip! Place all of the original hardware in a Ziplock bag, label it, and store it somewhere you can find it when it’s time to put them back before you move!

Apartment upgrade 5: Area rugs

Ok, we aren’t gonna lie to you, most apartment carpets have something to be desired. They’re drab and shabby and have probably seen one carpet cleaning, aka tenant, too many.

Stage right, ta-da! Area rugs! Area rugs really warm your apartment up. They look better than the baby puke cream or old man gray color that you are probably looking at right now, are we right?

Most importantly, they will protect your apartment carpet from pet damage, stains, and wine disasters that could cost you your security deposit, especially if you were actually lucky enough to have brand new carpet installed before you moved in.

SAFAVIEH Madison Collection MAD603D Oriental Snowflake Medallion Distressed Non-Shedding Living Room Bedroom Dining Home Office Area Rug
SAFAVIEH Madison Collection Living Room Bedroom Dining Home Office Area Rug

Apartment upgrade 6: Windows

There is something not so appealing about leaving the basic blinds and shades your apartment comes with. Upgrade the look of any room with a colorful curtain pattern or maybe even try some bamboo blinds! They’ll give your space a soft glow and make your room feel like a beachside bungalow even if it’s the middle of a cold and snowy winter season.

Arlo Blinds Tuscan Bamboo Roman Shades
Arlo Blinds Tuscan Bamboo Roman Shades
Roost Tip! Replacing window coverings takes a bit more skill and work than replacing kitchen cabinet knobs – you may want to consider professional help from a place like TaskRabbit for a job like this. And definitely get permission from your landlord first!

Another way to dress up a window is to get removable static clings. These can be a great way to show off your personality or even decorate for the holidays. There are many clings for various special events.

Put up a shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day or Jack-o-Lantern for Halloween. You can swap out the theme of the clings as the seasons change. The possibilities are endless!

Apartment upgrade 7: Furniture

Consider finding one piece of furniture that is really show-stopping or unique. Not only does this draw attention and spark conversation, but it also gives your space a focal point. It could be a mosaic top coffee table or a really funky chair. It’s really up to you!

Wondering where to find furniture that’ll capture your interest? Try OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace. Or make a day of it and hit your local flea markets and thrift stores. Don’t forget that furniture is also an opportunity to think about some extra storage space. Versatility is great! 

Another great option to spice up your apartment with no real commitment is to rent furniture. Renting furniture allows you to try things on, kick the wheels, and best of all, have someone else move it for you when it’s time to move.

Cuvier coffee table with storage space for apartments
Cuvier coffee table furniture rental from Feather

Throw pillows and blankets are your friends as well. They dress up a basic chair or couch in no time!

Funky furniture from Amazon

Upgrading your apartment made simple

Don’t get stuck thinking that just because you don’t own your space, means you can’t personalize it. Hopefully, the list above got you started on some ideas for apartment upgrades. Just get creative and use your best judgment. Respecting your landlord and the property you rent while maintaining your individual style is the goal!

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A quick note! Our goal is to gather and share info that’s up-to-date and helps you make great decisions as a renter. That said, the information you get directly from a provider could be a little different. Make sure to review their terms and conditions directly; and, if you see anything here that needs to be updated, please let us know! Advertising disclosure
Last Updated: June 20th, 2023