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13 Landlord-Friendly Apartment Renovation Ideas

By: Susan Finch
June 25, 2020

Feeling restless in your apartment and want to give it a refresh? Get creative with your apartment with some landlord-friendly apartment renovations.

Before you dive into your next project, read your lease terms thoroughly. Even if you clearly understand what renovations are appropriate, ask your landlord or property manager in advance. It's always smart to avoid any miscommunication and get pre-approval before any updates.

When it comes to renting, most things are on a case-by-case basis rather than a hard rule. However, this list will help you get started with some simple renovation ideas. You may even be able to convince your landlord to pay for some of these renovations, especially if it increases property value.

1. Get Colorful

If you're tired of looking at your beige walls, get colorful with a fresh coat of paint. Your landlord will likely approve specific colors. They might let you go wild as long as you paint them back to the original color before moving out.

2. Go Wild with Wallpaper

Wallpaper is trending again from the bedroom to the bathroom. Choose your favorite textures and switch things up when you get bored again. Many wallpaper options peel on and off. So, there's no messy adhesive or commitment to stick with one style.

3. Install New Light Fixtures

The right lighting can make or break your apartment aesthetic. Choose faux chandeliers, pendant lights, or track lighting to enhance the look of any room. There are also plenty of ways to light a room with no overload lighting.

4. Get Creative with Shelving

Display all your favorite keepsakes, travel souvenirs, colorful plates, and photos on updated shelving. Add some vibrant shelf paper to enhance your look and create a gorgeous display area.

If you don't have any shelf space in your apartment, install your own! Floating shelves add character to any apartment, and are incredibly practical in your kitchen for extra storage.

5. Upgrade Your Hardware

Your kitchen, bathroom, and door knobs are easy to replace and won't break the bank.

Try out unique, colorful options for your drawer pulls and cabinet handles. Those will breathe new life into every room in the apartment. Just make sure to keep all of the original hardware to switch back to when you move out!

6. Add More Storage

Storage can open up your apartment and make it look larger than life. Try vibrant furniture options with hidden storage or oversized baskets for throws and magazines. Cleaning out a closet and redesigning with racks, shelving, and bins can make unlock way more space in your apartment.

7. Add Character to Your Bathroom Mirror

Those pre-installed mirrors in your apartment often leave a lot to be desired. Spice them up by adding a decorative trim around the mirror or vintage mirror frame.

If you want to add more natural light to your aparmtent, try setting up a mirror across from a window to capture and scatter the light.

8. Swap Out Your Showerhead

Give your bathroom a spa upgrade with a brand-new shower head. Choose options with multiple settings that give you a relaxing experience. An energy-efficient showerhead can also save water and lower your water bill. As with any apartment renovation, be sure to keep the original showerhead fixture to swap out before moving out.

9. Reinvent Your Cabinet Doors

If you're tired of your cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, you can dress up your cabinet doors without the investment. Remove your cabinet doors altogether. Opt for open shelving that displays all your favorite wares. When you move out, you can just reinstall the original cabinetry upon your landlord's request.

10. Refresh Your Appliances

An appliance upgrade can revolutionize your kitchen, but may not be allowed. Read your lease regarding appliances upgrades or give your landlord a call. If you live in a smaller, privately owned unit, your landlord may approve of the upgrade as the new appliance can make the apartment more appealing in the long run.

If you can't make big changes, start small with an elegant wine fridge. Just make sure you have space and your outlets allow for the upgrade.

11. Redesign Your Patio Space

Include your patio space in your apartment renovation plans. Consider new greenery, furniture, and string lighting.

Turn the space into an entertaining area! If you have enough space, add a small outdoor sofa and throws to cozy up for an evening under the stars.

12. Replace Outlet Switch Plates

Old outlet plates are relatively easy and inexpensive to replace. You can get unique with patterns and replicas of your favorite artwork. However, your landlord may require an electrician to add dimmers or other enhancements.

13. Improve Your Security

While you're undertaking apartment renovations, think about your personal safety. Now’s the perfect time to install an alarm system or invest in an upgrade. An alarm system could potentially lower your renter's insurance.

How to Get Your Landlord on Board with your Apartment Renovations

Hopefully, your landlord will approve of your renovation wish list. If they believe your upgrades will increase the value of the aparmtent long-term, they may even contribute financially or hire someone to perform the upgrades.

Before you approach your landlord, focus on these areas:

  • Be a good tenant
  • Keep everything in writing
  • Convey if something is making the unit uninhabitable
  • Do your research and create a budget
  • Express the long-term financial value

No matter what, contact your landlord and read your lease agreement prior to making any big changes. Now it's time to make your apartment yours!

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