Smart Ways for Renters To Renovate Without Losing Your Bond

Budget-friendly too.

You dream of revamping your home, but you live in a rental and heck -- you don't want to invest your hard-earned cash into someone else's property.

Plus, you've met your landlord and let's just say he's not going to take kindly to you making any changes, let alone major renos.

Don't stress. As James Bawden from The Renovation Coach told ten daily, it’s still possible to add a personal touch to your space without upsetting your landlord. “It’s about working with your décor and decoration rather than looking at it as a full renovation,” he says. Here, some tips to get you started.

Make The Most Of Your Balcony

A balcony provides an ideal place to retreat and relax, but as James explains, it often ends up unloved and unused. “Make the most of your space by turning it into a second living space,” he advises. Start by adding beautiful plants to give your space natural ambience and appeal. “Plants also provide height, texture and layering to your area. Try hardy ferns or something with foliage,” he suggests.

Next, add an entertaining suite or barbecue. If your space is too small, opt for an outdoor couch, rather than a table and chairs. And consider adding an outdoor rug. “By creating this second living space you’re essentially doubling your living area,” James says. Fairy lights and even hanging pictures can also make your balcony feel more relaxed and welcoming.

Turn your balcony into a second living area. Image: Pinterest/nicko phand.
Give Your Kitchen A Facelift

Kitchens are a perpetual problem for renters, but sometimes the smallest changes can have the greatest impact. “Disguise your ugly old fridge by adding adhesive paper -- it’s reversible, renter friendly, and a terrific way to give your appliances a fresher look,” James suggests.

Alternatively, spice up your outdated fridge with chalkboard paint. Besides being modern and stylish, a chalkboard fridge is functional and can help you organise your grocery list and weekly meal planning more efficiently.

Another rental-friendly solution is a temporary stick-on splashback that can be removed when you move out. Likewise, upgrade cupboard handles for an instant face-lift, or add a bench on wheels that doubles as a drinks trolley. “A portable worktop is great for additional storage. Plus, you can take it with you when you go,” James says.

Stick-one wallpaper is a great tool. Image: Instagram/@thehomesihavemade.
Colour Your Space Without Paint

Even if your landlord says you can’t renovate, there are ways you can colour your walls without paint. One of the easiest way to combat a lack of hue is with artwork, James explains. “Instead of hanging artwork in white frames, choose a range of colours and make the frames artwork as well.”

Alternatively, create colour with accessories. “Buy a range of scatter cushions in different colours. It’s about bringing colour and texture into your space,” he says. “On top of that, try adding a throw blanket or rug -- anything that frames your space.”

Other ways you can incorporate colour is to paint the back of a bookshelf, or for a cheaper option, cover it with wrapping paper or coloured craft paper. Otherwise, temporary adhesive wallpaper can give a very dramatic makeover – although it can be costly to cover an entire room.

Revamp a tired fridge with duct tape. Image: Pinterest/Sünne Remmer.
Deck Out The Rest Of The Space

While you might not be able to make any structural changes, James says there a few more minor things you do to upgrade your apartment. “An upholstered bedhead is one way to add more colour and texture to your bedroom. Another is to use peel-and-stick decals -- adding a removable pattern or image.”

If you’ve got unsightly oyster lighting, James recommends adding a chandelier or changing your existing lampshades to create a focal point when you walk into the room. “Adding a floor lamp can equally create a more welcoming atmosphere,” he advises.

Lastly, a large wall mirror is the perfect tool to brighten a dull room. The best way to hang it is with a picture hanging system. “As long as you’re happy to have three or four screws in your ceiling, it allows you to make changes and move your mirror or artwork around without damaging the wall,” he says.

Feature image: Getty.