Back to Knowledge Hub

8 rental-friendly home makeover hacks

Family and Social

By Gary Hunter, home insurance expert at Finder

You don’t need to go full-on like someone in The Block to give your rental a new lease on life. In a cost-of-living crisis, you also want to be shrewd with your money.

With that in mind, here are 8 rental-friendly home makeover hacks that renters can adopt.

1.   Mix things up by changing your layout

Mix things up by moving your furniture and items around. It’ll give your space a new lease on life. You might even be surprised by how much more room it feels like you have.

If you’re renting, there’s also no way your landlord can disapprove; just make sure you don’t scratch the floor when moving items around.

2.   You can never have enough plants

Plants are good for us. They purify the air and improve our mental well-being. They also make rental properties look and feel like a home. Add them to every room in the house, ideally near a window or somewhere with decent lighting.

Even if your rental doesn’t have much natural light, that shouldn’t stop you from getting plants. You just need to be smart with the types of plants you choose.

3.   Find different ways to display artwork

If you’re lucky, your rental will already have nails or hooks on the walls that you can use to safely hang artwork.

But that’s not always the case, as any renter will tell you. Some landlords insist that you don’t hammer any nails or hooks into walls.

If you’re not allowed to put holes in the walls, use removable command hooks and strips or simply lean your artwork against the wall. Good artwork adds so much warmth and personality to houses, regardless of how you decide to display it.

4.   Spruce up rooms with temporary wallpaper

Wallpaper is back in style. That’s good news if you’re renting because temporary wallpaper can be a great way to spruce up different spaces around your rental.

Best of all, it’s pretty easy to install and remove when you move out, so it shouldn’t lead to any angry disputes with your landlord.

5.   Decorate your furniture

If you can’t wallpaper the walls, or you’re worried it’ll do damage, decorate your furniture

with it instead. Peel-and-stick wallpaper can be cut to size and applied to your drawers, units and bookcases.

Giving your own furniture a fresh coat of paint is also a really effective way to brighten up a room, especially if you’ve bought them second hand.

6.   Upgrade your lighting

A simple but effective one, lighting is a relatively cheap and easy way to make a rental feel like a proper home.

Invest in better light bulbs and consider buying some floor and table lamps if you’re renting. You can place them in different areas of your house to brighten the space up.

7.   Get a big freestanding mirror

Mirrors add so much more light to rooms and make small spaces appear larger.

The problem? If you’re renting, you probably can’t mount it on a wall because it would require you to drill holes in the wall.

The solution? Get a freestanding mirror, lean it against the wall and add adhesive pads to the back of the mirror to protect the wall.

Large mirrors aren’t cheap but they add a lot to any room. You could also pick one up for less on a second-hand marketplace.

8.   Increase your counter space

A kitchen island is one of the best ways to add space (and value) to a kitchen. It creates extra space for food preparation and can become a focal point.

Some kitchens don’t have enough space for one though. If you’re in that boat, look at getting a butcher’s table instead.

Want to look after your belongings?

While none of these home makeover tips will break the bank, the cost of adding a few different items to your home can add up.

Luckily, renters don’t need home insurance but if you’d like to protect your belongings, you should consider contents insurance. It can pay to repair or replace your items if they’re damaged by a bunch of different events, from accidents to theft.

Remember, if you want to make changes or repairs to your rental property, your first step should be to contact your real estate or landlord. As long as your request is minor, your landlord shouldn’t withhold consent.