Customize a rental home with ideas your landlord will appreciate.

Customizing a rental home is a sometimes a difficult thing to do when you are the renter. There are so many things you would like to do, but aren’t permitted to do by your lease and your landlord.  Simple customizing is possible.  You can’t install a back splash in the kitchen or paint the kitchen cupboards and you would be crazy to replace a carpet in a place that isn’t your own.  However, you can customize your apartment or rental home using a little bit of creativity and you will still be on good terms with your landlord.  


A good place to start with customizing the apartment or rental house is with the windows and walls. Some rentals may not have any window treatments at all, but some come with those plain, ugly white blinds that no one really likes.  Take them down and store them so you can put them back up when you move.  Replace them with some pretty drapes, frilly curtains, stylish bamboo blinds or colorful Roman shades.  Just changing the window treatments will make the room look much different and you can choose fabrics and other substances to match your personality and likes. 

Ask the landlord if you can paint the walls.  Often times the landlord will either want to approve the color or make you sign something that states you’ll paint it back to a neutral color once you decide to move.  Painting the walls will make you feel like the apartment or house is yours.  If you are not allowed to paint, purchase some thin curtain rods and install them near the ceiling along the wall and near the baseboard along the wall.  Purchase fabric that you like and sew in a casing at the top and bottom of the strips that are cut the length of the floor to the ceiling.  Insert the fabric on the rods on both ends to cover the wall and give the room color.  Shear fabric works very well because it is not too heavy and does not add weight to the room.  


Fixing the grout in a tile floor will make it look brand new and it does not cost much or take much time.  Any landlord would be thrilled if you did the job.  After a few months grout tends to look dirty no matter what you do.  Get tile grout coating that comes in a container that kind of looks like a shoe polish applicator.  Simply rub it into the grout and let it dry for a few hours.  Then, just wipe the excess up and you have a customized kitchen or bathroom floor that looks beautiful.  You can get the grout coating in different colors, too.  


Ugly tile can make you not want to go into your kitchen or bathroom.  Every time you do, you squint with disgust.  There is something you can do besides removing the old tiles and installing new ones.  Consider tile tattoos – found at home stores. They are heavy duty stickers that you apply to the tiles.  They are waterproof and don’t come off until you pull them off.  An easier way to customize your bathroom is to change shower curtains, bath mats and towels.  You will be surprised how different it will look.  Changing the toilet seat cover is another way to customize; seats comes in all different colors and shapes. Also, swap out the shower head to something you prefer.  Remember to keep the old one in a safe place so you can put it back up when you move.

In the kitchen, choose a rug and matching tablecloth for the table to make it look more cheerful.  Just cleaning off the counter can make a kitchen look new.  Try purchasing a new canister set and some baskets to bring a focal point to the counter or table.  Another way to customize your kitchen is to change the hardware on the kitchen cupboards and drawers.  It only takes a screw driver and you can re-install the old ones when you leave and take the customized ones with you to your next place.  When selecting the pulls or knobs you want, make sure to get those that will fit by measuring the ones in your rental home to match the size and taking note if they take one screw or two.  


Changing the artwork on the walls in any room makes it feel more like your own.  Put up art you like or frame family photos and group them on the wall.  Try placing new throws and throw pillows in your favorite color and texture to customize beds and sofas.  Getting a few objects of art, like brass boxes, baskets, vases, lanterns and other things doesn’t cost a great deal and it makes the room more you.  

All of these customizations are temporary, which is what you need when working with an apartment or rental home.  You don’t want to spend tons of money and time and you won’t want to make your landlord mad with these easy ways to customize your rental.  Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to get your security deposit back when you move. 


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