Reviving a rental home

Nothing transforms a room faster than a fresh coat of paint, so if the landlord gives the go-ahead, this is the best place to start.

You don’t need to own a home to make where you live feel like one. If your rental home is looking a little dated or rundown, here are some simple and inexpensive updates you can make that’ll have it feeling good as new.


Nothing transforms a room faster than a fresh coat of paint, so if the landlord gives the go-ahead, this is the best place to start. The cost of painting is relatively inexpensive, and while you don’t need to be a perfectionist to achieve good results, the more you prepare for the job, the better the result will be. If you’re wanting a brighter, more spacious feel, you can’t go wrong with white.


An often-overlooked element in kitchen and bathroom decor is cabinetry hardware — draw pulls and knobs . Updating tired, old hardware or replacing those that are broken or missing can have a transformative effect, says the designer, noting that this is one of the easiest updates you can make. Experiment with fun designs or stick with sleek, uniform sets.


Updating light fixtures is much like replacing cabinetry hardware, noting that you sometimes don’t realize how bad they are until you replace them with ones you like. To get the most out of this update, do all your light fixtures at once, so they’re coordinated throughout your home, much like your light switches should be.

Clean start

Nothing says rundown rental home like dirty, crumbling tub caulking and grout. This is a slightly more finicky job in terms of preparation and the job itself. (Like painting, the more time you prepare and do the work, the cleaner the result will be.) However, there are great resources available to help you, like Youtube videos and professionals at your local hardware store. And if you decide you really don’t have time for this, there’s no shame in getting someone in to do it. The result will be worth it.

Rug up

You can’t do much about the flooring in a rental, but you can hide it pretty well with large area rugs. Rugs work twofold in that they immediately improve the esthetics of a room, while also making it more comfortable and liveable.

Rugs can go a long way in really warming up a space and making it your own, specifically in the main living areas and bedrooms.

Carpet tiles are also a great option if you’re wanting to cover your floors with something you can take with you when you leave. You get to choose how big an area you want to cover, mix and match designs and colours, and best of all, each individual square is machine washable. (If you spill your coffee, no problem, just remove that section).

Dapper drapery

Window coverings are another home-decor element that can really transform a space, and an easy, relatively affordable update if you know where to look. Blinds work well if you’re wanting a clean, seamless look that fit the window space perfectly, but curtains can really add a layer of comfort (in keeping heat in) and luxury to a room. You can also switch your curtains with the seasons, going with thicker, heavier fabrics and colours to light and airy depending on how you like it.

Art walls

You can hide a lot with art, like a entire wall. Art walls are a great way to make a home your own by hanging pieces that inspire you and say something about your life and your history. There is no right or wrong with an art wall, and you can mix and match styles and even those that are framed and unframed. It’s one area where eclecticism really works.


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