I’m A Renter And These Easy DIY Tasks Instantly Improved My Home – They Will Yours, Too
These DIY buys will make your rented home look less 'student' and more 'sophisticated'
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As a house proud person living in a rented pad, I’ve learnt a lot over the years about deposit-friendly ways to do up a home. But by far my biggest takeaway has been that before you get out the peel-and-stick wallpaper, or cover up the worktops with vinyl, there are some far smaller jobs worth doing that’ll make quite a noticeable difference.
If you’re looking to make your house into more of a home — but need to steer clear of any nails or drills — then have a go at some of these low-effort yet high-reward tasks.
From erasing unsightly scuffs and stains from the walls, to finding damage-free ways to hang up your framed prints, these finishing touches will help turn a basic rented property into a much more sophisticated-looking space.
Swap bright white spotlight bulbs for some easily adjustable smart ones
When it comes to spotlights, instead of using warm white bulbs, I feel like all landlords seem to go for bright white options that make you feel like you’re living in a doctor’s office. So, swap them out for some smart options that you can customise both the brightness and colour of from your phone.
Remove any scuffs, stains, and crayon marks from walls and window panes
If you’re not the first tenants to live in your current abode, then your walls, white goods, and window panes might not look as fresh as you’d like. But these magic erasers are here to save the day, and can tackle everything from grimy microwaves to ancient crayon marks.
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Cover up unsightly tangles of cables with these self-adhesive covers
A prime spot for plugging in everything from the TV aerial to the wifi router, the floor space next to my largest electrical outlet was covered with a mess of dangling cables. So, to neaten it up, I used this self-adhesive mini trunking kit, and have been super impressed with how much better the whole area now looks.
Finally hang up those frames you’ve got leaning against a wall
Rather than propping them up on a shelf, give your framed prints a properly permanent spot on the wall by using these narrow self-adhesive hanging strips. When it’s time to remove them, simply warm them up with a hairdryer, and they’ll peel off easily.
Instantly upgrade your tiles by reviving any greying grout
Subtle but still very significant, going over any slightly gross grouting in your bathroom will really give your tiles a proper update. This clever pen changes the colour of the grout while also protecting it against mould and bacteria, and comes in a variety of shades — from white to terracotta.
Install sleek motion sensor lights to give your wardrobes a built-in vibe
In a bid to bring an element of the bespoke to my basic abode, I’ve fitted these simple motion sensor panel lights in my wardrobes and kitchen cupboards. These three have built-in rechargeable batteries, and give off a gorgeous warm white glow.
Swap out standard silver kitchen cupboard handles for something more modern
If you’re not a fan of your kitchen cupboards, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much swapping out the handles can really improve their overall look. All you need is a screwdriver — and just remember to keep the original handles somewhere safe so you can put them back before you move out.
Use removable hooks that aren’t made from clear or white plastic
I always use self-adhesive hooks around my home for hanging up things like keys and wall calendars, and I’ve found that finding ones like these that aren’t just transparent plastic creates a far more sophisticated look.
Restore tired and grotty carpets and upholstery with a handy machine
When I moved into my current place, I really hated the bedroom carpets. However, after a proper going over with this handy Vax spot cleaner , I quickly realised that they were actually just dirty. The colour of the water was disgusting, but now they look so much nicer!
Pick a removable cover for the sofa if you really don’t like its colour
I’m yet to move into a furnished rental property where the sofa isn’t an odd colour or pattern that doesn’t at all go with my style. But rather than replacing each individual cushion cover, I’ve found this stretchy one-piece fits perfectly over my three-seater. Best of all, it comes in loads of different colours — including some simple and understated neutrals.
Swap out that grotty shower screen seal for a fresh and new one
Anyone else feel like the plastic seal for their shower screen might be older than them? If so, swap it out for a new one so you can be sure you’re protected against leaks and mould. This one is totally adjustable, and can easily be cut to suit your size requirements.
Instantly improve the walls by repairing any ugly holes or cracks
This handy hit is easy to use, and comes with everything you need to repair any cracks or holes in the walls. Simply squeeze the repair cream over the affected area, use the scraper to smooth it out, repeat as many times as necessary, and then lightly sand it flat once dry.
Make your light switches pop by swapping out their boring white covers
If you’ve got boring white light switches, then consider swapping them out for something that stands out a little more. Personally, I’m obsessed with this black nickel option. Just make sure you get a qualified electrician to do the job.