8 Ways to Make a Rental Look More Expensive
Whether you're planning to ride out your rent control for years to come or you think you'll be on the move before your yearlong lease is up, there's no reason your rental should look temporary—or anything less than high style. From small but impactful accessorizing tricks to semipermanent changes, there are a number of ways you can make your rental home look more expensive without breaking the bank. Read on for a few of our favorites.
Store-bought curtain panels are the obvious choice for your window treatments for a rental—they're easy to install and just as easy to take with you when you move. However, we advise you to consider roman shades for your apartment. They have a high-end look and can give any space a polish that affordable curtains just can't achieve. Better yet, they don't need to be custom or expensive: Windows in most apartment buildings, and in many houses, are a standard size. We love classic woven bamboo shades or a simple white fabric shade.
It's incredible what a difference a frame can make. Artwork is something you can always take with you when you move. If you find a piece you love, spend a little more to have it properly set in a complementary frame, with a mat if it suits the piece. You'll find that you can have a shabby-chic sofa and a thrift-store side table, but beautifully framed artwork will instantly make the space look higher-end.
There's something about a mirror that just gives every space a little glam factor. Not only does it introduce a bit of sparkle, but it also makes your space appear bigger than it actually is. The best thing is they come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, so no matter what your vibe is, you can always find one to suit your aesthetic. Shop thrift stores, estate sales, or flea markets for affordable mirrors, or buy a new one—either way, you can use it for years to come.
Moving into a rental may not have landed you your dream marble-tiled shower or those antiqued brass faucets you've been pinning, but you can still give your bathroom a high-end look. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to do this is with accessories. I often find that people's towel collections seem to be inherited, unmatching, or worse: practically falling apart. Anytime I see a monogrammed towel hanging in a bathroom—even if it's just one set of hand towels and not a complete set—I instantly think, Wow. This friend of mine sure has it together. Monogrammed towels. As it turns out, they're not very expensive, either. So spend $40 to give your bathroom a mini face-lift.
If you have an empty corner that just feels dead and lacking in your space, beeline to your nearest nursery and pick up a fiddle-leaf fig tree, a ficus, or another indoor tree. The plants will instantly add color, height, scale, and drama to your space and make it come alive. Pick up any design magazine on the newsstand, and we guarantee you'll see some sort of greenery in every gorgeous home.
It's rare to see sconces in a rental—at least not contractor-grade ones—so when they are used, they give a space polish and can lend a luxurious look. You might think you have to hire an electrician or get permission from your landlord to install a sconce, but you can actually buy plug-in sconces that require only a couple of screws for installation. If the cord matches your walls, you'll hardly notice it, yet you'll have the benefit of a more custom look than a table lamp would offer.
Rental apartments are notorious for their dated cabinetry. One surefire way to remedy the look—whether you can repaint them or not—is to replace the cabinet pulls and knobs with something more modern or classic. Hold onto the original hardware and replace them before you move out. Browse a few of our favorite cabinet pulls and cabinet knobs to get started.
We don't want you to go all Versace on us, but adding a touch of gold—be it a pair of table lamps or a simple little catchall dish—is an easy way to bring a layer of luxe to your rental. In fact, mixing metals in general is always a great way to achieve a higher-end look.
Any other rental decorating ideas to share? Tell us below.