7 easy ways to update your rental property

Home makeover tips that are easy and reversible so you can make a rental property feel like home, from designer and artist Dabito.
A bedroom with bright colours

Think you need to be an owner to refresh interiors? These effective (and economical) updates are reversible and will help make any house your home. Are you ready for your easy home makeover?

Light scones on a wall

1. Lighting

Updating lights is probably my favourite way to accessorise a space and make it feel instantly elevated. And it can be easy. Most people think you need an electrician because it looks intimidating to change out a light, but I’ve taught people how to do it for their own easy home makeover. Here are some easy options.

Plug-in sconces: Typically, sconces require in-wall electrical wiring. They make the space feel custom, but if you’re renting, you’re probably not going to be allowed to open up walls to put one in.
It can be costly, too. That’s where plug-in sconces do the trick.

Swag lights: If you don’t have any ceiling light or simply want to add one to a room without using an electrician, a swag light is a great option. You can pair many cord kits with most pendant shapes and sizes, so the possibilities are endless.

Bathroom in whites and greens

2. Faucets

If you’re not relatively handy yourself, hire a plumber or someone skilled to help you swap out your plumbing fixtures. Sometimes, changing the metal finish in your bathroom or kitchen plumbing fixtures can make a big impact on the space without doing a full remodel. Bringing in a new fixture can also help improve your water pressure if the existing one is old and clogged from years of use.

3. Hardware for door and cabinets

Another thing that you touch daily: Doorknobs and handles. You’d be amazed by how easy it is to screw in a new knob or pull to give your cabinets or doors a quick update as part of your easy home makeover.

Large bedroom with bed, desk, futon and bedside table easy home makeover tips

4. Paint

The power of paint never ceases to amaze me. It should be part of any easy home makeover. Walls, cabinets, old furniture, you name it – give old spaces or things a new life with a fresh coat of paint.

5. Window treatments

Roman shades are easy to install, so you can gently remove those vertical blinds, store them in a closet or give them to the landlord.

Light switch plate on a tiled wall easy home makeover tips

6. Light switch plates

Many people overlook switch plates during an easy home makeover, but they are so underrated. We often touch them to turn them off and on, so why not give something you use daily a little update? I love brass switch plates.

Kitchen counter with white tiled backsplash easy home makeover tips

7. Peel-and-stick wallpaper, tiles and hooks

If your apartment has a backsplash in your kitchen that you’re not excited about (or no backsplash at all), peel-and-stick wall tiles are your best friend. They are typically made of vinyl and are thicker than wallpaper. They come in different styles and can instantly change a kitchen without having to do any renovations. Similarly, removable wallpaper is another quick and easy way to add pattern to a space without having to paint. I also love using peel-and-stick hooks for hand towels.

Book cover: Old Brand New by Dabito

This is an edited extract from Old Brand New: Colourful Homes for Maximal Living by Dabito (Hardie Grant Books).

Related stories