11 Renter-Friendly Ideas for a Reversible Remodel

Just because you rent doesn’t mean you should be left out of all the home decorating fun. This is where semi-permanent—and inventive—solutions come in. These 11 design options prove that with a little creativity you can renovate and still be able to leave your rental exactly the way you found it the day you moved in.

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Wallpaper Work-Around


If you’ve ever looked into adding temporary wallpaper to the walls of your rental, you probably learned about the convenience (and expense!) of the peel-and-stick variety. The good news? You don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars to paper your walls. With liquid starch, you can apply regular wallpaper (which tends to be much cheaper) directly to the walls, then remove it one residue-free strip at a time.

Related: 7 Essential Wallpaper Tools Under $20

Basic Backsplash


If your kitchen backsplash needs a refresh but your landlord won’t let you tile or paint, consider removable peel-and-stick paper as an option. Although pricier than wallpaper, peel-and-stick paper can be affordable when used in a small area like a backsplash. As long as your walls have a smooth finish, it’s an easy and cost-effective way to get the look of tile without jeopardizing your security deposit.

Related: 12 Inventive Ideas for a Budget Backsplash

Washi Wonders


To execute this renter-friendly idea, all you need is a supply of brightly colored (and removable) rolls of washi tape. Gather a selection of washi tape (you can find plenty to choose from on Etsy), then cut pieces that can be mixed and matched and applied to a bland doorway to brighten your entryway in minutes.

Getting Shady


Instead of spending a ton of cash on custom shades for your temporary digs, make your own for a fraction of the price. Measure the width and height of your windows, and invest in a few yards of budget fabric to fit. Then, all you need are a few tension rods per window and iron-on hem tape to make your own totally affordable faux Roman shades.

Curtain Creativity


If you can’t put holes in your walls, don’t sweat it: Command hooks are the perfect runner-up to screwed-in hardware. Simply hold each hook in place for about a minute to help it adhere. Once in place, the hooks should be strong enough to hold the weight of a range of essentials like framed photos, tea towels and aprons, necklaces—even a lightweight curtain rod. Not bad.

Hardware Redo


Sometimes the best kitchen updates are the simplest. Switching out the hardware on your kitchen cabinets can have a huge impact on the look of your room with very little effort or expense on your part—plus this upgrade is totally reversible. All it takes is a set of budget hardware, a screwdriver, and a plastic bag to store the originals until you move out. Save yourself the trouble of returning too-big or too-small handles by measuring the width of the holes before you hit the hardware store.

Related: 10 Easy Ways to Update Your Kitchen Cabinets

DIY Divider

Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

With the right tools—and a few sheets of plywood—you can build a wall to divide space in a studio or open floor plan. This particular design is six feet tall and folds up neatly so you can partition a room when you want to, then tuck the divider in a closet when you’re ready to entertain.

Related: Buy or DIY: 10 Room Dividers to Remake Your Space

Bolder Built-Ins


That custom shelving unit in your dining room that you’d love to repaint? Instead, grab your favorite fabric, an X-Acto knife, and rubber cement. With a bit of precision, you can temporarily re-cover the back wall of your shelves in a pattern that will really pop. When it’s time to move out, peel away the fabric to reveal a clean surface.

Chic-er Shower


Give your bathroom a spa-like look by covering your shower floor with a cedar deck. Thanks to the support slats—the only part that touches the actual tile floor—the water can still easily drain, plus you can lift out the floating floor when it’s time to clean.

Related: 8 Ways to Stop Hating Your Floor—Without Replacing It

Mirror Effect


Don’t put holes in your wall to hang a heavy mirror. Instead, lean an attractive floor-to-ceiling mirror against your bedroom wall (being careful to protect the wall first). The trick is to buy a mirror with extra weight to prevent it from tipping over (this one is 100 pounds, but you can go lighter). A dramatic, generously sized mirror not only helps you get ready in the morning, but it’s a perfect way to fake more space and reflect natural light.

Seamless Shelves


Remember those Command hooks we mentioned? Pick up the clear kind, adhere them to a wall, and use them to hang unfinished wooden boards as shelves. When it’s time to move out, lift the hooks off and move your shelves into your new space.

Related: 7 Clever Ways for Hooks to Streamline Your Life

Temporary Touches


Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean your space can’t feel like home. There are ways to make a rental your own with these creative decorating ideas.