Home LifestyleHome Decor + DIY 10 Easy Upgrades to Make Your Apartment Rental Feel Like Home

10 Easy Upgrades to Make Your Apartment Rental Feel Like Home

by Tersey Regan
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Congratulations! You have successfully navigated your way through the Hudson County {Hoboken/Jersey City} real estate market and are a proud new renter of an apartment. You’ve moved in all your belongings, have Wi-Fi, and are {almost} content with your furniture layout. Yet despite all this, you still feel like you’re living in a bland white box with no character. Since remodeling an apartment as a renter isn’t often an option, how can you transform a space into your home? The answer lies behind a few clever, yet simple cosmetic tricks. Here are ten easy upgrades to make your apartment rental feel like home:

1. Paint Your Space

ways for hoboken rental to feel like home

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in a rental because it adds immediate character to any space. Be sure to also give your ceiling some love, as you don’t want a dirty yellow-white from a previous tenant mucking up the otherwise crisp design of your room. If your rental is particularly void of character, also consider painting faux baseboards at the foot of your walls to give them a clear, sturdy-looking end.

2. Swap Existing Hardware

ways for hoboken rental to feel like home

Unscrew and safely store away all current hardware — everything from the door handles, cabinet knobs, wall hooks, and any unsightly towel rods — and replace them with alternative options that suit your personal taste. Hoboken’s Anthropologie and West Elm locations both sell a variety of hardware styles.

See More: Home Organizing in Hoboken + Jersey City: NEAT Method

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3. Tile a {Removable} Backsplash

ways for hoboken rental to feel like home

Can’t stand the current outdated backsplash in your kitchen? Temporarily replace it with removable stick-on decals such as a faux white subway tile for a more polished look.

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4. Use Contact Paper to Disguise Unsightly Countertops 

ways for hoboken rental to feel like home

Upgrade your obsolete vinyl countertops by applying sleek marble-looking contact paper. Not only is it extremely durable, but is also very easy to apply and eventually remove once the time comes.

5. Create a Statement Wall or DIY Fabric Headboard

ways for hoboken rental to feel like home

Rather than installing real wallpaper, which is both permanent and expensive, apply removable wallpaper to create a bold statement wall within your bedroom. West Elm sells some great removable wallpaper options. However, if you’re looking for a simpler option with a similar outcome, take a piece of your favorite fabric or an old colorful tablecloth and staple it to the back of your existing headboard for an immediate pop.

6. Improve Your Lighting

ways for hoboken rental to feel like home

Replacing your light fixtures is an easy upgrade that goes a long way. Try installing a glass chandelier light fixture in your closet for a more delicate feel or adding LED light strips under your kitchen cabinets to allow for more light in normally dark spaces. When it comes to lamps, place them at various heights throughout your space — some on the floor, some on desks, some on shelves, and in various bulb strengths— to create a more welcoming glow and less harsh feel in your apartment.

7. Decorate With Intention

ways for hoboken rental to feel like home

When it comes time to add the finishing décor elements to your apartment, be thoughtful, and take your time with selecting the right pieces. Everything from the art you hang on your walls, the items displayed on your bookshelves to the throw pillows on your sofa should all evoke some sort of positive emotion and tell a story about who you are. For example, if you love a certain photographer or painter, invest in a few of his or her pieces to display on your walls. You can also express your Hoboken pride through décor by creating a gallery wall featuring artwork of local noteworthy places, vintage town maps, or handmade wooden signs with Hoboken’s GPS coordinates. Hoboken-branded throw pillows are also a must for any new resident. For all your local decorative needs, be sure to check out Washington General Store, Hudson Paperie, Luna Rosa Home, Anthropologie, West Elm, Unique Flowers, and more.

Read More: Tales of a Hoboken Homeowner: 5 Tips for Creating a Balcony {Urban Garden} Oasis

8. Hang Floating Shelves

Hang floating shelves

Floating shelves are not only great for creating more display space but can also serve as a home to your larger serving plates and mixing bowls. Both West Elm and ACE Hardware offer a vast selection of shelving in various sizes.

9. Give Your Bathroom a Facelift

Bathroom upgrade rentals

Your bathroom experience should be pleasant and there are many simple updates you can make to transform your bathroom into a spa-like environment. Install a new, contemporary toilet seat, replace your existing showerhead with a rainfall option, and make the time to get a decent toilet paper holder. Complete your bathroom upgrade with an array of spa-like accessories such as quality towels, bath salts, scented candles, and a bath tray to place a glass of wine and book on while you soak away the stress. Visit local boutiques such as Washington General Store, Anthropologie, West Elm, and Sephora for all your spa essentials.

10. Install Window Blinds + Curtains

ways for hoboken rental to feel like home

Don’t forget to complete your apartment look by installing sleek window blinds and/or curtains with a fun, bold pattern — or just a generic hotel white that will really elevate the space.


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