Easy DIY Renovations You Can Do While Renting

COVID-19 still has many of us on lockdown, and for those who are working from home, it has made them reexamine their living space and want to make some changes. You might think that if you are renting, you cannot do a DIY house renovation, but there are still some things that you can do without breaking your lease.

Many people are using this time at home to do a few projects around the house and spruce up their space. In a recent Oneflare survey, 46% of the respondents said that they had hired a tradie or professional to do some work around the home. Nearly 59% of those surveyed said that spending more time around the house gave them inspiration for things that they wanted to do around the home. Compared to last year, 51% of Oneflare customers said that they spent more of their budget on renovations because they did not spend money on dining out or traveling.

If you are a renter, you might be feeling left out of the picture. You, too, might find yourself with more money in your budget and more time on your hands. The good news is that there are some things that you can do to spruce up your space, too. Here are some DIY tips for renters.

The Ultimate Entertainment Space

As we live in our space, we change, and sometimes, our old style does not fit us any longer. Usually, when we move into a space, we do not know what we want until we have been in it at least a year. If you have been in the same space for over three years, it is more than likely time for a DIY house remodel. Here are a few things that you can do to spruce up your entertainment space or your whole house.

Depending on your lease, you might or might not be able to change the color of your walls. If you are not allowed to change your wall color, there are still some things that you can do to carry a certain color theme throughout the space. The most common color for rental walls is whites and neutrals. This leaves you with many possibilities because neutral rooms are in right now. However, designers are adding color and texture through accessories. Here are some ideas.

  • Adding new artwork and plants can brighten any space.
  • Consider new pillows and colorful curtains.
  • Choose a theme and carry it throughout the space with lighting and accessories.
  • Get a new rug to set the tone of the room.
  • Add that recliner or new sofa that you always wanted.
  • New light shades and covers can change the look of the room.
  • Get a new entertainment system and entertainment center.

Simple Basement Remodel

If you are fortunate, your rental has usable basement space. If you are one of the lucky ones who has a basement space that is not wet or too dark, there are many things that you can do to take advantage of this prime real estate in your space. You can use it as living space, office space, or a combination of both.

  • Put up temporary dividing walls.
  • Line the walls with shelving and storage.
  • Put a worktable in the basement for projects.
  • Add lots of lighting and brighten the space.
  • Paint or stain any exposed beams or structures.

Pamper Sessions in the Bathroom

Our bathroom can be more than functional. It can be a quiet retreat where you can get away from the world. A DIY bathroom reno does not have to mean construction, and in most cases, you will not be allowed to do major construction. However, there are some DIY bathroom renovation ideas that can help to make your space cozier and a place to relax.

  • Get removable wall decals and stickers to brighten the walls.
  • Choose a theme and get matching artwork and accessories.
  • Get a new shower curtain and bathroom rug.
  • If your fixtures are in bad shape, ask your landlord if you can paint them with tub and tile paint.
  • Add flowers, plants, and candles for atmosphere.
  • Think about adding refreshing potpourri and scents.
  • Tidy up exposed shelving and repaint or add a patterned back.

A Zen Bedroom

The bedroom is the most important room in the house. If we do not get enough sleep, the rest of our day does not go very well. It is important to think about sleep hygiene and to make our bedrooms as calm and relaxing as possible. When you go into your bedroom, you should be able to shut out the rest of the world until morning. Here are a few ideas from sleep experts to help you create the relaxing sanctuary that you need during these times.

  • If you are allowed to paint, choose a color that makes you feel calm.
  • Add a new matching bedspread and window treatments.
  • Plants in the bedroom have been found to create a calming effect.
  • If you have an open-plan space, add partitions to separate the sleeping area.
  • Remove any electronics, including your phone, from the sleeping area.
  • Get blackout curtains to make the space darker at night.
  • Keep the clutter to a minimum and make it as zen-like and minimalist as possible.
  • The only thing you should be doing in this space is sleeping to train your brain for the best night’s sleep.

Delicious Dining Space

If you are in a smaller apartment, your kitchen and dining area might be in the same physical space, or you might have two separate areas. Regardless of whether they are in the same space or a different one, they should feel cohesive in color and style. Here are a few DIY kitchen renovation ideas to help you enjoy your kitchen and dining area space in your rental.

This year, several trends dominate the world of interior design. One of them is choosing a pop color, such as coral, bright yellow, and robin egg blue and carrying it throughout the space. Another one is using the colors of herbs and spices as inspiration. You can still take advantage of these trends, even when you are renting.

  • Choose a color theme and carry it throughout the space.
  • Purchase some thrift store chairs and paint them to match the color theme.
  • Use an old pallet to hang some containers of herbs for an indoor garden.
  • Hang a pegboard from the wall to organize your pots and cookware.
  • Get a new rug for in front of the sink and matching curtains.
  • Use Washi tape to add wild stripes to an archway or your cupboards.
  • Create a beautiful display with all the colors of spices.
  • Get shelving with suction cups to personalize cupboard space.

A New Office Space

Office renovations are one of the most common projects during the COVID-19 lockdown. For many, this is a necessity, as they will be working from home for quite some time. Here are a few tips for making your office the most productive space possible.

  • Eliminate clutter and only have one or two things on your desk.
  • Get filing cabinets to hide paperwork.
  • Personalize it, make it your own with artwork and accessories.
  • Get good lighting and make it as bright as possible.
  • Splurge on a new desk and chair that is comfortable and ergonomically correct for you.

DIY Outdoor Renovations

You might think that DIY backyard renovations are out for renters, but there are some ways that you can enjoy your space without breaking the rules. Here a few ideas that will work, whether you space is a big back yard, or a small patio outback.

  • Container gardening is your friend, and you can even grow berry and fruit trees in pots.
  • Think about raised beds, but you must be sure to get permission first.
  • A high-end patio furniture set can transform the space.
  • Block out neighbors or unwanted views with plants or screens.
  • Think about creating a garden “room” that feels private.
  • Make the outdoor space feel like an extension of the indoor space.

Standard No-Nos

All rental agreements are different and be sure to read it before you sign it to make sure you know what you are allowed to do and not allowed to do. In general, here are some things that are commonly not allowed in U.S. rental agreements.

For most, a complete DIY home renovation is out, and you have to work around these restrictions.

  • Attaching a fixture, altering, or adding to the space.
  • Changing the locks.
  • Interfering with smoke alarms or security devices.
  • Decorating that involves painting or marking the walls or ceiling.
  • Electrical or plumbing work.
  • Using picture hangers that damage the paint or wall surface.
  • Installing new light fixtures.


The COVID-19 lockdown has led many to feel like they are trapped. This can result in a lack of creativity, can affect your mood, and can cause a lack of creativity at work. Making our space more comfortable and inspiring can make us feel less lonely. You do not have to do major DIY home renovations to make the space your own and make you fall in love with it again, even if you are renting.