Beige walls and drab carpentry can't stand in the way of these updates.

By Katherine Owen
August 15, 2017
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Rental apartments all seem to fall victim to the same understandable but less-than-inspiring design schemes. You know the look: beige walls, beige carpet, white plastic blinds, and probably a couple of functioning but crusty old appliances. They're understandable choices on the landlord's part, but they sure can be grim to wake up to. Fear not, renters: personality is still possible. With a little creativity, these DIY workarounds can seriously upgrade any space without infringing upon even the most uncompromising of leases. Read on for five smart hacks to put on your weekend honey-do list ASAP:

Swap out knobs.

Honestly you don't even have to wait till the weekend on this one. This is a weeknight type DIY. Swap out kitchen, bathroom, and even furniture knobs for something slightly more your personality, whatever that is—modern, whimsical, traditional, or goofy. Some of our favorites can be found at Anthropologie, Rejuvenation, and Wayfair. Just be sure to hang on to all the original knobs and all accompanying hardware so you can quickly swap them back in before move-out.

Give appliances a facelift.

For appliances with no fault other than a dated façade, contact paper or temporary wallpaper can bring them right up to date, instantly transcending decades and saving you hundreds, maybe thousands. Try Con-Tact Faux Metal in stainless steel for a subtle update, or if you're feeling a little more punchy, try a bold pattern.

Get rid of old furniture imprints.

No need to face the ghost of furniture past every day. Whether moving in or out of a carpeted abode, these tricks erase furniture imprints from carpet in a snap. For one, try raking it with a fork. Alternately let an ice cube melt over the spot first, and a few hours later, come back over it with a fork or spoon.

Try temporary wallpaper.

The MVP of rental décor, temporary wallpaper has changed the game. Quickly mask sad rental walls with peel-and-stick paper in beautiful patterns (both traditional and not). If you're not trying to cover your walls in a bold floral, customization is still possible. Tempaper also makes paintable wall paper so you can pick your exact shade. Go-to resources include Wallpaperie, Hygge and West, and Chasing Paper.

Top drab carpet with rugs.

Rental carpet or not, we love a layered rug situation. Conveniently, if you are in a rental, not only will an extra rug hide mysterious stains and icky old carpet, it can help define different spaces, amp up the personality, and tie a scheme together. We say, pile them on!