We Love These Clever Ways To Cover Up Ugly Rental Features

As a life-long renter, I’ve had my fair share of ugly rental features. If you’re an experienced renter, you know that unfortunately, they just come with the territory sometimes. Some things you can’t change, but luckily there are quite a few that you can. From temporary solutions to creative disguises, you can use a little magic to cleverly cover those unsightly features.

Bye, bye, ugly floors

cover ugly rental features

Do you have old linoleum kitchen floors that haven’t been updated since the ’80s? Or maybe your bathroom tile is outdated and ugly? Peel-and-stick flooring is a brilliant way to completely change up the look of your space without making any permanent changes. I recently redid my bathroom with peel-and-stick flooring from Chasing Paper, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. You can find a lot of peel-and-stick flooring options out there, no matter what your style or budget.

Shop peel-and-stick flooring:


Swap out hardware

You’ll be amazed what changing out cabinet knobs, door knobs, switch plates and even vent covers can do to upgrade your space. The more unique the style, the better. But even if you just swap out an old, yellowed switch plate for a fresh white ceramic one, it will instantly make a difference. You can find tons of cute vintage knobs on Etsy that will add a dash of delight to your rental cabinets as well. Just make sure to store all the original hardware somewhere so you can swap it back before moving out.

Shop hardware:


Contact paper over your unsightly cabinets

Sure, you could remove those terrible granny cabinet doors and sand them for the open shelf look — but your landlord might not like that and you’d have to put them all back on before you leave. Contact paper saves the day again (we like solid, matte colors for a clean look on these).

Shop cabinet contact paper:


Frame your bathroom mirror

Dayna Mance’s home tour

Rental bathroom mirrors are usually unframed. You can add a bit of character to yours by framing it yourself. For a budget-friendly option, purchase molding at a home improvement store, then measure your mirror and cut the molding to fit. You can paint this frame the color of your choice and attach it to the mirror with Velcro strips. While you can glue the Velcro to your frame, to make it removable, attach the Velcro to your mirror with Command strips.

Shop mirror framing:


Use statement shades to cover ugly light fixtures

If your landlord is OK with you swapping out light fixtures and you don’t mind the investment (hardware, electrician, etc.), by all means, do that. But for a cheaper, more temporary solution, add a statement shade right over the old fixture. This also goes for those unsightly Hollywood vanity lights in the bathroom that have seen better days!

Shop replacement shades:


Elevate your window treatments

Meredith Wilkinson’s Home Tour

Pairing bamboo blinds with neutral curtains makes your window treatments look way more expensive than they actually are. Designers do this all the time to achieve a warm, layered and polished look. So take down those dusty, vinyl blinds and opt for a more delightful combo. Bamboo shades are available at a variety of price points, and you’ll typically find them in two styles — Roman and roller — and in a decently wide spectrum of natural tones.

Shop window treatments:


Upgrade your closet doors

If you’ve rented for awhile, you’re probably all too familiar with those classic, bi-fold doors that seem to be in every rental. Not only are they not the most functional, but they lack any sort of real aesthetic. The good news is that there are plenty of easy ways to upgrade them, like using paint and new hardware. Or, just take the doors off and hang up a breezy curtain for an open vibe. If you’re one of the lucky renters whose home has a more classic door, you can add peel and stick decorative molding for a personal flair. We personal love this closet door DIY via Domino.



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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram