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10 Renter-Friendly Apartment Hacks We Swear By

July 14, 2022

Apartment Living

Today it’s hard to know what you’re getting into when renting an apartment. Sometimes you can luck out and find a beautiful place. Other times, you may need to put in some elbow grease to make your apartment shine. 




Luckily, it’s never been easier to find easy and effective hacks that can be utilized in nearly any living space. From large spaces to simple small studio apartment ideas, there’s a hack for anyone. You no longer have to be unhappy with how your apartment looks and can instead implement these apartment hacks to make a drab space into your happy place.

1. Swap out floor lamps

You’ll want to be selfish with your square footage in smaller apartments or homes. This often means getting a little bit savvy with how you fill your space and keep it functional and welcoming. One of the first great apartment hacks is to do away with bulky floor lamps and opt for lighting that takes up little to no space in your home.

Wall Lighting

The first alternative for floor lamps in smaller apartments will be wall lighting. Generally, it’s easy to find light fixtures that can be installed or mounted onto your walls. The easiest ones will be battery-operated. Wall lighting is a great way to not only brighten your space but also expand the reach of your apartment lighting by lifting the light source off the ground.

Desk and Table Lights

Floor lamps tend not to have any dual functionality in smaller spaces. Opting for lighting that is set upon other functional pieces of furniture or decor is another way to save some square footage in your home. Placing lights or lamps on small end tables or desks will take up much less space than clunky floor lamps.

Strip Lighting

Take lighting even higher than a floor lamp can reach and opt for led strip lighting. These strips are composed of many led lights that can be adhered to any wall or ceiling. The uses are nearly endless, and most will come with some form of remote to change the colors and brightness of the lights.

2. Expand your space with mirrors

Dining area of comfortable apartment with large mirror

Mirrors may be one of the most repeated apartment hacks, but it is one of the most effective and coolest hacks when upgrading your space with minimal effort. Mirrors in living areas are excellent for making a space appear to be much larger and open than it is. To best utilize mirrors in this way, try to place mirrors on the opposite wall of a window. This placement reflects more light and, at certain angles, makes your room look like it has more windows.




3. Upgrade your closet space

Organized closet

One of the best things you can do for yourself in a smaller living space is to create more room in your closet. Most people, at some point or another, will have to deal with a tiny closet. This closet transformation hack will give you an incredible increase in clothing storage space.

A Shelf Above

Many closets have space above the pole that your clothes hang from. Often this space goes unused. Installing a quick and easy shelf above your hanging clothes will increase your closet space immensely.

A Shelf Below

Why stop at one shelf when you can have two shelves to maximize your closet space? Installing a second shelf toward the very bottom of your closet will double the number of shoes you can store in your closet.

Space-Saving Hangers

You can use multiple kinds of space-saving hangers and organizers in your closet. Scarves, shoes, or hat racks can hang on the inside of the door to your closet. Additionally, specific hangers allow you to fold multiple pieces of clothing that break down and create an amazing amount of space in your closet.

4. Exchange outdated light fixtures

Modern light fixture

Unfortunately, many of the fixtures that you’ll find in your apartment will be either old or, if you’re in a newer build, incredibly run-of-the-mill. Lucky for you, it’s easy to replace old light fixtures with fixtures that match your style and bring you joy. The most important part of this expert rental hack is to remember to save the old fixtures and put them back on before you move out of your apartment. Before doing this, make sure to check your lease or discuss with your landlord as each apartment community may have difference policies. 

5. Infuse your apartment walls with personality

Happy couple sitting near wall they are painting

You might have been in a situation where you get approved for an apartment, move in, and then as you start to get comfortable in your space, you realize that your walls are lackluster and unexciting. Luckily, there are small apartment ideas for transforming the walls of your living space without upsetting your landlord or making a huge mess.

Removable Wallpaper

The first fun way to upgrade your apartment walls will be removable wallpaper. Long gone are the days of wallpaper that are applied to last for centuries. Nowadays, you can find wallpaper that is as easy to remove as it is to place on your walls. Not only will this not damage your apartment walls, but they also come in nearly every color and pattern you can think of. If you don’t want to commit to an entire wall, you can cut the wallpaper and place it in your kitchen for a renter-friendly backsplash. 

Paint a Wall

Of course, you can always do away with wallpaper and decide to paint one or multiple walls in your living space. If you are renting, you must ask permission from your landlord before painting. However, a beautiful accent wall or a fresh new color will quickly transform a space

Wall Decals

If you don’t want to commit a whole wall to one color or pattern but also do not want bare walls, opt for wall decals. These decals come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and can be easily removed. Wall decals add a fun and attractive appearance to any wall.

6. Swap out dingy hardware

Cabinet hardware

A small detail that can take your apartment from dingy to dynamite lies in the hardware attached to your cupboards, doors, and any dressers or drawers throughout your apartment. Exchanging the current hardware for decorative handles that you love can create a cohesive look throughout your whole space and elevate the look and feel of your apartment.




7. Utilize your ceiling space

Urban loft with hanging green plants from ceiling

You might be wondering how to maximize space in a small apartment while also utilizing space that almost always goes untouched. Generally speaking, a lot of the ceiling space in many homes remains completely underutilized. The best way to make the most of the area over your head is to fill it with lights or hanging objects.

Pendant Lighting

You can use ceiling hooks to install pendant lights in your apartment that not only open up more space within your abode but will also create different levels of ambient lighting throughout your apartment. Staggering pendant lighting makes a unique focal point in any space.

Hanging Plants

With the rise of houseplant popularity hitting new highs within the last few years, you might be someone looking for more space to house all of your green and leafy friends. Ceiling hooks and staggering the length of hanging plants will give your apartment an inviting jungle vibe.

8. Let your (natural) light shine

Sheer curtains

You can add a multitude of artificial light throughout your home, and sometimes, given the space you live in, that might be the only option. However, most apartments usually have at least a window or two. Natural light will make your space feel warm and inviting. In addition to using mirrors to reflect light throughout your apartment, try replacing dense curtains with light, sheer curtains to let as much light in as possible.

9. Add a layer of coziness with area rugs

Living room with area rug

Whether you are living with cool hardwood floors or cozy carpeted floors, adding a rug will make a much more significant impact on your living space than you might think.

Layer Your Rugs

Layering rugs has become increasingly popular in the last handful of years. Not only does this create a warm and cozy look in your home, but it also adds visual interest.

Play with textures, colors, patterns, and fabric

When choosing suitable rugs to layer with one another, consider using more of a woven rug for floors that already have carpet. For hardwood floors, seek out rugs that are more reminiscent of carpet. As a general rule of thumb, keep colors the same and mix different patterns and textures to create a lot of visual interest in your home.

10. Bring light into dark spaces

Cabinet lighting in modern kitchen

Every home has pockets that just do not receive proper lighting. There are ways to make your dark spaces brighter, whether you have deep cabinets or odd corners in your apartment layout. There are many different kinds of adhesive lighting options that can be placed at the top of cabinets. Some are battery-powered that can be turned on and off, and others even have motion-sensing capability.




Having a space you love provides a peaceful place to relax and unwind a the end of a long day. No matter what type of home you live in, making it yours doesn’t have to be a complicated and expensive process. Updating your home or apartment with a few of these hacks will instantly enhance the feel of your place and turn it into a space you love.




When it comes to finding the perfect place to call home, Ovation has what you’re looking for.  Find your perfect luxury apartment today and love your space. Contact us to learn more about what we offer. 

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