Interior Design Tips & Tricks for Renters

7 Cheap and Easy Living Room Updates for Rental Apartments

It’s natural to want to change your surroundings from time to time, no matter if you’re renting the home of your dreams or an apartment that could use a few upgrades. But between work, family, friends, maintenance, and all the errands we run to keep up in our busy lives, we often avoid revamping our living spaces, especially when we take the spending that comes with it into account.

Luckily, there’s plenty of ways for you to shake things up and upgrade your living room with minimal resources. Here are seven upgrades you can make on the cheap and in a flash:

Rearrange the layout of the room

The easiest way to revamp your living room is also the cheapest (because it’s free): rearranging your furniture and decorations to make the room feel like you’ve just moved in. You can test a few layouts while you’re at it and find one that feels both spacious and cozy—the two characteristics everyone should aim for when designing a living room.

Revamp your wall artwork

First off, if you don’t have a photo or art arrangement on your wall, now’s the time to get creative. You don’t need a lot of money to design one: a few frames will suffice, and you can use them to display anything from book pages to dried flowers. If you already have a few, trying mixing them up or repaint the frames in one or several new colors.

Repaint some of your furniture

Whether your furniture is starting to look a little dingy or you want to change the color tone of the room, you can easily make it look different and brand new by painting over it. There’s plenty of online DIY guides that can help you choose the method and the materials to work with, and you only need to purchase paint and a few tools to turn it around.

Create an accent wall

Just because your landlord won’t allow you to repaint the walls doesn’t mean you can’t add a bit of flair to your living room. Nowadays, you can get inexpensive and easily removable wallpaper in any shape, color, and size. Use it to add a bit of color to an otherwise muted color palette or go for a neutral tone to give the space a different feel without it getting overpowering.

Get a thrift store chandelier

If you winced at the idea of a massive chandelier in your apartment living room, fret not. Chandeliers are very versatile: they can make a room more stylish if you’re looking for an elegant touch, they can add to a quirky space’s bohemian flair, and you can get one on the cheap from your neighborhood thrift store and install it yourself with the right video tutorial.

Declutter the room for extra space

You’d be surprised at how big of an impact decluttering can make on a place. Areas that were once tight and cramped will open up, and your living room will look brighter and cleaner. This one’s quick, free, and allows you to change the entire feel of a space in less than a day.

Green it up with houseplants


Finally, houseplants are a welcome addition to any living room. They brighten up the space, make the apartment look livelier, and purify the air around them. You can start with a few that are easy to care for and expand your garden when you’re feeling more in charge. But keep in mind some plants are toxic to pets, so if you’ve got a furry friend around, make sure you get safe greenery.

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About the author

Irina Lupa

Irina Lupa is a creative writer for RENTCafé, where she covers market trends and topics relevant to today’s renters. Before developing a passion for real estate, she focused on fields ranging from automotive electronics to digital business development, digging into tech news from a critical perspective. Irina holds a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication. You can connect with Irina via email.

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