When it comes to older homes, there are some remarkable things about them. They can be charming and have a ton of character. But what if you want something to look newer and not old. How do you make that space feel more modernized?
You don't have to own your own dream house to live in the style. you want to live. There are some things you can do to modernize an old apartment, even if you're renting. You will have to consider time, energy, budget and whether you will be allowed to change things. You also want to decide if you want to put in the effort if you plan to stay long where you are.
There are tons of unusual ways you can renovate an apartment without doing a complete overhaul of the place. I often grab ideas from YouTube or Pinterest to help get me going. You want to make sure your landlord doesn't get upset with you for changing things. So, always get permission first, and in writing if you can before you do anything permanent. Once you have that, go ahead, and make your space your own.
Paint - Always Ask First
Painting is what I usually do first if I don't like something in an apartment I'm renting. Maybe that green color on the walls the landlord chose isn't your style. Or the walls are just white and need a splash of color. A fresh coat of paint can make all the difference in the world.
Look at your rental agreement to see if you are allowed to paint. Try to keep the colors neutral so if you must paint it back you aren't painting over black or red walls and having to prime till the cows come home. Most landlords will welcome a fresh coat of paint on the walls if it's classy and nothing too bad.
Check your local hardware stores for paint cans that customers left because they didn't like the color. These paints are often on discount, and you can pick them up for cheap. You also want to use paint that is purposeful. Meaning you can wash it without issue. There's nothing worse than painting your walls with the wrong paint.
Swap Out the Hardware
Changing out knobs, drawer pulls, light switch plates and covers is one of the easiest and affordable things you can do to modernize an old apartment. The cool thing about changing up knobs for your cupboards or drawers is how you oversee the style you wish to have. You can also stay on top of the latest trends. All you need is a quick snap screwdriver, some screws, knobs, or plates and that's it.a
Make sure you put all the old knobs, wall plates and any hardware you replace in a ziploc bag to keep for when you move out. Lots of times you can take the hardware with you so you don't have to buy it again, and just put the old stuff back on before you leave so you can keep your damage deposit.
If you come across old knobs at a yard sale or on Facebook Marketplace for a great deal but you don't like the color. A can of Rustoleum Spray Paint goes a long way to changing the color of the knobs you wish to add to your home.
Area Rugs & Flooring
One thing old apartment's usually have is old flooring. Out of year rugs and old Lino can be hideous. But never fear there are cheap ways of changing things around to make your floors look and feel new again.
Costco has some amazing area rugs. Great for indoor and outdoor. Rugs can be used to cover up flooring you don't like, hide old carpet marks or stains if you can't afford to replace the carpet or your landlord doesn't want to. You can get all different shapes, sizes and colors to suit your style needs. Sometimes just adding a small rug in the kitchen, the front door, underneath a coffee table can change things up enough to make you feel more at home.
If the lino has a pattern, try to stick to two neutral colors offsetting the pattern. Same for area rugs. If your floors are plain, try adding splashes of color or patterns to bright things up.
Contact Paper Is a Renters friend
Need a funky backsplash? What about brand-new counter tops that have that marble look? How about just an area wall to make a statement? Contact paper is a renter's best friend. Why? Because it is the easiest and most affordable way to change the look of an old apartment and help give it some modern flare.
Contact paper is cheap, and you can use it to completely cover your counter in your kitchen without harming the counter beneath it. There are hundreds of styles and patterns to choose from. A popular pattern is wood grain. The best part of using contact paper is that if you mess up or want to change the patter, you simply peel it off and do it over again.
Artwork, Gallery Walls, Photos
The easiest way to modernize an old apartment and the lowest maintenance on your part is to utilize your walls. Now you can any kind of pictures you want, but if you want to try to add some personal touches to your living space look for unique ways to not only hang. your photographs or artwork but look for artwork that reflects your style.
You can find an array of Artwork of any kind for low in price. Amazon is a wonderful place to look for unique artwork. If you're into Tigers or African art simply type that into the search bar and thousands of products in your price range will pop up.
No matter how you decide to modernize your old apartment, make sure you talk to your landlord, so you don't lose your damage deposit. Plan and have a budget for the things you want to swap out. Whether it be light fixtures, wall plates, flooring, or curtains, updating your apartment is as easy as your imagination.