Does your rental need some sprucing up but time and cash are low?  No worries, there are plenty of ways to breath new life into a rental without sucking the life out of your wallet.

Cabinet knobs and drawer handles

I feel like knobs and handles are overlooked and underrated improvements.  If your cabinets are in sturdy shape, hardware is a great way to add a new spin on them. Adding hardware even has a practical purpose: it helps extend the life of varnish or paint on the cabinets because it reduces the skin oil absorbed and fingernail destruction.   A package of 10-12 usually runs between $15-$20, this of course depends on the style you get. If you already have hardware (says dark 1970s hardware), swap them out for a more modern silver finish.

Outlet covers and light switch covers

Nothing makes a empty room pop like an electrical cover that is different from the wall color (but doesn’t clash with the outlet or switch color!).  You don’t have to do every room either. You can chose to only do the living room and kitchen (where people spend the majority of their waking time).  These covers run anywhere from .25 cents to $1.10 depending on the finish and type you need. A silver or black outlet cover is great way to add contrast to a white outlet and white-ish wall.


One of the best ways to make an old and tired bathroom sparkle is changing out the shower head and sink faucet. Oddly enough renters love shower heads that do more than just spray water. You don’t need to get one with a hand held adapter if the idea of a water fight in the bathroom scares you.  Many fixed ones come with 1, 2 or 3 alternative spray settings.

These are some low budget ways to spruce up the look of your rental. In a future I blog I will give you a review of the more expensive way to update an apartment using refinishing kits for counters, tubs, and cabinets. Yes, I’ve done all of them (not all in the same unit).