The cool thing that I found interesting about Albie is that she has a whole new perspective from the design side of the home that we don’t get to see nor talk often about. On her blog, she focuses on renter friendly designs. Since we’re all about residential remodeling, we don’t get to know a lot about designing for the short term. Today we’re welcoming Albie on the blog to talk about renter friendly upgrades you can do yourself.
How to refresh your rental bathroom and still get your security deposit back!
I never let the fact that I rent deter me from trying to create a home that I love — I pay to eat, sleep, and live here, so why shouldn’t it look and feel good, ya know?
One of the first spaces that I wanted to tackle in our rental — a two bedroom, one bath condo — was the bathroom because other than the bedroom, the bathroom is where we would begin and end every single day.
As parents to a young toddler, I wanted to create a sort of at-home spa experience that my husband could enjoy without actually going to the spa. To make this happen, I got creative with storage solutions, decor, and even some DIY, and ultimately created a tranquil and Zen-inspired bathroom oasis.
Updated Hardware & Fixtures
Most rentals use pretty basic hardware, because, let’s be honest — they’re doing the absolute minimum to crank out these units. Three things you can change for an instant cosmetic upgrade in your rental bathroom are the shower head, shower rod, and knobs and pulls for the vanity.
The only thing these updates require is a screwdriver and a little bit of patience.
Changing the shower head and shower rod let you easily upgrade the shower area both aesthetically and functionally, giving you a shower experience that instantly looks and feels more luxurious.
Another change we made that made more of a difference than we anticipated was swapping the toilet seat — our extremely loud and dated toilet seat — for one that was sleeker (still fitting the bowl of course) but also soft-closing! Two words: GAME CHANGER!
Updating the hardware on your vanity drawers and doors is a great way to introduce your personality from geode knobs to nautical themed pulls. These changes can also bring a very dated vanity into modern times, with a new, fresh appearance.
Decluttering & Organization
I don’t know what it is about bathrooms, but between toiletries and linens and whatever else, clutter can accumulate pretty quickly. Unchecked, all that clutter can easily make your rental bathroom your least favorite place in the house — there’s nothing relaxing or spa-like about a counter and drawers that are in constant shambles.
This isn’t about having a lot of storage, as much as it’s about decluttering and then organizing with intention.
Drawer inserts create compartments to make managing must haves easier to access. Under cabinet organizers make hidden items a little less unsightly.
Stylish Storage Solutions
Ever notice that when you go to a spa, everything looks so clean and curated? Even the most everyday products look elevated because of the way they’re presented. After you’ve decluttered, swap out basic storage for beautiful baskets, trays, and bottles to keep everything from towels to lotion!
Imagine the difference it’ll make to have a uniform look across your shelves and counters! Create your curated collection, even if it really is just baby oil, shampoo, and bath salts.
In our bathroom, rolling the washcloths into a natural material basket, alongside filling glass and amber jars for all of our everyday products, made for a very high-end upgrade without the high-end price tag.
Peel & Stick Surface Solutions
One of my absolute favorite upgrades has to be of the self-adhesive, peel and stick variety.
Whether it’s using contact paper to resurface a dated countertop, peel and stick tiles to add a funky backsplash, or removable wallpaper for a new accent wall, your rental bathroom can have a custom look without a lick of renovation!
Having used all of the above throughout our condo — the marble contact paper in our bathroom was an instant game changer, taking the bathroom from boring beige to modern and fresh! I can say firsthand that our condo doesn’t look like any of the other units!
Decorative Accents & Styling
While this should be obvious, when it comes to our bathrooms, especially in a rental, for some reason we resolve never actually to decorate it.
Not I said the cat!
Instead of a standard bath mat, introduce a runner (or rug if space permits) into the bathroom. So long as it can handle moisture, you’re good! My cheat is to go straight for indoor/outdoor rugs because if it can handle Mother Nature, then my bathroom should be light work.
When it comes to decorative storage, don’t just stop at the items that need storing — considering cute dishes for your jewelry or chic trays for corralling your morning routine products in a way that’s stylish but still functional. Even investing in a beautiful bathtub caddy not only for your baths but as a place to stylishly show off face masks and body scrubs can instantly give the bath an air of being at an actual spa.
Instead of your typical shower curtain, opt for a window treatment (with a liner of course) to really make a statement alongside your new curved shower rod.
There are so many alternatives to what’s in the bathroom section of your favorite home store. Explore other options to start seeing the bathroom take form in a way that makes you never what to leave.
There are so many little ways to upgrade and refresh a rental bathroom that we take for granted that are easy to execute and even easier to undo. When plotting my bathroom refresh, I did all of the reversible and renter friendly upgrades myself — and I am not handy by any stretch of the imagination — from painting the walls a more soothing color to resurfacing the very beige, very boring counters to DIY’ing an old IKEA table to use as a bathroom accent table.
I know, while I can’t leave things as is when we move, it’s no more additional work than we’d be doing when turning the keys back to our landlord. It’s worth it knowing that for the time we’re here, every trip to the bathroom is now like our own little mini spa-cation.