Rental properties are notoriously bland. Beige paint and gray surfaces have become the standard in recent years. If you’d like to make some improvements to the property before you find new tenants (or if you’re a tenant looking to spice up your new place) here’s how to do it without breaking the bank.

Before You Begin

First of all, let’s answer two important questions.

  • Are you a property owner looking to make the place more appealing before you try to rent it out?


  • Are you a tenant looking to make your place more interesting or homey after you’ve moved in?

Who you are in the equation is important because property owners and property renters have different rights when it comes to renovating and redecorating. If you’re renting, you’ll need to run any big changes (things you can’t quickly or easily undo) past your landlord before you start.

If you’re the landlord you’re free to do what you want with your property (as long as it lives up to codes), but consider what improvements will make the place more rentable so you can start paying back those rental loans.


Paint can make a room stand out and influence emotions. Here’s how to use that to your advantage.

  • Option one: Keep the white or beige paint so that whatever is placed against it can really stand out. Putting bold-colored furniture or art in a room that’s neutral-colored will really make the piece pop.


  • Option two: Replace the neutral colors with a warm color. Warm colors make people feel safe and at home.


  • Option three: Replace some of the neutral colors. Painting just one room can change someone’s whole attitude about the place. Having a warm-colored living room can make a property stand out to potential renters, or make you feel more at home if you’ve recently moved in.

Painting is an easy way to make a space more inviting, so take full advantage.

Add Lighting

  • Adding additional light can make a house feel more inviting. Here are some rental-friendly options to consider.
  • Add brighter bulbs to existing outdoor lights for safety.
  • Change out bulbs in indoor light fixtures.
  • Add dimmers to allow more control of the lighting.
  • Adding string lights to an outdoor space can brighten up an otherwise dark area. This adds both aesthetic appeal and safety. It’s a great renovation idea for rentals.
  • Add lamps to darker areas.
  • Consider adding lights around bathroom mirrors.
  • Use energy-efficient bulbs to lower electricity bills.

Consider what lighting will look and function best in a space.


Add New Water Fixtures

Adding new water-efficient fixtures and appliances can lower your water bill and make your life easier and more relaxing.

  • Add a rainwater shower head.
  • Upgrade to a commercial-style spray faucet for your kitchen.
  • Install an energy-efficient dishwasher. You can pick one with a nice aesthetic and it’ll lower your water bill.

Remember, if you’re not the landlord you’ll need to consult your landlord before doing anything permanent.

Add Plants

Whether they’re indoors or outdoors plants add life to any space. They can make you or your renters feel more at home. Here are a few ways to utilize them.

  • Grow a small indoor or outdoor garden.
  • Choose plants that do well indoors to sit around windows.
  • Plant shrubs or bushes around windows for added privacy.
  • Grow plants that are useful around the house. An example would be an aloe plant because it can be used to treat small kitchen burns.

Plants are a cheap way to add a warm feeling to a space, and they help clean the air in the home.

Getting into the rental property game can be a huge undertaking but applying for a rental loan can make the task much better financially, allowing you to not only purchase the property but also make the upgrades and renovations you need to make the property feel like home to renters.

Obviously, making a home feel welcoming can be tough and costly. But these changes will allow you to quickly improve your rental property while staying on a budget.