Renting an apartment in the UAE is a decision many people make because of the flexibility it provides. It is also the best choice for people who move around quite a bit or are not yet ready to commit to a particular property.
Still, there may be a few things you may be missing from having your own place, like implementing interior design updates to make the space feel like home.
The good news is that there are a few changes you can make that could inject your personality into the place without violating your lease agreement. Here is a list of the top seven landlord-approved upgrades you can try for your rental space:
1. Decorate with indoor plants.
Having plants inside your apartment has numerous benefits. Besides cleaning the air, indoor gardening also serves as a great way to relax and destress. More importantly, it makes the place feel like home.
So, however many plants you already have, you can still add one more. Whether it’s a tiny succulent or even an elegant monstera, there will always be a place for plants that refresh your home.
If you have a bare wall, skip the paint and fill it with hanging plants instead.
You can also create temporary shelving to organise potted plants, or arrange them on the floor. Just make sure that they look nice and tidy and get enough UV rays (whether natural or artificial) so that they can thrive.
2. Install a temporary backsplash.
A rental property’s interiors often tend to look a bit neutral and dull. They are designed this way so tenants can make it their own space, after all.
In many cases, the kitchen is an apartment’s least decorated area, which means you should make it a priority to inject visual interest into this space. And one of the easiest and fastest features to enhance is the backsplash.
Whether or not your apartment kitchen is blessed with a backsplash, it will most likely be dying for a bit of colour and personality.
Fortunately, you can deliver exactly what is needed without making any permanent changes. You have a few options to consider as a custom backdrop for your kitchen, including:
- Temporary or removable wallpaper
- Contact paper
- Faux tiles
If you already have a backsplash, use individual faux tiles or tin tiles that have a close appearance to those already present to give your kitchen a makeover. Don’t forget to check durability, of course, as the room is one of those areas most prone to messes and needs to be wiped down periodically.
3. Create a feature wall with temporary wallpaper.
Painting the entire apartment can be a tad too permanent, not to mention exhausting, which could be why fewer people choose it to add colour to the rental.
Want to put in less effort while leaving a bolder statement? Consider creating a feature wall. Sometimes called “accent wall,” this adds depth and visual interest to a room.
Besides painting, you can use a non-permanent kind of wallpaper that can be easily installed and taken down if necessary. If you haven’t yet discovered the world of removable or temporary wallpaper, then now is the time to begin your journey.
These artfully designed home wallpapers self-adhere to the walls. They also peel off without much effort, making it a great choice for people who move from one rental to another (without damaging the walls or leaving any ugly residue behind).
Wallpapers come in more designs – colours, patterns, and even texture – which could help you craft a unique space that’s totally you.
4. Switch up cabinet knobs and other hardware.
If you haven’t already put two and two together, the key to making updates that your landlord will approve of is reversibility.
In other words, you can switch a lot of things up provided that they can be returned to their original appearance. Excellent examples of these are cabinet handles, drawer pulls, doorknobs and other visible hardware.
Though it may seem small, changing up these elements can transform the entire space. Just remember that you need to consider what’s already installed when planning a switch.
For one, you can’t have one knob replaced with a handle, without creating another hole on the furniture. The same goes for cabinets that don’t have any handle or knob at all.
Also, the handles and pulls you install should match the appearance of the ones you don’t plan to change.
5. Toss in an accent rug.
Like carpets, area rugs offer additional warmth and personality to the room. They can be used for all types of floors – hardwood, concrete, and even carpeted.
If you’re starting your space update without a rug, use plain jute as a base. Then, top it off with a red Moroccan piece. To finish it off, place a multipurpose sheepskin on top, which can either warm your feet as you wake up in the morning or offer extra comfort in your home office.
6. Invest in excellent bed linen.
High-quality bed linen is one crucial piece in the bedroom that pays for itself in the long run. It is also one element of interior design that you get to choose for yourself and bring with you anywhere you go, even to another rental.
If you already have neutrals in your collection, try adding more vibrant hues. Even if you don’t consider yourself a maximalist, having a couple of bolder-coloured items in your bedroom can effectively boost your mood.
7. Swap out the lights.
Lighting is another design element that can have the most significant effects on the overall appearance of a room. Despite this, it’s also one that doesn’t get much attention, much less get changed in rental spaces.
Consider adding lamps throughout your apartment. A good reading lamp on your desk and an elegant floor lamp in the living room can go a long way in enhancing the overall look and feel of the space.
You can also swap out your ceiling fixtures with one of the best modern chandeliers in Dubai for your living room or pendant lights over the dining area. Wall sconces also let you make any room or even the entryway feel welcoming without making permanent changes to the walls.
Upgrade Your Space
Adjusting the look and feel of a rental is imperative, especially when you live far away. Luckily, there’s no need to do anything too drastic to make this happen. Just make the little tweaks listed here, and you should be able to feel right at home without breaking your tenant agreement.