Easy Projects to Upgrade your Apartment Rental Bathroom
Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner the two most important rooms in your home are the kitchen and the bathroom. Even though most renters do not have the luxury of being picky, especially dog & cat owners, we must work with what we have to make our apartments as updated & luxurious as possible. The bathroom is one of the easiest and affordable rooms to invest in minor renovations for large payoffs. Woodlake Properties provides seven rental bathroom projects that are easy to complete in a single afternoon and won’t cost you your security deposit at the end of your lease.
7 Apartment Bathroom DIY Projects for Any Budget
Bold Rugs & Curtains: When you carefully combine patterns, designs and textures you will elevate your apartment from boring to boutique hotel without spending much money. Don’t just grab the first shower curtain you see; you can curate the entire look and feel of your bathroom by starting the renovation here.
Install Shelving: Unfortunately, most rental apartments lack the storage space we need. Instead of taking up precious floor space you can use your walls and install simple shelving to keep soap, toilet paper, towels and other toiletries.
Swap Out the Mirror: A mirror is a great way to give the illusion of space in a small bathroom. Considering swapping out the plain existing mirror your landlord installed for a large, contemporary option.
Renter Tip: Make sure you keep the old one to put back on the wall when the lease is up.
Peel & Stick Tile: All you need is a few simple tools and a free afternoon to completely transform your boring white bathroom tiles. Peel and stick vinyl tile sheets come in a wide variety of colors & styles and are relatively affordable depending on the size of your bathroom. They can be easily purchased at any local hardware store.
Paint the Grout: A fresh coat of grout paint can breathe new life into your bathroom. Stick with white for a clean, sophisticated look or opt for a new color (with your landlord’s permission).
Install new Faucets & Hardware: Faucets are cabinetry hardware are affordable and very easy to install if you have basic renters’ tools available. Swap out their plain silver options for brass or even gold, depending on your other design choices.
Add (Affordable) Art: While your entire apartment is probably decorated with pictures of your friends, family, loved ones and pets, you can use your bathroom space to add some creativity. Quotes, landscape and abstract paintings can easily be found online (for free), printed and framed!
For more affordable upgrades, see how to make your apartment more energy efficient!
Energy Efficient Apartment Tips for Renters
While renting has many affordable benefits, such as not having to pay when your water heater suddenly breaks down, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to save a couple dollars every month. One of the easiest ways to do that is through your electric bill, since it might be one of the only bills in your apartment complex you can control. Woodlake Properties has outlined the easiest energy efficient apartment tips to lower your electric bills. While many of these tips will be especially helpful to first-time renters, they are useful to anyone looking to lessen their impact on the environment (and their wallet).
9 Tips to Lower Apartment Rental Electric Bills
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs: The very first thing you want to do is switch all every old incandescent lightbulb to more energy-efficient LED bulbs. While it will cost you more upfront the money, the savings on your electric bill is worth it in the long term.
Tip: If the bulbs are still working when you move out, take them with you!
Turn Off Fans & Lights: Our parents nagged us to death about turning off the lights in rooms that were unoccupied and you’ll thank them when you get your electric bill! Similarly, ceiling fans simply help to circulate existing air and are only necessary when someone is in the room.
Dishwasher Tips: Run the dishwasher at night to reduce your AC’s heat load. You can also shut off the heated dry, prop the door open and let your dishes air dry!
Washing Machine Tips: Almost every single detergent will dissolve in cold water, there is really no reason to use hot water any longer. Consider larger loads of laundry to reduce the number of times you’re running the machine each week.
Upgrade Thermostat: Replacing your outdated mechanical thermostat with a smart programmable thermostat allows you to set temperatures directly from your phone no matter where you are! Make sure to refer to your lease agreement if there are any stipulations in place before the installation.
Rugs on Hardwood Floors: If your apartment has hardwood floors throughout laying down area rugs in the winter months will help to see your place insulated and the warm air inside.
Fix Leaky Faucets/Running Toilets: Alert your landlord right away if you notice a constantly leaking faucet or running toilet as that is a huge waste of water and money on your water bill.
Draft-proof Outlets: On the first cold day of the season put your hand in front of every outlet to feel any drafts coming through. If so, purchase gasket plugs for all the drafty outlets to seal the air leak. Don’t worry, these are inexpensive and can easily be removed when you need to use the plug.
Avoid Phantom Power: When your cell phone charger, microwave and power strips are plugged in but not in use they’re still using energy and wasting your money. You’d be surprised at the difference it can make to unplug your coffee machine or Christmas tree when they’re not in use.
Renters Toolkit: Essential Tools all Renters Should have in their Apartment
There are many perks to renting an apartment, mainly not having to do any major repairs when an appliance breaks down. But, it is inevitable that at some point you will put together a coffee table or want to hang a picture, none of which are covered in a maintenance request. When this happens, you’ll need a renters toolkit equipped with the basic and essential items to help you with DIY projects in your apartment. Woodlake Properties highlights the 10 essential must-haves for your renters toolkit so you’re prepared in any situation!
Renters Toolkit: 10 Must-Have Tools for Every Apartment
Compact Multi-tool: Every renter should start their toolkit with a multi-tool since it serves many many purposes. This all-in-one essential includes pliers, utility knife, wrench, mini screwdriver, a corkscrew and several more! While we still recommending buying the full size items listed below, if you’re on a tight budget this is the best place to start.
Cordless Power Drill: One of the most useful tools in your Renters Toolkit arsenal, the cordless power drill can be used on a wide variety of projects. From hanging a shelf to putting furniture together, if there is one tool to buy for your apartment it’s this one.
Screwdriver Set: Every apartment should be equipped with 1 Phillips screwdriver and 1 Flathead screwdriver.
Small Hammer: Another useful tool that can be used to mount picture hooks or as a mallet for putting together furniture pieces. Plus at only $10, it won’t eat into your $1,000 furnishing budget.
Tape Measure: This is an invaluable tool when it comes to measuring everything in your home! From how high to hang your pictures to the distance between couches, a 25-foot tape measure is essential for all renters (and homeowners).
Utility Knife: Don’t ruin your brand new knife set opening all of those Amazon boxes, purchase a utility knife instead!
Ladder: Since almost all of your projects will take place inside the apartment a simple 4-foot ladder will suffice for most projects. It will also come in handy when you’re trying to save space and stack high.
Nails/Screws: Keeping a small collection of nails and screws will come in handy more than a few times during your rental agreement. When hanging artwork or adding shelves, you’ll need these on hand in case there is a few missing from the set you purchased.
Adjustable Wrench: A great item for your renters toolkit in case there is ever a leaking faucet or lose plumbing fitting you won’t have to wait around for your maintenance man.
Extension Cords: More than likely all of your apartment’s outlets will not all be located in the best place for your furniture. Use extension cords to decorate freely without worrying about blocking power sources.
Apartment Essentials for All Renters
Besides your security deposit, renters insurance and furniture, tools are an essential item you need when moving into an apartment. Using your own tools provides you with the freedom to make small repairs and explore some DIY decorating projects (like these rental friendly bathroom upgrades). However, remember follow our tips to avoid losing your security deposit!
Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving in a Small Apartment
Huge table, endless platters of food, decorations galore and a room full of cheerful friends & family is what most people envision every Thanksgiving holiday. But, those who live in a small apartment shouldn’t be left out of the merriment! Woodlake Properties has provided a few easy tips to host a successful apartment Thanksgiving dinner. From studios to one or two bedroom apartments, you’ll be able to pull off the best holiday feast yet if you follow our smart tips below.
5 Tips to a Successful Apartment Thanksgiving Dinner
Make it a Potluck: Cooking for a large group in a small kitchen is not only time consuming, but extremely stressful. You don’t want to spend the entire party in the kitchen, unable to enjoy the food and company. To get the most out of your get together, ask each of your guests to bring a dish! It can be their favorite Thanksgiving recipe, a simple dessert or even a pizza!
Disposable (eco-friendly) dishware: Since it is probably just you and maybe 1 or 2 other people living in your apartment every day, chances are you don’t have enough silverware or dishes for a party of 10 or more. With the help of an eco-friendly disposable dishware set you’ll have plenty of plates, forks and knives for everyone at your party with minimal impact on the environment.
Borrow extra tables & seats: Folding tables go a long way when it comes to hosting a dinner party at your small apartment. Colored tablecloths artfully upgrade mismatched tables and touches of decorations will make it feel like you’re dining in a hall, rather than your living room. Borrow these essentials from your guests or neighbors.
Strict guest list: The easiest way to ensure you have enough space for food, guests and comfort is to keep the guest list short. Make sure you’re guests know there are no plus one or children, unless you spoke to them in advance.
Sit back, relax & enjoy the holiday: You’ve spent the last few weeks preparing for your apartment Thanksgiving dinner feast and now the time has arrived! Make sure to enjoy yourself, mingle amongst your closest friends and family and enjoy all of the food that has been prepared. Remember, the holidays are not about what you have, but who you are surrounded by.
How to Properly Host a Party in your Small Apartment
The above tips are not just true for a Thanksgiving dinner feast, but are universal rules to hosting a dinner party in your small apartment. Remember not to stress about every little detail being perfect, simply enjoy the time surrounded by loved ones and be grateful for all you have.