Decorating a small space can be tricky, let alone decorating a small space that you can’t really change with paint or creative flooring (#rentalproblems). Unless your apartment is newly renovated, chances are your appliances, floors and walls are lacking a little sumthin’ sumthin’ in the style department. Before you resign yourself to living with hideous carpet and cringe-worthy light fixtures, here are 17 easy DIY decor projects that will not only make your small space more colorful, but are totally landlord approved. If you’re in the market for some decor updates, scroll on for some rental-specific design ideas.


1. DIY Colorful Storage Bins: If you’re living in a studio apartment or one-bedroom, you’re probably storing a lot of stuff out in the open. Make sure your storage bins are something you don’t mind looking at with this easy, colorful DIY. (via Farm Fresh Therapy)


2. DIY Woven Leather Bench: Chances are painting or wallpaper aren’t options, so add color and interest to your space with textured furniture. Leggy pieces like this open bench make a room feel more spacious too. (via A Beautiful Mess)


3. DIY Mini Foyer: Create a foyer out of nothing more than a wall-mounted shelf. The color possibilities are endless here, so try to think outside the box. (via Brit + Co)


4. DIY Bedtime Routine Organizer: Renting is all about getting creative with your storage solutions. Whether you need extra space for your bathroom essentials or a way to keep your indoor plant collection under control, hack IKEA’s SATSUMA plant stand as an over-the-door storage rack. (via A Beautiful Mess)


5. DIY Murphy Bar: When you can’t even fit a rolling cart into your small space, this fold-up bar is the perfect solution. Add a touch of color for a piece with big impact and a vanishing footprint. (via Brit + Co)

6. DIY Faux Flower Garland: Rentals don’t always have the best lighting, but with a couple strands of string lights and a little inspiration, you can easily boost the mood. String lights are simple to implement and you can use them everywhere, from accent lighting over your bed to a secondary lamp in the living room. (via Little Inspiration)


7. DIY Acrylic Wall Art: Cracks and water stains got you down? Whip up a massive piece of art to cover up those ugly walls ASAP. A giant canvas isn’t too expensive, and it’s the best way to bring color into your space without actually applying paint to walls. (via Brit + Co)


8. DIY Lucite Hand Towel Holder: Swap out hideous bathroom fixtures for something more modern and stylish. The best part is that you can take them with you when you move — just replace the originals, and the landlord will never know. (via A Beautiful Mess)


9. DIY Faux Marble Countertops: Cover up less-than-attractive countertops with marble paper, or try your hand at this DIY marble painting technique. Even the tiniest rental kitchen will look like a million bucks with countertops this pretty. Now you can finally Instagram your morning coffee in style. (via Earnest Home Co.)


10. DIY Hanging Shelf: For a smaller budget or cramped space, hanging shelves will give you a little extra room to show off your #shelfie style. Paint them a hot shade of pink or add a rustic rope for a fun finish. (via Brit + Co)


11. DIY Mid-Century Desk Wall Unit: Take the open shelving trend to new heights and DIY an entire home office on one wall. The holes for the wall mounts are small enough to fill in with putty when it’s time to move out. (via Old Brand New)


12. DIY Felt Cactus: If you can’t even keep an air plant alive, it might be time to consider bringing in some fake greenery. This DIY plush cactus makes a huge visual impact and is totally kid friendly, pet-friendly and black-thumb proof. (via A Beautiful Mess)


13. DIY Fabric Rug Hack: Rental carpet can be downright cringeworthy, so cover it up with this inexpensive and colorful fabric rug DIY. This project is so easy, you’ll find yourself making a rug for every room in the house. (via Brit + Co)


14. DIY Hallway Mudroom: Most apartments are barely blessed with a linen closet, let alone a mudroom. If you’re looking for a creative way to organize your coats and shoes, check out this brilliant hallway hack. All you need are a few feet to set the stage for your entire home, no matter how small it is. (via Brit + Co)


15. DIY Wooden Bead Chandelier: One of the most sure-fire ways to make your rental look more elegant is to improve the lighting situation. Switch out the dated light fixtures with something fresh and modern, like this DIY chandelier. (via A Beautiful Mess)


16. DIY Hanging Leather Planters: When floor space is limited, it’s time to take to the walls. For any apartment-dwelling gardeners who are itching to expand their greenery, these DIY hanging planters are a smart (and adorable) solution. (via Brit + Co)


17. DIY Essential Oil Diffuser: Mask mustiness and your neighbor’s terrible cooking odors with fresh DIY scents. Whether you want to create a more relaxed atmosphere or you’re looking for a romantic blend to set the mood, personalized diffusers are a great way to make your rental really feel like your own space. (via A Beautiful Mess)

Looking for more creative ways to improve your rental? Follow us on Pinterest for more interior inspo and DIY projects!