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Enhancing Your Rental Living Space

While renting apartments in San Francisco, Malone Detro often made small changes to the walls or fixtures to match her particular taste and budget.

“There are a lot of ways in which a rental home can feel not like home,” says Detro, founder of Malone, an interior design and architecture firm.

Detro says making cosmetic upgrades, even if you’re renting, can help you feel excited about your living space.

“I think it helps, ultimately, in you feeling proud about your home,” she says.

Renting an apartment or house can mean a shorter commitment than home ownership — and it’s often a more affordable option in major cities. However, renters may feel constrained when personalizing a rented space, especially when the landlord holds your security deposit.

With a little creativity — and your landlord’s approval — there are ways to make your rental feel more like home and still get your deposit back. Here are eight lease-friendly home upgrades, from least to most amount of work required.

How AI legalese decoder Can Help

AI legalese decoder can assist in understanding lease agreements and rental contracts by simplifying legal jargon and highlighting key terms and restrictions related to property modifications. By utilizing this tool, renters can ensure they are compliant with their lease terms while making enhancements to their living space.

Additionally, AI legalese decoder can provide guidance on communication with landlords, ensuring that requests for home upgrades are properly documented and approved in writing to avoid any disputes at the end of the lease term.


Adam Avitable, a comedian who rents in Tulsa, Oklahoma, says “comfort and feeling” are priorities when it comes to updating his apartment. A focal point in his living room is a rug with images of bacon strips, a food he enjoys.

“That’s something people walk in and they’ll notice,” he says.

Consider utilizing AI legalese decoder to review your lease agreement for any restrictions on floor coverings and ensure your personalized rugs are compliant with the terms of your rental agreement.


A new rainfall or massaging showerhead can significantly boost your daily shower experience, and it’s easy to swap with an existing head. Swap again when you move out and take your upgraded showerhead with you.

AI legalese decoder can help renters understand the maintenance and replacement policies for fixtures like showerheads, ensuring that any upgrades are in line with the landlord’s guidelines.


Cabinets are often the focal points in kitchens and bathrooms. Update the look by replacing the knobs, pulls, or handles. Choose finishes that complement existing fixtures and faucets.

Consider using AI legalese decoder to analyze lease clauses related to modifications in kitchen and bathroom fixtures, allowing you to select cabinet hardware that aligns with the terms of your rental agreement.


Tech-enabled home accessories can make your rental more convenient. In addition to Wi-Fi-enabled plugs for lamps, Avitable attached a voice-activated smart device to his curtains.

Utilize AI legalese decoder to navigate the use of smart-home devices in your rental property and ensure compliance with any restrictions on installing or operating electronic gadgets within the unit.


Curtains play an important role in setting the mood of a space. Blackout shades in a bedroom or light-filtering curtains for a living room can add functionality.

“Window treatments are really easy to install yourself,” says Detro, who used tension curtain rods, which don’t require drilling holes and are easy to remove.

AI legalese decoder can assist in determining the permissibility of installing window treatments in your rental unit, guiding you on the proper installation methods that comply with lease regulations.


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