8 Semi-Permanent Ways to Refresh Your Space

Produced by Architectural Digest with The Home Depot.
These simple tricks add style when you need it but can disappear in a flash

Whether you live in a rental with a landlord who lacks a certain aesthetic vision or have a habit of playing musical chairs with your real estate, there are plenty of reasons why embarking on a full-scale home renovation isn’t an option. But don’t let a peripatetic existence prevent you from transforming your current address from a place to kill time to somewhere you might actually want to stay in for a while. If the thought of investing time and money into a residence that changes with the seasons has you throwing your hands up in defeat, consider these simple, semi-permanent ways to refresh your space. Not only are they inexpensive and painless to install, they’re also easy to remove on your way out the door.

1. Removable wallpaper is a thing.

We’ve all heard horror stories about gluing paper to walls—even worse about getting it off of them—but new peel-and-stick wallpapers make it easy to add stylish pattern in any space without having to deal with the hassle of chiseling them off on moving day.

2. Contact paper isn’t just for covering high-school textbooks.

Use the all-purpose covering to modernize a laminate countertop, a non-existent backsplash, or weathered appliances with a faux-marble or stainless steel finish that comes right off in no time.

3. Paint the plain away.

Upgrade standard white walls with a nuanced shade that highlights your furnishings—you can always paint over it before you drop your keys off for good. You can also color decorative trim and molding an unexpected hue or opt for chalkboard paint instead of installing peg- or corkboard in the kitchen.

4. Increase your kitchen’s shelf life.

Install a hanging unit or open shelving on your kitchen wall for wine glasses and other aesthetically pleasing storage. You can do the same in the bathroom—just accessorize with sponges, candles, and spa-scented soaps—or in a makeshift entryway or closet.

5. Replace dated hardware and cheap lighting.

It’s amazing what a new knob or pull can do for existing cabinetry. Unscrew the offending hardware, then store in a place you won’t forget so you can re-install them once your boxes are all packed away. Ditto for bottom-shelf lighting that isn’t doing your space any favors.

6. Hang it up.

Performance fabrics have come a long way. Available in a range of colors, patterns, and textures, they make it easier than ever to decorate for kids, pets, or messy roommates.

7. Consider a tension plan.

For instances when installing shelving isn’t an option, opt instead to use a tension rod, which can be inserted in a closet to create an impromptu shoe rack, or above a kitchen sink to hang pots or utensils. Paired with iron-on hem tape, they can also help you make roman shades for your windows.

8. When all else fails, command hooks to the rescue.

Is there anything these nifty décor staples can’t do? Adhere clear ones to your walls to hang floating shelves or a featherweight curtain rod without drilling, or framed photos and artwork for a pro gallery wall.