Curbly Original
3 Ways to Give Plain Ornaments a Stylish, Scandi Makeover

by Rachel Jacks
Scandi Christmas ornament makeover
Photo: Rachel Jacks

If you've ever been inspired by try a whole new color scheme or style in your Christmas decor, you may have been deterred by the fact that you'd have to replace all of the ornaments you already have. But with a little paint, you can give your ornaments a makeover, saving cash and keeping your old decor out of the landfill. Here's how I gave some glass bulbs a new look, three different ways. 

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Giant Chunky Knit Blankets to Buy or DIY for Your Coziest Winter Yet

by Rachel Jacks
Chunky knit blanket to buy or DIY
Photo: Colorways Gallery

A few years ago, super chunky knit blankets started popping up on blogs and Pinterest, and I immediately knew I wanted to knit my own. Mine knit up quite quickly and easily, and I've been enjoying its cozy embrace ever since. Now I'm even considering putting one of these kits to knit another on my Christmas list, partly because my cat thinks that the one I made should be reserved soley for her use. But also because I'm really not sure you can have too many of these luscious chunky knit throws. Ready to test that hypothesis? Here are a variety of options for buying or making your own chunky knit blanket. 

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Curbly Original
How To: Give Your Dining Room an Instant Fall Makeover

by Lidy Dipert

How To: Give Your Dining Room an Instant Fall Makeover

It's full-on fall, which means you have an excellent excuse to give your home a mini makeover! Or in this case, your dining room. The trick to styling any space for Autumn is finding that nice balance between modern pieces and combining them with warm and seasonal elements that really translate as homey and cozy. With these simple steps, your dining room will be ready for fall in no time! 

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Curbly Original
Renter-Friendly Backsplash Ideas that Look like a Million Bucks

by Marlene Sauer

Hunting for a rental apartment is just about the worst thing about modern urban life. Not only do you have to contend with application fees and sketchy brokers, compete with other prospective tenants, and traipse through one messy, half-packed living room after another; but once you finally find a place that you can afford and that doesn't have literal holes in the walls --- you have to move in and actually LIVE WITH all the ugly, outdated apartment features that you tried desperately to ignore as you signed the lease and handed over your entire month's income.

Unless, of course, you are a DIYer. 

The only thing we DIYers have to live with is our penchant for hoarding supplies (politely known as "being prepared").

So roll up your sleeves, guys, because today we are going to tackle one often-ignored rental eyesore: the kitchen backsplash. Keep reading to see how these temporary and removable backsplash ideas will make you love your apartment kitchen, without sacrificing your security deposit.          


Peel-and-Stick Tile: The Ultimate Removable Backsplash


DIY renter-friendly backsplash by Daily Disco
Image: Daily Disco

Yes, that jaw-dropping white subway tile backsplash is a DIY. Designer Abby from Daily Disco used this peel-and-stick tile from Amazon to transform her kitchen. Ok, she clearly did a few other things too (helloooo, amazing pink rug!), but the removable backsplash alone makes a huge difference, and you don't have to be a professional contractor to do this yourself.

Peel-and-stick tile is definitely the easiest way to DIY your kitchen backsplash. If you can wrap a present with somewhat straight lines (admittedly a challenge at times), you can install peel-and-stick tile. It comes in an almost overwhelming array of styles. And, most importantly for our purposes, the "tile" can be removed when you move on to your next heinous rental apartment. Inexpensive and renter-friendly!

Check out some more peel-and-stick tile DIY backsplash ideas:

DIY renter-friendly backsplash ideas
Image: Melodrama

Melodrama's DIY backsplash makeover with peel-and-stick tile is another example of how you just can't go wrong with the classic, white subway tile look.


Removable backsplash ideas
Image: RoomMates

This removable backsplash redo on RoomMates shows that you can get a completely different look and style using peel-and-stick tile.


While not quite peel-and-stick, Sincerely Sweetpea's renter-friendly backsplash makes use of a similarly removable product, Facade Backsplash Panels. 


easy renter-friendly backsplash idea
Image: Atelier de Curiosite

And my personal favorite of the bunch: the bloggers behind Atelier de Curiosite made over their Parisian kitchen using white hexagon peel-and-stick tile. Can a rental kitchen get any dreamier??


Peel-and-Stick Tile Sources:

Look out: there are two types of products on the market both called "peel-and-stick tile." For the removable kind that's good for renters, you want 3D sheets that look like tiles; NOT individual tiles that require additional glue. Check out these links for some options! 


  • White hex tile - Etsy
  • Blue sea glass tile - Home Depot
  • Tuscan tile - Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Slate tile - Wayfair
  • Classic white subway tile - Amazon


Fake a Backsplash with Temporary Wallpaper

We live in a truly magical age. An age where things can be sticky, and not sticky, as we wish.

That's why this other peel-and-stick trick, removable wallpaper, is another great DIY renter-friendly backsplash idea. You can simply stick it over your hideous backsplash for a year or two, and pull it up when it's time to go!

Chasing Paper geometric removable wallpaper
Image: Chasing Paper

Chasing Paper has a truly endless selection of removable wallpaper prints to choose from, and inspiring images to get your ideas rolling (Sorry not sorry for sending you down that beautiful rabbit hole). 


Botanical removable wallpaper makes a bold and beautiful statement in Apartment Therapy writer Anna Spaller's rental kitchen.


This mid-mod removable backsplash only cost $30 thanks to peel-and-stick wallpaper. 


how to diy a kitchen backsplash
Image:  Curbly

Our own M.E. used removable vinyl wallpaper to update her kitchen backsplash!


This inventive blogger shows how she was able to make her own custom temporary wallpaper using contact paper. Seriously the smartest use of contact paper I've ever seen.

Guess what: Contact paper is just cheaper removable wallpaper. Mind. Blown.


DIY marble backsplash using contact paper
Image: A Joyful Riot

Love the look of marble, but not the price tag? Contact paper to the rescue!


Removable wallpaper and contact paper sources:

  • Wildflower removable wallpaper - Urban Outfitters
  • Embossed damask removable wallpaper - Wayfair
  • Geometric Art Deco wallpaper - Wayfair
  • Terrazzo tile removable wallpaper - West Elm
  • Subway tile removable wallpaper - Target
  • Dark floral removable wallpaper - Amazon
  • Marble contact paper - Amazon
  • Reclaimed wood contact paper - Amazon


 Change the Look of your Backsplash with Paint

Including "paint" in this roundup might be cheating a bit, since not all landlords will allow their tenants to paint. But for you lucky renters who are allowed to paint, you will just die over all the ways you can makeover your kitchen backsplash using paint (like the DIY herringbone tile backsplash above!). 

If your landlord is hesitant about you going at the kitchen backsplash with a paint roller, offer to paint back over it when you move out. OR, you can always try the "ask for forgiveness, not permission" tactic, just don't hold me liable if you don't get your security deposit back.

And for those of you who can't paint in your apartment, don't worry, I've got a workaround for you later on!

DIY renter-friendly backsplash ideas
Image: One Kings Lane

I know the chalkboard look has been fading in the design scene, but I will never ever tire of a well-executed chalkboard kitchen backsplash. And it's such an easy DIY! As in the example above...


diy backsplash ideas
Image: Remodelista

...or designer C.S. Valentin's charming version


Here's a DIY renter-friendly backsplash idea which doesn't even require you to break out all the brushes and rollers. A Beautiful Mess created this DIY herringbone tile look with just a paint pen and a ruler (and, a lot of patience). 


DIY stenciled tile backsplash
Image: Cutting Edge Stencils

Try using cement tile stencils in a muted palette to paint your DIY backsplash. 


DIY painted glass tile backsplash
Image: via Imgur

Or follow this ambitious DIYer's faux glass tile backsplash tutorial!


And did you know you can actually paint over existing tile?


Make a Removable Backsplash by Installing a Panel

DIY temporary tiled backsplash
Image: Food 52

Renters who fall into the woefully tragic category of Being Unable to Paint, rejoice! You can still make a custom DIY painted backsplash using this workaround: paint -- or even tile -- a removable panel instead.

Food 52's Alex Kalita created her renter-friendly backsplash above by tiling a small plywood board. She then mounted the board to the wall with a French cleat. All very accessible, and very temporary.

This rental hack of creating a backsplash on a temporary board or panel can be customized in so many ways. Take a look at some of these removable backsplash panels:

diy renter-friendly backsplash idea
Image: Door Sixteen
how to make a temporary backsplash
Image: Door Sixteen

Anna Dorfman puts this technique to creative use with her graphic painted backsplash in her rental kitchen on Door Sixteen.


This unique and colorful backsplash is made of painted peel-and-stick tile. To make the project removable and renter-friendly, you can stick the painted tiles onto a panel cut to size, instead. And, use removable Velcro strips to keep the panels in place!


I am beyond obsessed with all things copper, which led me to discover these amazing copper sheet rolls on Amazon. I used them to create a magnetic copper inspiration board, and have been itching to recreate the project on a larger scale.

Can you imagine a brilliant, shiny, patina-rich copper backsplash in your rental kitchen? It would be totally renter-friendly if you applied the copper sheet rolls onto a board attached to the wall.

diy tin tile backsplash
Image: DIY Network

You can adapt the same idea using tin tiles from the hardware store, as the DIY Network did here.


Shiplap is having a major moment, and the panel trick can make this stylish look possible in a rental too. Just use the tutorial from A Beautiful Mess, but combine it with Door Sixteen's panel backsplash. 


Or, go totally wild and create a custom mosaic backsplash! If you make the mosaic on a single, smaller board, such as for just behind the sink or stove, you can even take the project with you for your next rental kitchen.


Renter-friendly backsplash ideas you can DIY
Don't forget to share these ideas on Pinterest!

Alright, DIYers, I want to hear about your own rental kitchens. Do you have an eyesore apartment backsplash that's in need of some love? Would you try one of these temporary DIY backsplash ideas? We'd love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments!

Craving more ideas to turn your rental into a home you can love? Check out these other posts! 

Apartment-friendly ideas

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Curbly Original
Quick DIY Refresh: Easy Lamp Makeover Project

by Faith Provencher
Lamp makeover | Before
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

I've had this lamp forever, and I was totally over it. Ready to buy a new one. But the crafter in me wanted to give it one more chance, so I decided to give it a makeover using spray paint and thumbtacks. Yep that's right, thumbtacks. Click through to check out the final product along with instructions so you can recreate the look.       


Lamp makeover | After
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Much better, right? The thumbtacks give it a little metallic flair, and the paint adds some color. So let's get started!


Materials used to make over lamp
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher


  • Lamp
  • Spray paint
  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic bag
  • Thumbtacks
  • Pliers with wire cutters
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • E6000 glue (not pictured)


Lamp makeover | Step 1
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Begin by removing the shade and bulb from your lamp. Wrap a plastic bag around the section that you don't want to be painted, and secure it with painter's tape. Make sure the tape is straight and the ends meet evenly. Tape the cord as well.



Lamp makeover | Step 2
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Spray paint the bottom of the lamp using two to three very light coats of spray paint. Let each coat dry thoroughly in between.


Thumbtack lampshade | Step 3
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

While the last coat of paint is drying, begin working on your lampshade. Add a pencil mark every inch along the bottom edge of your lampshade. Place the marks about a half inch from the bottom of the shade. 


Thumbtack lampshade | Step 4
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Next, begin removing the sharp points from the thumbtacks. Cut them as close to the round tops as possible.


Thumbtack lampshade | Step 5
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

Most likely, there will still be a small sharp point left... put a small dab of E6000 glue at that point and poke it through the first pencil mark. Repeat the process until you have glued tacks all the way around the perimeter of the lampshade. If you can feel the sharp points on the inside of the shade, you'll want to add a tiny dab of glue over the points as well so that nobody cuts themselves.

Thumbtack lampshade with painted lamp base
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

And that's all, folks! I told you it was easy. I was planning to buy a whole new lamp for this area of our dining room, but now that this one has a fancy new 'do, I don't have to! 

Detail of thumbtack lampshade
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

You could also use gold tone thumbtacks if you like, to give it a different look. And any spray paint color would work... pick one that coordinates well with your decor. 

Lamp makeover
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

That small pop of color on the bottom makes the lamp feel more solid, and helps it stand up to the other colors in the room.

Detail shot of lamp makeover
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

And I love the way the thumbtacks make it feel a bit more expensive, giving it almost an upholstered look. Have fun!

Photo: Faith Towers Provencher


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Curbly Original
Before and After: How Smart Storage Transformed our Laundry Room

by Stephanie Lee

Before photo of our cluttered laundry room

I've always thought of my laundry room as the most troublesome room in our house. Not only is it narrow, but all of one side is taken up by a washing machine, sink and toilet. Add to that the fact that there are 2 doors that open inward, and the space starts to feel very small indeed.

I'd long ago resigned myself to having a difficult laundry room I didn't enjoy being in. Turns out I couldn't have been more wrong!

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Curbly Original
Take a Tour of Trenton + Cambria's Minimalist Home and Learn Some Amazing Tips for Staying Organized

by Lidy Dipert

A Minimalist Home Tour and Tips For Staying Organized

Today is an exciting day! Let's take a peek inside the charming townhouse of an equally charming Canadian couple, Trenton and Cambria. Located in a quaint town just 20 minutes outside of Calgary, Alberta, you will find this darling and minimal home, full of bright light, airy spaces and crisp white walls that really allow their handmade furniture pieces to shine. Plus, they share some tips and tricks into how they live this perfectly simple and minimal life. Enjoy!    

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Curbly Original
A Small Hallway Gets a Minimal Makeover

by Lidy Dipert

A Small Hallway Gets a Minimal Makeover

Hallways can often be the spaces in the home that get overlooked and definitely taken for granted. They seem to just be a pointless area that allows transportation from one room to the next. And really, they deserve just as much attention to detail than any other space in the house. It might just be an area that feels aimless and wayward, but maybe it just needs a little love and attention. 

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12 Camper Makeovers that will Amaze You

by Holly Wade

I'm going to let you all in on a little dream of mine. I want to makeover a vintage camper SO badly! I'm a little more concerned with buying a house right now (ugh), but one day, I would love nothing more than to purchase a rundown vintage trailer and make it over into the cutest, coziest trailer to take on adventures and camping trips. Since I'm more interested in "glamping" than actual camping, these camper makeovers seemed like the perfect inspiration for me. To get inspired, I put together 12 camper makeovers that are sure to amaze you and make you want to run out and buy a camper/trailer/RV tomorrow to make all of your glamping dreams come true!

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9 Tips for an Amazing (or at Least Tolerable) Road Trip with Your Pet

by M.E. Gray

Traveling with dogs and cats - 9 tips for a less stressful road trip

Pets. We love them, and sometimes when we're traveling, we don't want to leave them. Whether it's because your boarding situation isn't ideal, or you just can't imagine going on a vacation without them, you want to make sure you and your dog (or cat!) are prepared for a pleasant and non-stressful road trip. I've hit the road a few times with this furry lady pictured here, and after a few hundred hours in the car together, we've learned a thing or two. Here are some tips for traveling with dogs (and cats!) as you head out on your vacation this summer.             

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Curbly Original
14 Easy Picture Frame Makeover Ideas

by Holly Wade
Picture frame makeover ideas - Photo via Dream Green DIY
Photo by Dream Green DIY

Whether you're decorating your home with stand-alone frames or a gallery wall, you may begin to feel bored in a sea of plain white frames. I get it, they're my go-to choice too! Luckily, it's easy to makeover craft frames or plain white frames throughout your home to give it a more personalized look. With these easy picture frame makeover ideas, you'll be able to make each frame feel unique - like it was made for the photo inside of it! Add color, texture and more with these simple makeover ideas that will give your home decor a touch of character.

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IKEA Bathroom Vanity Ideas

by Faith Provencher

In case you haven't noticed, we here at Curbly have a bit of an obsession with IKEA hacks. And no place is a better candidate that the bathroom. Here are two great IKEA bathroom vanity ideas that will inspire you to hit the big blue box aisles for your next remodel.

First up, how the Kallax shelving unit below was transformed into a beautiful IKEA bathroom vanity. 

Before and After: Ikea Bathroom Vanity From An IKEA Kallax


Before and After: Ikea Bathroom Vanity From a Kallax Shelving Unit ...

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