Being a lessee can feel downright prohibitive. Don't do this. Don't move that. Don't paint anything. What's a person who wants to create a "home sweet home" to do? Leases usually prevent any sort of fixture changes or wall-painting projects. And you certainly can't start swinging a construction ball.

Being a lessee can feel downright prohibitive.

Don't do this. Don't move that. Don't paint anything.

What's a person who wants to create a "home sweet home" to do? Leases usually prevent any sort of fixture changes or wall-painting projects. And you certainly can't start swinging a construction ball.

Of course, there are reasons landlords want certain things untouched. But if you're moving into a place with a style that doesn't suit you or you just want to snazz your current rental up a little bit, there's plenty that can be done within the parameters of a lease.

It's best to start by examining what you already own. If you're on a tight budget, a new paint job on your kitchen chairs, coffee table or desk might do the trick. Don't underestimate how much a single paint color can unite a diverse mix of objects, suggests online publication Rental Decorating Digest.

If you can afford it, entirely new furniture can turn the place around. If not, try adding a new throw rug or pillows.

You can also focus on removable items like light fixtures - things you can replace with the original and take with you when you move. Try putting a colored light bulb in a lamp to lend a different aura to a room.

And if you're really interested in making home improvements, talk to your landlord. With his or her advance approval, you might be allowed to make permanent changes that are appreciated. Keep in mind that most leases state any improvements you make become the property of the landlord at the end of your lease.

Here are some other non-invasive options:

If you want to paint the walls (and you're allowed) ... consider picking a light color. Most leases require you paint over your work with primer before moving out, and a light shade will cover much easier. Or paint just one accent wall to save time covering it up later.

If you want to paint the walls (and you're not allowed) ... try stretching fabric over an oversized wood frame to create a backdrop that anchors a room. Rental Decorating Digest suggests using starch to apply swaths of fabric to a wall, just as you would wallpaper. Before you move, it peels off easily and without leaving residue.

Or try wall decals. You can find designs big and small that stick to the wall and are completely removable. Looks range from elegant to whimsical, and some companies custom-make them.

If your windows are bare ... don't spend money on pricey blinds, since they probably won't fit the windows in your next place. Instead, put up a rod with curtains in a color you think you'd use again. Consider buying fabric and sewing a loop into the top to save money.

If you want to make a good first impression ... spiff up the outside. Bright flowers can make a huge difference, and no landlord's going to complain about those.