As a renter, there's only so much you can do to spruce up what you're given. It's tricky to make any permanent changes, like installing a new countertop or replacing old lighting fixtures, because a.) you're investing in an apartment which you do not own and b.) if the changes you make are so great that they increase the value of your apartment, you could face increased rent when you go to renew. It's a vicious cycle.
When I stumbled upon these decorative window decals from Emma James, I thought this is the solution for those renters who are stuck with an ugly view! At just around $100, you could turn a dreary window into a focal point. Plus, when it comes time to move, just remove it and reapply it at the next place.
Photo Credit: 2jane