While I look forward to the day that I can make any update that I want, I'm currently pretty happy with my rental - even if it has weird textured walls that look like lemon meringue (seriously though, why?). I know a lot of people struggle with how to make their rental "their own". Just because you can't paint that walls or do any big stuff, that doesn't mean that there aren't some small things to make it feel more like home.
Use Those Walls
Just because you can't paint them doesn't mean you can't use them. You can easily create a gallery wall, filled with art or photos, to reflect your tastes and showcase memories. The best thing about gallery walls is that there really isn't a wrong or right way to do them, no matter what you may read otherwise. Just arrange in a way that works for you! Open shelving is another amazing way to use the walls that you have. Not only does it "dress them up", giving you something other than blank walls, but it also adds some storage - something that rentals are usually notoriously lacking.
Make an Investment
You can't invest much in the space itself, but you can and should Invest in one or two furniture pieces that you absolutely love. You'll be able to take it with you so there is no reason to hate the furniture that fills you space.
Dress up the Floors
An area rug can do a lot to transform the look and feel of any apartment. Adding texture is mostly always a good idea and that's just what they do. A few recommendations:
Go bold - an area rug is a great place to incorporate different patterns when you're limited elsewhere. Consider the colors - I made the mistake of having way too much white in my rug, which very easily collected dirt. Consider how you'll realistically use the rug and factor in color selection from there. Another benefit: the plush feel under your feet.
Nope, it's not just for outfits. It may sound frivolous, but it can make a huge impact. Throw pillows and other decorative touches can do all of the loud talking. Most of the time, the accessories have the stories and are the things that people pay attention to first.
Carve Out Space for Hobbies
If you at all can, be sure to incorporate a space for hobbies. It makes a huge different in whether or not a space feels like home.