Decorating your rented home can be challenging, because if you want to bring your own style and character to the rented space, it may be necessary to limit your changes to those that you will be able to undo when you leave. But no worries!
Here are some essential tips for renters who want to create a beautiful and unique living space without making any permanent changes and without wasting money:
The first and foremost rule for decorating your rented home and projecting your unique style to the space is to find out what you can or cannot do with the rented area. Check your lease and check in with your landlord. Do not just assume that you cannot paint, put nails in the wall or change the curtains.
If you are planning to be in the home for a while, you can suggest changes to the landlord that may actually add value to the property. For example, if there are problems in the home such as bad flooring, it may be possible to suggest a change and offer to pay a third or half of the cost with the landlord.
If you cannot do major or are limited to minor changes only, there are still many ways available for decorating your rented home to make it your own. Here are a few:
Rented homes often come with boring blinds or curtains. If you are able to take them down, put them away carefully so you can put them up again when you leave, if necessary.
Since you will be able to take your own window dressings with you when you leave, your expense will likely be a good investment. You can find many simple and budget-friendly options online or on apps such as Pinterest.
Examples such as bamboo roman shades with or without simple hung curtains are very good options.
Don’t forget to also check out static cling window covers for privacy while letting light in. No sticking involved and they are easily removable.
If the lighting fixtures in the rented space are uninspiring or offer not enough or too much light, this is one area that can be easily remedied.
Overhead lights can usually be switched out with ease (remember to put away carefully the ones you are replacing to be put back when you leave) and can add instant ambience to any room. You Tube videos abound with ways to switch out dated light fixtures with your own choices.
Sometimes just replacing some lampshades (if your rental space is furnished), can bring an interesting personal touch to a room.
Bulbs can be easily changed also. Lower wattages can help with ambiance.
Placing lamps at different levels such as on the floor, some on desks, some on shelves combined with various bulb strengths, and the rented space can project a welcoming glow.
If the kitchen is one of those dark holes, you can also string some stick on led lights under the cabinets.
Flooring that is not appealing but cannot be replaced can be a very common issue with rental properties. There is an easy remedy for hiding ugly flooring while adding color and interest to any room. The answer is the area rug.
Area rugs come in so many different styles, textures, materials, colors, and designs. They can also be layered. A large, neutral rug can cover a carpet that is not neutral and will not clash with it. A colorful cotton rag rug in a neutral bathroom or kitchen is a good way to add color and texture. And your investment will not be wasted because you can take them with you when you leave the property.
To cover that ugly kitchen linoleum, inexpensive peel-and-stick vinyl tiles can be placed over the floor and easily removed when you leave.
If your lease does not allow nails in the walls, there are many creative ways to display art and photos. Remember also that some landlords will allow nails in the wall as long as you remove them, fill the holes, and paint when you leave.
Small pictures and photos can be displayed on shelves. Bigger ones can be leaned against walls which can lend a relaxed feel to a room, especially with very large pieces. Stick to a color theme throughout the images for a cohesive scheme that will tie in with the overall décor in the room.
Use electronic digital photo frames for a slideshow of favorite photos.
Another display option would be to paint or wallpaper some canvases on big boards in your favorite colors to lean against a wall.
Yet another option for artworks in order to avoid marks and holes in the wall are easels to set pictures on. Art works can be displayed on decorative ladders, corner shelves, and room dividers as well.
Command Hooks can be used to hang pictures, since they are completely removable. A ‘gallery’ wall covered in favorite family or vacation photos can be an excellent way to reflect your particular style in a rented home.
Mirrors can be used to add depth. They can elongate and brighten up spaces. Again, if you can’t hang them, you can lean them up against walls or purchase a mirror with a stand or a room divider with mirrors.
your lease does not allow for painting the walls, removable wallpaper may be an
option for you, especially
if the walls are smooth. Some removable wallpaper can be painted as well and can be used to sample a particular
color and how it would look like on a particular wall area.
You can use Washi Tape, a masking-like tape that is very durable and flexible and comes in a variety of widths, textures, patterns, and colors. It tears easily and can be safely applied to a variety of smooth surfaces. It shouldn’t leave a sticky residue behind, making it especially ideal for home décor and craft projects alike. Read the instructions carefully, though. Sometimes (depending on the brand that you use and how long it is attached) Washi Tape can leave small lines of adhesive residue. The product may also create lines under the tape on walls that receive direct sunlight.
When striping a wall as shown below (annkelle.com), use 3 layers of each color because the tape is thin.
Peel and stick backsplashes for the kitchen can add a new dimension but make sure they are completely removable and won’t damage the wall.
For walls that are bumpy or otherwise unsightly, it may be possible to staple some fabric to the edges of those walls or hang a tapestry.
Adding your favorite plants to the rental space is one way of showing your personality in a very easy and affordable way. Plants can transform a room with little effort. All that is needed is a touch of green here and there. Perhaps you can also collect artsy flower pots (at garage sales or Etsy online or eBay, etc.) to house them.
Fresh herbs on a windowsill are not only lovely but useful as well.
Hanging plants can be set on shelf, if one is available.
Check with a plant nursery for suggestions on what plants would be best for your particular situation.
If live plants will not work for you, different types of dried flowers and arrangements may be just the thing to add interest and color to your space. Even a simple vase with dried flowers can really brighten up an area of a room.
Many renters may be allowed to change the handles on kitchen, bedroom, bathroom cabinetry, and on doors and entrance doors.
New handles can usually be easily installed on simple
cabinet doors to instantly
uplift the overall impact of the kitchen. Again, all can be taken with as long as you
have carefully packed away
Replacing the kitchen faucet may be something the landlord will appreciate.
Is your refrigerator filled with stains? 1 roll of black contact paper or an interesting removable wallpaper design can be applied for an amazing look. It can be easily removed when you leave.
Even something as small as updating the total paper roll holder can make a difference.
A new toilet seat, either white or wood, would be a pleasant addition to a rental bathroom.
A new shower head, such as a rain forest one, is an easy fix and a welcome one.
An interesting effect can be accomplished with changing out the old light switch plates and wall outlet covers for new ones (saving the old ones, of course).
Think you are stuck with old radiators? Check out radiator covers that can double as bookshelves or for displaying photos, etc.
As much as anything else, this is where your own creativity can take over. These are the finishing touches for any décor and the most personable. Cushions, bedspreads, and throws come in a plethora of colors and textures. It is an added plus that these are items you are going to take with you.
A few bold colored items like a chair or a sofa can also bring character to a room.
Another idea is to invest in a room divider or screen. They can be used as is or covered in fabric or wallpaper and add a distinctive touch to any room. Some of them come fitted with shelves and others feature artwork.
Investing in a fabric-covered headboard can make a big difference in an otherwise dull bedroom.
If you have furniture that can be painted, this would be another way to add color and interest to an area. Try a bold color because you can always repaint the furniture if you get tired of the color.
We hope some of the above suggestions for making your rented space your own have sparked your interest!
The internet is our best friend for ideas and suggestions on this subject. Websites for eBay, Etsy, Wayfair, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and a plethora of others are available 24/7. Pinterest and You Tive, especially, are some of the best sites to garner ideas for decorating a rented home.
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