Living in a rental apartment doesn’t mean it’s not your home. Decorating your rental to feel like your own is an art form in on itself. Sure, you may not be able to change things like furniture, wallpaper, and flooring, especially if you’re on a budget, but it still leaves you with a lot of options. We put together this guide with the intention to provide you with those, keeping in mind you’d want your security deposit back at the end of the lease.
The Best Ways to Decorate a Rental
Let’s start from the ground up. A few rugs can really tie a place together. And they are really easy to move, so it doesn’t matter how often you change the place you live. Aside from their aesthetic appeal, they offer practicality. It’s cozier to walk on a fluffy rug, and if the floor is wood they will really bring the noise down both for you and your neighbors.
Another option you can go for are roll able wooden mats. They are way easier to keep clean than a carpet and lend a modern look to any room. Wood always makes for a cozy atmosphere.
Rentals often come with furniture, and it may not always fit your style. This doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own. Lining your cabinets and shelves is a quick way to give them personality and cover any spots that may be present from wear and tear.
Another option with furniture is thrift store shopping and backyard sales. You can grab pieces for cheap and with a little extra can make them your own in no time. Storage is often overlooked when it comes to style, but it can help a lot. Putting all your favourite books, knick-knacks, and possessions on display will immediately make a room your own.
Getting some quality sofa covers and throw pillows will work like a charm, no matter what kind of couch it is. It would work even better if you’ve matched them to your rug, pillows and even a curtain. That’s a decorative combination that can turn around any room.
It goes without saying that some of the walls might need refreshing, and landlords tend to be lenient toward some sprucing up with fresh paint, as long as it’s nothing too crazy. However you can get really creative with wallpaper without applying it to the wall. Just grab a frame big enough to cover an entire portion of the wall and stretch the wallpaper of choice onto it, then prop it up. Putting it behind a heavy piece of furniture that will help it stand against he wall is a good idea.
If you don’t feel like doing DIY projects, a wall tapestry would do a fine job, and lend just as much cozy to your rental as a rug on the ground. Why not have both infact?
As we mentioned before a good set of drapes for your windows to hide the vertical blinds that often come standard with lease homes is a great idea.
As for wall art, we generally do not recommend putting nails or drilling holes in the walls as that can put your security deposit in jeopardy. We’ll talk a bit more about that in a minute. However if those are already present, by all means – Use them! You can however use your shelving and surfaces of furniture to prop up paintings against the wall.
There’s not much to be said about lighting but this in no way diminishes it’s impact. A good standing lamp isn’t hard to transport from place to place, but you’ll really appreciate the atmosphere it can create. Same goes for any sort of mood lighting that isn’t the ceiling lamp.
The ceiling lamp itself is also subject of decoration. Paper lightshades come in different shapes, sizes and colors nowadays and are extremely easy to install on all kinds of fixtures.
What to Avoid When Decorating a Rental
To preserve you security deposit intact we suggest following these simple rules:
- Do not drill holes of any kind! It might not seem like a big deal, but depending on the age of the building, the material of the wall, or even the place you drill, a tiny hole can end up as something much bigger and hard to fill.
- Always consult your landlord before using paint on anything. Sprucing up rental property may be a noble cause, but not everybody would appreciate the effort.
- Never do modifications that you can’t easily revert to the point it looks like they’ve never been done.
- Keep in mind that the property must look the way it did when you moved into it.