Just because you don’t own a place doesn’t mean you can’t make it home. It’s a challenge to decorate rented space, I know. Most landlords and rental companies don’t like it when you make holes in the walls for mounting pictures or paint the walls to make them brighter. Despite these imposed limits, it’s still possible to make your space unique.
When you decorate a rental, you don’t focus on knocking down walls to create open floor plans. Instead, look at movable and versatile storage spaces, easy-to-remove decorations, and inexpensive upgrades that make an impact. You don’t want to live like a temporary squatter or live in limbo, even in a temporary space.
Storage & Living Space
Rentals always seem to be too small, in my experience. Storage is never enough, so using the space you have is important, particularly in your living room. It’s both a living space and a place to entertain, so you don’t want too much clutter.
Try to use every surface and spread stuff out, not just the coffee table. You can use surfaces like a fireplace mantle for photos, candles, or other decorative objects. Maybe you have a windowsill, which is perfect for plants, and many older houses even have little built-in nooks and shelves useful for storing books, records, and other paraphernalia.
Or maybe instead of storing all those old magazines on top of your coffee table, put them underneath. After all, you need to leave a bit of space for your coffee cup. But you don’t have to leave the coffee table completely bare. Just keep it clean enough to use and so it doesn’t look cluttered.
Showcase what makes things you. I had a friend whose living room was made up of crates and shelves filled with old vinyl records, movies, and books. He was a vinyl afficionado as well as an actor. Cover the floors with a rug, especially if the floors, like in many places I’ve stayed, look particularly scruffy. Getting the right furniture too, often makes a place more like home. And it needn’t be expensive, either. Secondhand shops are everywhere, and maybe you can get an old piece from a parent, to remind you of where you grew up.
Plants & the Kitchen
Houseplants are essential for making an apartment or house you’ve rented into a home. They freshen the air and some herbs can even be grown inside, which are useful in cooking. In fact, a kitchen is a great place for plants, as it’s easy to keep them watered there, and they add a bit of living ambiance. If you need to go away for long periods, such as for work, make sure you’ve got a reliable person to check in on your plants, or else make sure your plants are varieties that can go long periods without watering, like succulents.
Rolling shelves make great kitchen cabinets, and you can bring the pots and utensils closer to where you’re cooking. It also is much less of a hassle when deconstructing.
Space in bedrooms is often an issue. Wooden crates and pallets are versatile for creating it. Crates can be used for shelves, from storing shoes to clothing baskets, or for anything really. Using pallets to prop up a mirror means you won’t have to fill in the holes when you move out, or get charged for it.
You can make it look like you have wallpaper by using removable wallpaper, particularly useful in older apartments or houses, which probably once had the real stuff. If you don’t have the time or the patience to spend a couple of hours putting it up throughout the room, just make a statement wall. Maybe that was the wall with the ugly stain.
If you don’t have enough space in your closet, you can use a rolling clothes rack.
For bathrooms, setting up a small shelf with a cup for toothpaste and toothbrush and other bathroom stuff helps save space. You can also make a bathroom look larger by hanging the shower curtain from the ceiling.
You can also do things like changing the showerhead to one that better suits you. Or you can put a chair in the bathroom to hold towels if there’s no towel rack.
Here are some additional ideas you can use for decorating and making space around your rented home:
Bookshelves for storage and to display knickknacks instead of hanging shelves.
Assorted pillows and blankets to create patterns by covering your furniture.
Adhesive hooks to hang pictures.
If you have enough magazines, you can even use them as a side table.
A bar cart makes a great, and mobile, shelf for other things, or to just keep booze and glasses.
Bamboo blinds on apartment balconies give you more privacy.
Hide unsightly electricity boxes with a picture, or hang something over it.
Changing the lighting helps you gain control over the environment, so changing fixtures can help change the mood of an area.
Avoid putting holes in the wall by using command hooks and tape.
You may be able to paint a room neutral color, a good idea if the color is particularly heinous.
Putting up your own curtains will make any rented space feel more like home.
Remember, if you live in Florida or any high-risk stats, check with your landlord if he/she has a landlord insurance policy or homeowners’ insurance policy. There are differences between the two, the first one is the policy the landlord need to protect the business side. For more information about that click here.
Depending on what kind of stuff you have, it may make sense to get renters’ insurance, which will cover your belongings in a rented home. Think about what it will cost to replace all your stuff as well as the monthly expense when deciding on a renters’ insurance policy. For some, it may be worth it, and for others, not so much.