Have fun exploring easy decor tips on how to upgrade your rental property with minimal fuss and risk to your deposit.
Renters, take heart: long gone are the days when you had only limited options to turn your rented property into a welcoming home. With the growing size of the rental market, which is seeing people staying much longer in rented accommodations as a result of rising house prices and stagnant wages, creative ideas are emerging to help “generation rent” transform their living spaces into stylish abodes.
You don’t have to break the bank to implement many of these home decor ideas; in some cases basic DIY skills will be more than enough to style the not-so-great-looking parts of your home. Below are a few tips for you to get started.
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1. Paint the walls, the ceiling and the doors
I know this may sound cliché, but believe it or not, fresh coats of paint in the right hues can help turn a tired looking rental into a very decent home within days. I’ve personally been there and done that in my Wimbledon rented apartment. For this one, you will need to have a conversation with your landlord to agree on the best way forward, particularly if the place has not been painted for more than five years.
Identify the rooms that you want to paint. Then take paint colour samples, and try them on first on a very small part of the surface that you want to paint to see what they actually look like once applied. This will help you make the right decision for the hues you want to go for.
2. Hang drill-free removable blinds
To maintain your privacy and filter uncomfortable levels of sunlight from getting in whilst you relax, opt for no drill blinds that could be made to measure for your windows or glass doors either as paper blinds or in beautiful fabrics, depending on your preferred style and budget.
In a nutshell the easy fitting blinds require no drilling, no screws, and most importantly, no holes on the walls, making them the perfect hassle free solution in your rented property.
3. Add curtains to elevate your rooms’ style
Aside from adding warmth to a space, high quality curtains do tend to elegantly transform a room and give it more depth. Whether you are into blackout curtains, velvet, or lightweight voiles, depending on the atmosphere you want to create in your rooms, choose fabrics that will work well with your curtain poles and your wall colours, and that will complement your furniture pieces and decor accessories. If shopping online, ask for a fabric sample first, before making a splurge.
For rental homes, eyelet curtains are my favourites, because they are easy to install and to take down for a clean up or when you move home.
4. Swap out cabinet and door knobs
Another simple way to upgrade your rental is by replacing knobs on the doors, the drawers and the cabinets with more elegant options such as brass, glass, or porcelain that better align with the overall aesthetics you are seeking to create in your living spaces.
Just remember to store the original ones in a safe closet that you will need to reinstall when you move out.
5. Use hanging strips to display wall art & decor
The days when you needed to seek permission from your landlord to hang pictures or any other wall art are over, thanks to hanging strips. They come in different sizes and can easily carry heavy wall frames and other decorative objects that you want to display on the walls, with no need to drill, screw, and create holes on the walls.
You can now get creative with wall displays of your paintings, juju hats, gallery walls, photographs, masks and other artefacts that you have collected during your travel adventures. Go for it!
6. Fake a kitchen backsplash
Choose realistically looking peel-and-stick contact paper or wallpaper tiles that you can easily install to update the kitchen backsplash at home. This is an easy way to get the look of a classic subway tile in your rental kitchen for a fraction of the cost and the hassle.
First things first, measure the area that you want to cover and buy a little bit more contact paper than you might need to have a few extras to replace when some tiles start to peel off.
Photo: © Lime Lace
Make sure you properly clean the kitchen backsplash before the installation process.
7. Cover your dated cabinets and countertops
If you can’t stand the granny looking cabinets or countertops in your kitchen, your bathroom or any other room in your rental, just get some removable self-adhesive contact paper in patterns that you fancy to elegantly conceal them.
Water resistant vinyl contact papers in glossy marble, terrazzo, faux wood, and quartz are very trendy right now. Pick the ones you fancy, and enjoy your DIY.
8. Replace bad lighting fixtures
Good lighting fixtures do help make an impact and create a welcoming ambience in your home. Unscrew the ones that are installed in your rental with the help of an electrician if possible, and store them safely.
9. Decorate with nature
There is a reason why interior stylists like low-maintenance indoor plants and dried flowers and plants such as pampas grass as practical decor accessories to add colour to and update rental properties.
Curate a selection of indoor plants that work for your lifestyle and your interior aesthetics, then find creative ways to display them in small and large pots in your living spaces to add pops of colour where you see fit.
10. Create accent walls with removable wallpaper
The array of gorgeous looking removable wallpapers on the market now make it possible for long-term renters to cleverly conceal some wall imperfections and to create interesting focal points in their rental spaces.
Photo: © Lola Design Ltd
Tuck away ugly kitchen appliances or bring an interesting feature to a bedroom that will showcase your personality in a rather sophisticated yet simple way.
11. Hide hideous floors with removable flooring
Have you ever walked into your perfect rental to feel let down by the state of the ugly floors that make you want to reconsider whether it is a good idea at all to move in? Well, many renters have experienced it, and they now have quite a few options to explore to deal with it.
Unless you are looking at dreadful carpeted floors, DIY friendly peel-and-stick vinyl stickers, sophisticated vinyl planks, or laminate planks are now available in realistic flooring designs from wood effect to marble, helping you find the best solution for your flooring.
Choosing the right flooring style, colour, scale, and layout will make you feel as if you have moved into a whole brand new home. As for vinyl planks, you can definitely take them with you when you move out.
12. Invest in transitional furniture pieces
Transitional furniture pieces are great, because they blend traditional and contemporary design features to create more modern and sophisticated looks with a timeless feel. These are great for rentals, particularly those that come with existing furniture, because they are easy to mix and match with different furniture styles, be they uber modern or more traditional in their design.
Photo: © OKA
Consequently, to add freshness and timeless classic to your temporary home, select transitional furniture, ideally in neutral or monochromatic tones, that can work well in your rental and that you will take with you when you depart for your new place.
13. Play with soft furnishings
Swapping soft furnishings when the seasons change is another budget-friendly way to update your rental. Put the heavy winter throws in the closet, bring in new cushions, scented candles, coffee table books, small area rugs, trinkets, and voila! Your new home has been spruced up for a new season.
14. Opt for flexible storage solutions
Storage is king in a rental space, because you want to cleverly maximise every inch of your accommodation. For the living areas and the bedrooms, consider adding to your decor flexible free standing shelving units, console tables, bookcases, coffee tables with storage, credenza, and bedside cabinets.
Photo: © Olivia’s
They require no drill, no screws and no holes on the walls, and they are perfect to store a myriad of items from your best China, books, to your clothes and lingerie.
As for the kitchen, a little investment on kitchen storage accessories to maximise space use will go a long way. Spice rack carousels, stylish bonbon jars, handwoven artisan storage baskets, and beautiful tea canisters should be on your priority list when you opt to update the kitchen in your rental property. Have fun and unleash your creativity!