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Decorating tips for renters

Ask your landlord what you can and cannot do

All too often, we assume we won’t be allowed to paint, change curtains, or put nails in walls, check the terms of your lease first and don’t just assume that you can’t push things a bit. If you think you’ll be there for a while and want to change something, put it to your landlord and make your case as to why something should change. It can add value to their property after all. They probably won’t be willing to change the flooring or anything major like that, but if it is particularly bad, you can always offer to cover a third or half of the cost with them.

1. Windows

When you rent a property, things like windows are often ignored as you decorate, and they often come with rather lackluster blinds and curtains.

Keep it simple with lovely linens and cottons that hang beautifully.

2. Lighting

Just like windows, lighting is something we often assume we have no control over. Swapping out cumbersome shades for pretty rattan ones, it’s important to ‘add lamps and create a bit of a mood.  Lighting is the most important thing and always the best place to start.

Use lighting to make the most of a room’s size and shape up lighting makes a room feel larger, low hung pendants will create an illusion of height and clusters of lighting make large rooms seem cozier.

Keep theme, color schemes and material finish consistent throughout the home, especially when it comes to lighting. Neutral, lighter tones will open a space and make it appear larger, statement pops of color will add interest, while darker hues add a touch of luxury and coziness. Keep it simple and consistent.


3. Adding color

If you can’t paint the walls, you can paint or wallpaper big boards or canvases in colors you love and leave them propped up like leaning art that can become a feature. Cushions, throws and rugs are a great way to inject some color if you’re not sure where to start. Bolder items like a pink sofa can bring so much fun and character to a room.

4. Fabrics

For lovers of fabric, a rented property can seem to offer little chance for displaying swathes of your beloved prints and patterns, especially if it comes furnished. However, there are many ways around this. Investing in a room divider or screen; screens can be useful as you can have lots of fun with them and cover them in your own fabrics a trifold is particularly good as you can use three different ones or wallpapers. Introducing lots of textured materials helps to make a space feel homely and loved and suggests upholstering a favorite chair in a fabric you love, as you’ll have that forever. Don’t forget about all your soft furnishings like cushions, rugs, and curtains. Even if your rental is fully finished, you can switch these homeware items up so that your home reflects your style.

5. Plants

 Plants are pretty much the number one way to add personality to a rental in an easy, affordable, and approachable way. Never underestimate the power of a good houseplant. A bit of something green, be it a large Ficus or potted fresh herbs in the kitchen in old flowerpots. Hung plants from the curtain pole to bring the outdoors in. Hanging them from the picture rail too is another great easy to remove option for a renter.


6. Art

For anyone with a landlord who will not accept nails in the walls, there are things you can do to be creative with displaying art. Propping pictures up rather than hanging them and displaying smaller frames or canvases on shelves and leaning bigger ones against walls. Living in a rented home doesn’t mean it has to be boring, inject a bit of you into the walls using command strips to create a temporary gallery wall.


When you rent a property, it can be difficult to put your stamp on it decoratively without risking your deposit. However, there are a raft of ways to bring character and style to a rental that are easy to undo when you leave.

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