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Cheap and Easy Decorating Ideas for Renters

Cheap and Easy Decorating Ideas for Renters

Cheap and Easy Decorating Ideas for Renters

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We all want where we live to feel like home and to be a reflection of our personality.  Instead, you find yourself living in a boring rental with builder white walls, and no character.

Your home should be your sanctuary, no matter how long you intend on staying there.

Here are some easy decorating tips that can take your rental from drab and fab without compromising your security deposit.

The best part, these decorating ideas are cheap AND easy whether you are a renter or an owner.

The Walls

If the walls in your space are drab and boring, add a little life by implementing some or all the following techniques:

1.  Paint

The easiest way to spruce up your space is to paint the walls.  I know what you are thinking.  It’s a rental, you can’t paint the walls. That isn’t necessarily true.  There are a few options.

The first step is asking the landlord.  Now they may want to approve your color choices, but as long as you aren’t asking to paint the walls black, or something too bold, most landlords will appreciate the value added.  If you’re lucky, some may even pay for some if not all of the cost of the paint.

If your landlord won’t approve the change in paint color, all is not lost.  You can always paint the walls in the color of your choosing, and then repaint it to the original color before you move out.  If that seems too daunting a task, you can paint an accent wall in a prominent place, and then you would only have to repaint one wall.

2. Decorative wall decals

If painting isn’t up your alley you can add decorative vinyl decals to the walls.  Make sure you choose one that is removable.  This way, before you move out, you simply remove them from the walls.  There are tons of options, from inspirational quotes or geometric designs, in just about every color imaginable.

Let your creativity drive you.

Polka Dot Wall Decals Here

Family Tree Mural Here

Large Peony Flowers  Here

3.  Art

Make the place your own by hanging some pictures of yourself, family and friends.

Alternatively, you can hang some colorful artwork to give your home some character.

If you don’t have any artwork and aren’t particularly crafty, you can easily frame wallpaper samples or beautiful cardstock.  This is an easy and cost-effective DIY project that you can personalize to your own tastes.   Consider making a gallery wall with coordinated papers.

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Source: A Beautiful Mess.  Check out her tutorial Here

Before you hammer in that first nail, make sure you check your lease, and local rental laws to ensure whether you can attach anything to the walls. If you can’t make any holes in the walls, use adhesive strips that will allow you to securely attach pictures to the wall.  To be honest, I have stopped hanging anything on my walls with a nail, because I would always hate to see the holes if I need to move the picture.  With the adhesive strips, when you take down or move your pictures, they come off cleanly.  Win!

4.  Mirrors

Mirrors are so practical.  They can make a small room appear larger, allow you to ensure you have nothing stuck in your teeth and can be an inexpensive way to decorate any space.

The best part…

They come at every price point.

5.  Window coverings

Add colorful window coverings to add texture and interest to any room.

If you already have boring window coverings, ask your landlord if you can remove/change them.  Or, you can always cover them with something you prefer to hide what was already there.

Add color

Color and texture are a great way to make any room come alive.

1. accent pillows and textured throws

Accent pillows and a textured throw on a couch or bed can be an inexpensive way to pull a whole room together.  You can find them in just about any texture, color, and size.  Mix and match like an interior designer.

Have fun with them.  You can change them with the seasons, or your mood.

2. Don’t Neglect the Floors

Add area rugs to make your space feel cozy and warm.  It can anchor a room, and add some personality to a drab rental.

There are area rugs for just about every budget.  For example, the Ikea IBSED low pile rug is $12.99.

3.  Furniture and accessories

If changing the wall colors isn’t something that interests you.  Don’t fret.

You can add character to your space furniture with strategic furniture and accessories.  The best part, they belong to you, and you can take them with you if you ever leave your current digs.

It doesn’t have to be a main piece of furniture.  A colorful accent chair.  A vintage bookcase.  Browse the internet and get inspired.  

As many rental spaces can be cozy, consider purchasing appropriate sized furniture and pieces that serve double duty as storage.  

See Related: 40 Stunning Accent Chairs Under $200 You Will Love

4. flowers and candles

There is something romantic, and inviting and adding candles and flowers to any space.  

You can buy fake flowers if you are on a budget, and candles come at just about every price point.  

Scented candles are also a great way to create atmosphere. 

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Related: Easy Hacks to Organize a Small Bathroom

Now there are no excuses to not make your living space an extension of your syle and taste.  .  

What are some of your favorite ways to decorate your space and make it feel like home?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. Shelby @Fitasamamabear

    A coat of paint makes such a big difference to a room! And it’s not overly expensive.

  2. Christine

    These are all great tips for any living space. I am loving wall decals lately. They add so much life to a freshly painted wall. And you could never go wrong with candles, flowers, throw rugs and sleek, modern furniture.

  3. Oyibo

    Those are awesome suggestions, it doesn’t matter if the apartment belongs to me or not, as far as am living in it, I all decorate it in such a that it will be as comfortable as I want it to be. The last place I lived in, I repainted it just two months before I left not that I don’t know I was leaving but I didn’t like the old pain again.

  4. Emily

    It’s crazy how stylish wall decals have become. I remember when they were just for kids but now they have some very trendy patterns

  5. Luci

    Love this. You can easily add a little color to this and it won’t clash.

  6. erin

    As a renter myself, these ideas are great! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Oh to Be a Muse

    When I first bought my house I went big on decorating. It was so nice to be able to do stuff to the walls, floors, etc without any repercussions. I definitely think accent pillows and throws go a long way!

  8. Zoë

    These are fantastic ideas for making your rental property feel more personal and like your own home. We try to not buy too much as we don’t plan on moving around but I can totally go with the painting idea! Thanks 🙂

  9. Justin

    Great ideas for decorating. IKEA can definitely be a great place to shop for great values.

    • Karrie

      Couldn’t agree more. I love Ikea.

  10. Mandy

    I love the wall decal ideas. Those are super cute!

    • Karrie

      I agree. I love that they come in all kinds of colors and designs to suit your mood or taste.

  11. Ashley

    Loved reading this! My favorite accessories to switch out are throw pillows and area rugs!

  12. Emily Fata,

    Just got my first rental and am moving in mid-way through the month! I can’t wait to utilize these hacks for decorating it once I move in. Thank you! 🙂


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