Decorating Your Rental Home

1. Thou shalt not renovate without prior landlord approval
First and foremost, do not launch renovations or hardware replacements without asking your landlord for permission first! Few property owners like their rental property to be modified by tenants, so it is better to ask the homeowner for approval before you splash out on costly upgrades.

2. Thou shalt use multipurpose furniture
Multipurpose furniture is every tenant’s best friend. Folding chairs and gateleg tables, modular sofas and disassembling PC desks are perfect for renters who move frequently, and they can fit easily in the tiniest of apartments.

3. Thou shalt invest in lighting upgrade
If the lighting in your rental home is short of optimal, consult your landlord about a potential upgrade to ceiling fixtures or dimmer lights. Or, cut the negotiating hassle and get a few lamps which you will be able to take with you when you move.

invest in lighting upgrade

4. Thou shalt personalize with accessories
If existing wall paint and furnishings do not portray your personality, you can use affordable accessories to liven up the ambiance and add a note of individuality to the living area. Monochromatic or multicolored sofa throws, stylish bed linens, soft area rugs, beanbags, jewelry chests and porcelain figurines can do wonders when carefully arranged around plain-looking decors.

5. Thou shalt upgrade insulation
Forgot to ask your landlord about insulation? Good news: you can eliminate chills and keep the place warm and cozy by using old towels to block draught in the door area. You can place heavy furniture against the walls to minimize heat loss and add heavy drapes and custom blinds which you can find online to the windows to reduce pane-borne heat leaks in wintertime.

6. Thou shalt create wall art
You can conceal smears, stains or peeling wallpapers by adding Styrofoam, carboard or cork panels to vacant walls. Simply drive a couple of nails into the wall and decorate the panel with photos, sketches, love notes and/or motivational posters. The sky is your limit with wall art – let your imagination guide you!

7. Thou shalt improvise with window covers
Depending on the size and lighting in the room, you may need to get new curtains or drapes. For homes with large windows, use soft fabrics in muted colors to filter excess sunlight. In doll houses with few windows, pick airy, white curtains that let in lots of natural light.

Improvise With Window Covers

Improvise With Window Covers

8. Thou shalt conceal hardware faults
If kitchen cabinets and doors are scratched, battered or just shabby from age, use self-adhesive wallpapers to cover up the flaws. These cost less and require less time to apply than a fresh paint coat – just remember to peel them off when you decide to move out.

9. Thou shalt not invest in fresh wallpapers
Do not invest in fresh wallpapers or wall paint number in a rental home. Inform your landlord that walls need to be redone and let them pick and fund the best solution to the issue. The walls are not yours, and their makeover is not your call – such investments are usually covered by the owner.

10. Thou shalt organize your space to fit your bill
By all means feel free to reorganize furnishings. Your rental home needs to be functional and suited to your taste – just do not go knocking down walls or reworking the floor plan. Even if your landlord approves the project, total upgrade costs will be much higher than the rent you would otherwise pay for a new place better suited to your needs.

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Zoe Clark is a journalist, freelance stylist and blogger. She is a visual storyteller and aesthetician by heart who often writes about decorating and DIY ideas. She loves sparking creativity in people and giving them ideas for their own spaces.

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