DECORATING WHILE RENTING IS NO JOKE. IT SEEMS THAT EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO DO IS OFF LIMITS. I STRUGGLED WITH THIS FOR A FEW YEARS, BUT I FINALLY FOUND SOME SIMPLE UPDATES TO MAKE MY RENTAL MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE.
Up until last year, we rented. We definitely wanted our security deposit back, so we were really careful to not do anything crazy. I was determined, however, to make cute changes and make it feel more like home.
1. Temporary wallpaper
In my honest opinion, this is where you should start. This stuff is so affordable and will give you the most amazing before and after, without a lot of work or money… and, wait for it… it’s 100% temporary and damage free. We used this Temporary Subway Tile wallpaper, from Target, in our rental kitchen to add some character and really just make it way less boring. While I would’ve loved to paint the cabinets white and add cute handles, that wasn’t going to serve us well in the long run (when they end up charging us for a whole new kitchen or something crazy… lol). So for $30, I added this to our kitchen and it made such a difference. It was so simple to put up, too.
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Temporary wallpaper doesn’t have to be used solely in the kitchen, however. They have all sorts of different designs. There’s white shiplap, faux white brick, patterns, stripes, florals. So many options that can add so much to your rental, without damaging your walls.
I think it’s such a great idea to use wallpaper on the main wall in a room. For maybe $150, you can totally transform your space and just make it feel so much more exciting.
Whether it’s the wall behind your bed, the first wall you see in your bathroom, the wall behind your kitchen table… whatever it is, you’re going to love it!
2. Curtains (using Command Hooks or long nails)
Curtains add so much to any space. I try to find a way to use them in every space that I touch. They just add texture, height and warmth to any room. I just love them, if you can’t tell by now…
In an apartment (or rental of any kind), you have to get creative when hanging curtains, unless you want to fill holes and touch up paint before you move (been there, done that). One method is to use Heavy Duty Command Hooks like these to hold the curtain rod up, OR if you don’t want to mess with Command Hooks, you can use long nails to hold the curtains in place. The nails work best when the curtains have grommets at the top.
The Command Strips can get slightly tricky if your walls are textured or dirty, or if you plan on opening and closing your curtains often. I just use them as decor and close the blinds if I want the darkness or privacy.
Anyway, I whole heartedly believe that curtains just make the space feel finished.
In a rental, one thing that usually lacks is detail. Most apartments (around here, at least) are pretty cookie cutter. That alone can make it tricky to get that cozy farmhouse feel, especially when you can’t do much. I think it’s so important to find pieces that are interesting and bring character to the space, since chances are, your space doesn’t have much built in character.
If you’re one of the lucky ones to have a gorgeous loft apartment with exposed brick, crown moulding and tin ceilings, count yourself lucky, because almost all other renters are jealous…
In the picture below, I added a lace bedskirt and it added so much to this space. It took the attention off the bones of the room (which were simple and kind of boring) and put the emphasis on what was in the room.
4. Get creative and go for it!
So many times people shy away from ideas because it might not be worth the hassle, especially if you’re not planning on staying long term. But in my opinion, if it makes you love your space more, it’s totally worth it.
When we moved into our last apartment, this is what it looked like. That corner fireplace threw me for a major loop the moment I saw it. Plain corner fireplaces are hard enough to decorate, but a corner fireplace with a deep shelf on top??? What do you even do with that, you know?
After much thinking, dreaming, planning… I came up with an idea in my head, and well, we made it happen! And for like $30, I might add. It was only up for like 6 months before we moved, but again, it was so worth it because it let me really love that space for the time that we lived there (and I took it with us and have re-used the wood for all sorts of things).
You can see the details of this Rental Friendly Shiplap Fireplace here. Below is the finished product.
5. Furniture and Accessories
Especially in a rental, it’s really important to find furniture and accessories that bring personality and character to the space, and even more so when the apartment is cookie-cutter, like ours was. For example, a slipcovered couch and an antique hutch will instantly set off a farmhouse vibe and give your space some major character and charm, without messing with the bones of your rental at all.
Another example of a simple way to add some character to your space is this Dropcloth Bedskirt. Never skip a cute bedskirt! It adds so much to the space, but it was affordable and is temporary.
As always, thanks for visiting and reading!
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