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How to Decorate a Rental to Feel Like Home

Decorating a rental, whether it’s an apartment or a home, can often leave you stressed as you weigh the financial risk and your desire for a personalized, but temporary home. Although it is understandable to question how much time and money to invest in a temporary living situation, you should actually decorate your rental regardless. No matter how many people have lived there before you and will live thereafter, it is your home for now and it is crucial that it reflects your style to bring positive energy into a home that makes you happy. Whether you plan on being there for one year or 10, we have gathered some tips on how to decorate a rental to feel like it’s your own. Before you get started, keep in mind that you should always check with your landlord first to avoid running into restriction issues and keep everything you remove in storage for future tenants.


A minimal kitchen design with white walls, cabinets, and countertop, wood and metal stools, and two black pipe shaped lighting fixtures.

(@minimaliving)


A boho home decor bedroom with neutral patterned bedding and decorative pillows, black lighting fixtures, wood furniture, and a large framed photo of a buffalo hung above the bed.

(@ispydiy)


Change the Light Fixtures


If possible, change the light fixtures in your rental as they are used daily and therefore, affect your mood more than you might think. Many rentals come with the standard, outdated, and unforgettable light fixtures, but this quick and easy swap out can make a huge impact on the look and feel of your home. If you are unable to upgrade your light fixtures, you can avoid using them and bring in your own stylish collection of floor and table lamps throughout your space instead.


A neutral, bright, and airy living room design with soft colored furniture and tall white curtains letting the light in.

(@minimaliving)


A bedroom with white walls, pink bedding, rattan ottomans and a decorative basket, and green curtains.

(@interiorswag)


Replace the Window Treatments


Nothing screams an obvious rental more than the typical white mini blinds, especially with a few bent pieces here and there, covering all the windows in your home. Replacing or covering these with proper window treatments creates an entirely new and fresh look to your space. Curtains and drapes are great for hiding things that are common in rentals like dirty, run-down windows and cracked molding. This is also an opportunity to decorate your rental home with colors, textures, and patterns without painting and it is helpful for those decorating a rental apartment or house on a budget because they’re extremely affordable!


A bedroom with white furniture and bedding, dark wood flooring, and a pink watercolor wallpaper design behind the bed.

(@boneill_athome)


A neutral living room design with large decorative pillows and throw blankets, a solid circle coffee table, and two large art prints hung above the couch.

(@stylinbyaylin)


Cover the Walls


Most rentals come with bland walls, which can be a good thing as it gives you the chance to add some character to your home and make it feel like a comfortable and inviting space. Not all apartment and home landlords are against painting your walls. Some allow renters to paint if they paint it back to the original color in the future or keep it neutral and your landlord might love it and thank you later! If you are going to be living in your home for a few years, it might be a worthy investment to paint an accent wall or a room or two in your home.


Although paint is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your rental, consider temporary rental house decoration ideas to fill your walls and save you the hassle of repainting it later. Peel-and-stick wallpaper may be one of the greatest inventions for those looking to decorate a rental property. It is a non-committal decorating option that adds all the personalization without damaging the walls. Add wallpaper to your entryway, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and more. The possibilities of covering your walls are endless with this decorating hack!


Hanging art prints around your home is helpful in expressing your personality and style while also adding interesting focal points to your home design. It is better to have to fill and cover some nail holes when you move out than to have bare walls. If you are not allowed to hammer nails into the walls, using adhesive picture hooks or leaning art on walls or furniture pieces has the same effect.


A small apartment living room design with smaller furniture, including a cream colored couch and a small wooden table, with a mirror, hats, and plants hung above the couch.

(@viktoria.dahlberg)


A small living room design with a tufted cream couch, silver decorative pillows, two small gold tables, and gold framed art work hung above the couch.

(@inspo_by_israa)


Add a Rug

Whether you have nice flooring and want to add something unique or want to cover up old flooring, broken tiles, or stained carpets, an area rug is never a bad idea and will always make your rental property feel like home. Rugs bring in bold and neutral colors, textures, and patterns to a space. They last longer than most furniture pieces and can be reused wherever you move next, so it is important to find a rug that you love. It is a great accessory to add to your home to tie the room together and is an added bonus that it hides any imperfections you hate in your rental flooring.


A kitchen design with black cabinets and silver pulls, a decorative patterned backsplash, and black and green lighting fixtures.

(@cosyhomebycamille)


A bright kitchen with gray marble countertops and white kitchen cabinets with black handles with light coming in through a window above the sink.

(@halfway_wholeistic)


Upgrade Hardware

A lot of our decorating ideas for rentals to feel like it’s your own home emphasize that small changes can make a large impact. Upgrading your hardware is another small change that can make a furnished rental feel like home. As small as cabinet knobs, handles, and pulls are, they can actually showcase your style in a big way and transform the look of your cabinets. Simply switching out the basic pulls for gold handles or fun geometric shaped knobs can give your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom an entirely new look.


A neutral kitchen design with white cabinets with black handles, two small black lighting fixtures above the window, and a patterned runner across the kitchen floor.

(@theressnowplacelikehome)


A bathroom design with white walls, white tile flooring with random black flowers, house plants, and a gold side table next to a black and white bath tub.

(@branchabode)


Temporary Backsplash, Flooring Tiles, and Countertops


Temporary changes can be so effective that they look real and as if your rental came that way. Tile tattoos are a great temporary change for giving ugly tiles in your kitchen or bathroom a makeover. These removable decals, that come in solid colors and decorative patterns, are designed to be applied on tiles easily to create the look of brand new flooring with half the effort.