Spruce up your space: 7 ways to decorate a rental home

A woman touching flowers in a vase.

Just because you live in a rental home doesn’t mean you can’t make it reflect your personal style. And while you may not be able to make permanent changes, such as new bathroom fixtures, cabinetry or flooring, many leases allow you to make temporary improvements. Think of using contact paper in the kitchen, painting an accent wall or applying a peel-and-stick backsplash.

Here are seven renter-friendly ideas to help you take your “temporary lodging” rental into a cozy refuge from the world that reflects your personal style.

(Disclaimer: Be sure to check your specific lease agreement and get any necessary approvals before you get started.)

1. Stick to the walls

Say goodbye to bland and boring walls with peel-and-stick wallpaper. This renter-friendly option boasts patterns ranging from subtle to whimsical, and installation is pretty simple, too. The best part? It peels off without leaving a mess behind.

2. Lighten up the mood

While you may not be able to temporarily change any lighting fixtures, you can add ambiance by switching out too-bright lightbulbs for warm—or even smart—ones. Invest in floor and table lamps to add layers of coziness to any space.

3. Find statement pieces

Look for furniture that’s more than functional. Check local antique or estate sales to find pieces that reflect your personality and can easily move with you. A stylish entry table, quirky wall mirror or striking sofa can all serve as focal points in your room.

4. Roll out the rugs

If the flooring in your rental feels too cold or the carpet looks less than cozy, rugs are a great solution. Not only do they add warmth, color and texture, but they also help define different areas within your home.

5. Get artsy

Adding framed photos or art pieces to your walls can increase the personality within a space. Look for local artists or find printable art online that can be printed on canvas or framed. And don’t worry about using a hammer and nails; use adhesive hooks to hang your artwork.

6. Dress the windows

Add a little pizazz to your windows by adding curtains and window treatments. Curtains add color, pattern and softness to your space and are a great way to control light and privacy. There’s no drilling required; just use tension rods or removable hooks to hang your curtains.

7. Go green

Have you ever heard that every room needs a living thing? A bit of greenery can breathe new life into a space, so consider including houseplants. Whether real or artificial, plants can make your rental feel more homey.

Make it your own

Remember that the key to decorating a rental is to make temporary changes that reflect your style and personality, while making sure you don’t violate your lease agreement. Use these tips to turn your space into a cozy and stylish haven that even your landlord will envy. And when it’s time to move out, rest assured your rental-friendly changes will help you leave the place just as you found it.