How to Decorate Your Rental Home Like A Pro (in 2024)

Living in a rental home may make you feel limited when it comes to decorating. Your landlord may have rules outlined in your rental agreement that prevent you from doing the things you would if you owned the space. But this does not mean there aren’t many ways to make your rental feel like home. Here are some ideas for you to consider.

white wooden table

1. Area rugs

One of the easiest ways to add some life and personality to an otherwise plain space is by investing in an area rug. Area rugs are most often used in living rooms, but they can be used in bedrooms, offices, dining rooms, and more. Prices will vary depending on size and material, but with an almost infinite amount of rug retail stores that you can browse online, you are sure to find something that fits both your budget and your style. Before you buy a rug, however, take a moment to imagine how you can pair other decorative items with the colors or patterns in the rug itself.

brown and white table lamp with light

2. Lighting

Overhead lighting is not the boss of you. If you can’t stand the way the light fixtures in your apartment or home affect the overall vibe, do not hesitate to do some lamp shopping. Lamps, be they table or floor, are a great way to influence the mood of any particular room, adding a feeling of warmth and comfort with the flick of a switch.

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3. Temporary wallpaper

Many rental apartments and houses are painted with grays and beiges so that they appeal to a wider audience of potential renters. As a landlord, painting a rental in bright and vibrant colors is risky. Some people, however, end up wanting to change their wall colors once they settle in. If this is you, check your rental agreement first to see what kind, if any, painting is allowed. Even if painting is not explicitly barred in your contract, you may want to check with your landlord for approval on the colors you have in mind. Otherwise, the cost to repaint might be taken from your security deposit after you vacate the rental.

If you aren’t allowed to paint, or simply wish to avoid the hassle of painting and seeking approval, there are many temporary wallpaper options available to you. You can find solid color wallpaper if you want a classic painted look, or go with a playful print or pattern. These peel-and-stick wallpapers are easy to apply and damage-free.

person showing thumb

4. House plants and decorative flowers

House plants are very popular right now, and for good reason. Not only do they bring life (literally) into your space, but they have also been scientifically shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Some plants may even help purify the air, and all plants are sure to bring, at the very least, pops of color to your home.

If taking care of plants is not for you, there are many online and in-person stores that sell preserved or artificial plants and flowers. Build your own bouquet and hit the thrift store for a fun vase, and you will have a space that is blooming in an instant.

5. Room dividers

Room dividers can be especially useful for those renting studio or open-floor plan apartments. If you want to separate spaces for the purpose of productivity, or divided spaces to allow more decorative flexibility and variety, investing in a room divider is a great option. With so many types available, from modern upholstered to boho rattan, you are sure to find something that suits your style.

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6. Lightswitch plates and outlet covers

An often overlooked site of interior decorating is in the outlet and light switch covers. For something that is found on nearly every wall in a home, it is a wonder why more people do not think to get creative. Many websites online offer covers in a variety of colors and designs, and you can even find some cut in different shapes.

white and gray sofa chairs near white window curtain

7. Accessorize

Last but not least, accessorize! Throw pillows and blankets, mobiles, candlesticks and decorative pottery, sconces, bookends, trinkets, and more, will all do wonders turning your rental apartment or house from a temporary living arrangement to a place you can call home. Decorating a home does not need to be a bank-breaker. If you have not given thrifting a try already, step outside of your comfort zone and explore your local thrift stores. With the insanely discounted prices on gently used home goods, you can buy enough not only to decorate your home in one particular style, but also stock up on pieces that can replace others when you are in the mood to change things up.

If you struggle with imagining what kinds of decorative objects will work together, scroll through Pinterest, visit some interior design websites or flip through some magazines to figure out what kind of look you want to achieve. Chances are, even the expensive pieces you find in interior design magazines will have affordable dupes you can find in person or online.

In the end, your space is yours, even if it is just a rental. Honor your instincts and your own personal taste before anyone else’s, and you will create a home for yourself no matter what.

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