Tips for Decorating a Rental

Mar 9, 2015

Happy Monday everyone! During my short break from blogging, I've been able to put together lots of new topics and DIYs to share with you - March is going to be a fun month! First on that list are some ideas and inspirations that you can use to help make your rental feel less like someone else's space, and more like a personal, curated sanctuary intended just for you..
1. Walls  

Obviously the most ideal situation would be to start with fresh paint, of your choosing, on the walls. However, in the instances when that's not an option, fear not, there are still alternatives!

Removable wallpaper. Yes, this does exist! (although I haven't actually tried it myself). Urban Outfitters stocks removable wall paper on their site in lots of fun and trendy prints (nothing like you'd find in your grandparent's basement).

Hang a Tapestry. (or a few yards of your favourite fabric, or a large lightweight rug). If you're looking for less fuss then this option is the way to go. You can easily find a tapestry (like these), some fabric or even curtains to hang on a large bare wall to add some colour, interest and a focal point to your living room or bedroom. Choose something that represents you to help personalize your space.
2. Lighting

Again, the best case scenario is that you're able to replace the light fixtures entirely, if they need to be replaced. However, if that's not the case, then there's no need to give up on creating some good lighting.

Countertop Lighting. There are several options available for countertop (or under the cupboard/shelf) lighting. This is a great option because it's super easy to install, is removable, and creates a cozy ambiance. Not to mention it will help brighten your workspace when cooking. Check out some counter top lighting options here, here and here

Lamps. This may seem like an obvious solution but I'm not referring to just a few lamps, I'm talking about lamps in every room, including the bathroom and kitchen! Lamps can create a much warmer and welcoming mood compared to the standard builders grade or fluorescent light fixtures, which you might normally find in a rental. In particular, I love these sconces from Ikea which come with a  plug and therefore don't require any electrical work. Try using them instead of bedside lamps, on either side of a fireplace or above a couch. 
3. Furnishings.

Whether you're newly furnishing your rental or working with a collection of hand-me-downs and thrift store finds, making your furniture work in a new space can require some trial and error.

Personalize. Adding a few personal touches to furnishings (new or old) can instantly make them fit better into your space. Try changing out the drawer pulls on a dresser, or wrapping the seat cushion of a couch in a patterned blanket or fabric. If you're purchasing a new couch, I always recommend covering over or replacing the matching pillows that come with the couch; instead, add something that is more YOU.

Makeover.  A fresh coat of paint can give new life to anything. If the colour of your furniture is not really working in your new space, then go ahead and paint it. Not only will it look better, but you'll feel like you have something new as well. Another of my favourite ideas is amping up a bookcase by lining the back inside of the bookcase with wrapping paper (or something similar). Just stick it on using some double sided tape and be prepared to be impressed!
And there you have it - I hope these tips were helpful. I think the most important thing to remember is that whether renting or owning, your house is a home because it's what you make it to be. Fill it with things and people you love and you will no doubt find it a soothing, relaxing and comforting place that's perfect just for you.