As a renter, you might struggle sometimes to make your unit feel like home. Your landlord probably sets strict rules on what you can do to the property, leaving you feeling restricted or uninspired. If you don’t plan to stay in your rental for long, you also shouldn’t make any major changes that need to be reversed when you leave.
Although decorating a temporary home can feel difficult, you do have a wide variety of options. Here are 12 tips for decorating your short-term property so that you feel at home:
1. Use Adaptable Furniture
Multifunctional furniture is excellent for apartments and smaller houses. An ottoman can double as storage space, and a dining table can double as a workspace. Look for pieces that match the aesthetic of your home and that are easy to move, stack, or store away. Being able to easily adjust the layout of your furniture gives you lots of flexibility.
2. Upgrade The Lights
Harsh overhead lighting is one of the worst elements of any rental home. Fortunately, changing out the lightbulbs is very easy. You could replace bright bulbs with warmer, softer lights to make your home feel more ambient. If you don’t like the overhead lights at all, consider purchasing lamps and hanging up string lights throughout your home. Even without adding any other decor, warm and comfortable lighting can make your home cozier and more welcoming.
3. Switch Out Hardware
The hardware on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets may seem unimportant, but upgrading it can actually make a huge difference in your home’s overall appearance and atmosphere. If the cabinets and drawers look dull, purchase your own hardware and swap it out. You should avoid drilling new holes, though, so look for hardware that will fit in the holes that are already in place. Then, when you move out, you can switch the hardware back to the original pieces.
4. Avoid Painting
Some landlords will let you paint a rental property, which can be worthwhile if you plan to stay for several years. However, in most cases, painting is more trouble than it’s worth. You risk losing your security deposit if you get paint on the floor, and you’ll have to repaint the walls when you move out. It may seem boring, but it’s usually best to leave the walls white. Instead of painting, you can decorate the walls with colorful artwork or tapestries to make the space your own.
5. Apply Peel And Stick Wallpaper
Peel-and-stick wallpaper can be a great alternative to painting. If you remove the wallpaper very slowly and carefully, it won’t cause any damage to the walls. It usually lasts around three years before it starts to peel on its own, so it’s perfect for short-term living arrangements. You have virtually limitless options for wallpaper, too. You could use it to create an accent wall, or you could wallpaper an entire room.
6. Hang Mirrors
Not only are mirrors functional, but they can make great decor in a rental. You could lean a floor-length mirror against the corner of your bedroom to make the space feel larger, or you could hang up smaller mirrors with ornate frames. Mirrors can be especially useful in dimly lit corners of your home as they’ll reflect light and brighten up the area. A mirror near the entryway is also essential because you can check how you look before leaving the house. You can even overlap mirrors to create an interesting design. For example, you could hang a smaller circular mirror over the bathroom mirror.
7. Create A Gallery Wall
If you have permission from your landlord to hang up pictures, a gallery wall can be the perfect way to decorate a short-term rental. If you can’t put holes in the walls, you might be able to create a gallery wall with command strips. Gallery walls are completely customizable, and they can bring so much life and color to an otherwise bland room. Try to incorporate a variety of shapes and sizes of artwork to add more depth and texture to the wall.
8. Add Window Treatments
Curtains provide privacy and can help regulate your home’s temperature, but they also serve an aesthetic function. When decorating your rental, consider removing the blinds and hanging up curtains that match your style preferences. If you want to make a room look bigger, install the curtains a foot or two above the window. Keep in mind that dark and heavy drapes might make a small room feel cramped.
9. Use Area Rugs
Area rugs are an excellent decor option for rentals. Vinyl, laminate, and hardwood floors do offer some benefits over carpeting, but they’re also colder and less cozy. Even if your rental has wall-to-wall carpeting, you could use area rugs to add visual interest or cover up stains. An area rug is a great way to tie a living room or bedroom together. If you live in a studio, you can also use area rugs to create visual distinctions between the sleeping area and the daytime area.
10. Line The Drawers And Cabinets
If the insides of the cabinets and drawers look dingy, consider adding adhesive liners. These liners will protect the cabinets from scratches and stains, and you can find them in a wide variety of colors and styles. Although your guests may rarely see the insides of your kitchen cabinets, you can add this touch of decor just for your own enjoyment.
11. Buy Houseplants
Houseplants are wonderful decor in any living space. There are even low-light indoor plants that thrive in darker conditions, so you don’t have to worry if your home gets little natural light. You can add houseplants to any room in your home to create more life and warmth. If you have a green thumb, you could even create an entire display of houseplants on a shelf. If you’re not interested in caring for plants, you could purchase fake plants and get the same results.
12. Remove Closet Doors
Removing closet doors can transform a room. If your bedroom feels cramped or the closet doors are difficult to open and close, take the doors off to open up the space. This does mean that the contents of the closet will be exposed, but you can hang up decorations inside the closet to match your room’s decor. You could even turn a closet into a reading nook or a tiny home office if it’s roomy enough.
Even if you don’t plan to live in your rental for long, you can still make it your own. Upgrade the items that will be easy to replace when you leave, add decor to the walls, and carefully design the home’s layout to maximize both function and style. When you put your heart into your decor, you’ll always feel at home.