3 Simple Steps To Decorate Your Rental


Decorating a rental can have some serious limitations. Often you can’t paint, replace carpet or lighting, or even put holes in the walls. I used to struggle with this because, though I spent several months a year in my own home (with MULTIPLE holes in every wall for hanging things), I spent a majority of the year abroad for my husband’s career.

We lived in rental apartments and couldn’t modify anything, nor did we really want to because —what’s the point of pouring our hard-earned dollars into another person’s pad?! This was especially painful for me as a designer and self-described more-is-more type of decorator!

Over the years of this nomadic-designer life, I have found there are three things that always make me feel more at home in our rental property.

How To Decorate A Rental: The 3 Ps:

Your house or apartment may be a rental, but it should still feel like HOME. We have 3 simple ways to do that: plants, paintings & pillows. See how.

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Step 1. Soften Up Your Rental With Pillows

Whether your apartment comes furnished or unfurnished, adding pillows is a great way to add color, pattern and personality into the space. There are endless options to choose from, and you can easily pack them up and move them to your next place.

If you are you a chronic change-around-er of things, pillows are great! Swap one to the bedroom and mix in a new pattern or color to give your rented living room a mini face-lift!

Right now I’m loving on dark tones like Navy + Gold + Black, and of course always a little animal print

Step 2. Add Life To Your Rental With Plants 

Plants can make a huge impact on a space. Not only do they bring in color, life and texture, but they also have a positive emotional effect on us. There are lots of different ways to incorporate greenery into your rental, through traditional potted floor plants, or terrariums of desert plants (for those of us with the black thumb).

Using a grouping of small plants is a great and cost-effective way to fill up an alcove or built-in shelf in your rental! Don’t be afraid to GO FAUX! A designer-favorite is the Fiddle Leaf Fig. It’s a great option to fill up an empty corner. But they are SUPER-hard to keep alive. One of my favorites is this one from CB2. Don’t need something quite that big? There are tons of great options available now that look and feel like the REAL thing! Check them out here.

If you’re a NO-FAUX kinda gal, check out this post to see what REAL plants work best in low light, bathrooms and super sunny spaces!

Step 3. Make Your Rental Pop With Pictures 

Art should always be personal. Use it as a way to show off your style, your travels or your favorite colors. I love mixing and matching different media (think photography with abstract with fiber art) to create a space that feels ‘collected’ over time. Mix in pictures of family and friends, or art collected from your travels with some less expensive pieces from some of my favorite retailers. I am personally loving this abstract print from Minted paired with this modern photography. 

If your place has a ‘no nail hole policy’ try using 3M hooks to hang framed wall art.

Shop More Ways To Decorate Your Rental

-Allison H.

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