Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › Wall Treatments for Renters

One of the universal dilemmas for renters is how to make a rental space feel like your own.  It’s not always easy, but it’s not impossible either.  As an interior designer who has rented for several  years, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how to make a rental feel like my own without doing anything permanent to the space.  I call my rental design philosophy Reversible Decorating.

One of the first – and most important – aspects of Reversible Decorating is this:  Don’t Neglect the Walls.  A lot of renters are resigned to the fact that their walls will have to remain builder beige.  This is not the case!  There are a million and one things that can be done to walls to make them interesting and that don’t involve paint.  Today I’m going to share a couple of them with you.

One of my favorite, reversible wall treatments is wrapping paper.  I can almost see you rolling your eyes, but trust me on this.  Wrapping paper comes in some amazing designs.  Designs that are very similar to many of the wallpapers currently on the market.  So the first thing you need to do is find a wrapping paper that has a great all over pattern.  Next, choose a wall.  This treatment works best on smaller walls, but can be adapted to larger walls if need.  Then you will measure the length of the wallpaper you need, leaving a little extra for trimming.  Then you simply use a staple gun to staple the wrapping paper along the perimeter and trim the excess to make it even.  You can add a staple here and there in the middle of the paper, but this is not always necessary.    And when you get ready to move, you simply remove the staples and the paper comes down easily.  You may have to fill a little hole here and there, but mostly the staple holes are so tiny, they don’t really need filling.

Next, along the same lines, you might consider making removable “wallpaper” by using adhesive vinyl.  Adhesive vinyl really is easy to remove, and with this simple process, you can create a focal wall that won’t require any painting.  Simply cut several circles (or other simple shapes) out of some adhesive vinyl.  You can use a cutting machine, or even cut them by hand.  Then simply stick them to your wall.  You can stick them on randomly as I have done here, or you can measure out a pattern on the wall and stick them on evenly to create more of a wallpaper effect.   It’s that simple.

Having interesting rental walls is not impossible.  It just requires thinking outside the box a little bit.  Investing a little bit of time and creativity will make your rental space feel like home without changing anything permanently.  Reversible Decorating.



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About :

I started writing this blog as a creative outlet. And now The Shabby Nest has evolved into my very own little corner of the blogosphere where I share my love of home decor, and DIY projects, with entertaining and a little bit of style thrown in for good measure. In 2011, The Shabby Nest was chosen by Country Living Magazine as the Best Decorating Blog of the year in their first annual Blue Ribbon Blogger Awards.



  1. Laura Jochai says:

    Thank you for your ideas. I am inspired!!!

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