It’s easy to get lost in the dream of decorating when you first move into a rental. And it’s equally easy to get remarkably discouraged as you review your lease with all those dreams in mind. The majority of property managers do not allow residents to repaint or install permanent fixtures, and many do not even allow nail holes.
If you recently moved into a new place, or you just never got around to really embracing your rental because of the decor restrictions, this list will help you turn your house or apartment into a home, without causing damage.
Temporary Wallpaper: If you have dreams of a truly impactful wall but don’t want to forfeit your deposit by making a permanent change, consider purchasing temporary wallpaper, or making your own from fabric. Not only will you be able to show off your personal style, your walls will have that wow factor that is sure to spark conversation.
Easel: Do you have a heavy work of art that you are dying to display? You may be able to utilize products like command strips for smaller items, but you shouldn’t rely on them to hold your large frame. Don’t be dismayed! Use an easel for a unique way to display that gorgeous piece without hanging it from the walls. Opt for a more ornate or modern option, depending on your personal style.
Banners: If you are unable to paint, and you’re getting bored with your “marshmallow creme” walls, consider hanging a banner for added interest. Hang family photos by using mini clothespins to create a rotating display, or string along some seashells to give your home a nautical nod. Pom-pom banners are exceptionally trendy right now, and great for children’s rooms or seasonal decor in your living space. Hang alternating lengths of your banner along a large stick. The best part is, they’re relatively light, and easy to hold up with command strips or mounting putty.
Coffee Table Creativity: If you have a fantastic collection of books, consider going beyond the basic standing bookshelf to replace them, especially if space is an issue. Stack those books up to create a makeshift end table. Your books are out for all to see, creating an unexpected but trendy focal point, and you have added space freed up.
Folding Screens: Folding screens are not just for separating spaces. They can act as a great accent against a blank wall. Find one with a mural that you love, or paint your own. A repainted wood folding screen can provide that perfect pop of color your space is lacking. For an added bonus, you can paint two different colors—one on each side. This means you can simply flip your screen around when you need a change.
String Lights: There’s no doubt that white string lights can add much-needed charm to any space, so don’t feel like these are limited to use during Christmas or in college dorms. When added to an existing piece—like a mirror, room divider, or the top of an armour—these lights can soften the most utilitarian space into a glowing place to rest at the day’s end.
Faux Plants: Few things bring a room together like gorgeous greenery, yet they are often last on the decor agenda. If your space is still transitioning to the space of your dreams, faux plants are the perfect solution. We’re not talking about your grandmother’s ficus. There are fantastic modern faux plant displays that include bamboo, succulents, and grasses.
Area Rug: A unique eye-catching design may be just what you need to add some color to your living room. Not to mention, they are great for keeping your feet cozy in non-carpeted areas and are the perfect barrier to keep your wall-to-wall carpet pristine. If a stain occurs, it will be much easier to replace an inexpensive area rug than to have to use your security deposit to replace the carpet when you move.
Throw Pillows: Changeable throw pillows allow you to add a funky design or a bright and impactful color without compromising style down the road. Do you suddenly hate that color or print? No problem! Simply purchase a new pillow or recover it with your favorite fabric. Don’t worry if you are not an expert seamstress. There are great no-sew tutorials that allow you to easily change the look of your space.
Gallery Wall: If a no-damage policy has kept you from creating the gallery wall of your dreams, consider ditching the frames, and display of your favorite art or photographs with washi tape. Sure, you might not be able to hang that antique gilded framed canvas—save that one for the easel—but you will be able to frame family photos or your favorite prints for all to see.
Regardless of what you decide, there are plenty of ways to add personality to your place without compromising your security deposit in the process. Just because you can’t make permanent changes doesn’t mean you are left out of the decorating fun.