So you’ve found a great rental! It’s in the right location at the right price and is the perfect layout. The only problem? It’s a true “blank slate” with bare walls, little character, and no color. Thankfully, decorating your rental and putting your own stamp on a space doesn’t have to require thousands of dollars in new decor or hiring a designer. If you can master these three do-it-yourself skills, you will be well on your way to giving your blank slate loads of personal style all by yourself!
DIY 1- Hang Things on the Wall. Nothing says “temporary” like big blank walls. In fact, large expanse of empty walls is one of the biggest design problems renters face. However, if you can master some basic hanging techniques, you can add loads of style to your space without much effort! From obvious choices like artwork and photographs, to more architectural and functional elements like curtain rods, floating shelves, and organizational systems, being able to properly hang things on the wall will enhance the overall “lived in” feel of a space.
Try It! Hanging things up is a little more than just taking a nail to a wall with a hammer. Sometimes special hardware or techniques will be necessary to hang things safely. Learn how to handle a drill and hammer, insert drywall anchors, and use a level to ensure your pieces are hung easily and correctly every time!
Not allowed to put holes in the wall? Check out these damage-free decor ideas!
DIY 2 – Paint. Paint, whether it’s on the walls, furniture or other accessories, truly has a transformative power in a bland space; but the process can also be quite intimidating to some. Once you get started though, you’ll soon see it’s a DIY skill almost anyone can master. If you own a lot of neutral things, painting the walls may be just the ticket to adding a punch of personality. If you inherited a bunch of old and/or mis-matched furniture, painting is a surefire way to give it all a whole new look. And lastly, if you just need some quirky decor objects to liven up a room, thrift store items plus a few cans of spray paint can yield amazing results!
Try It! The biggest mistake people make with paint is assuming that all paint projects are created equal. However, based on what you’re painting (e.g., walls versus a dresser versus a lamp), there may be very specific preparations and techniques you need to follow for optimum results. Thankfully, the Internet is full of great tutorials with step-by-step instructions for any type of project you can think of. Before you open the can of paint, do your research, buy the right products for your projects, and just go for it! After all, you can (almost) always paint over anything you don’t like!
Paint isn’t your only option to change your walls! Check out these 5 no-paint ideas!
DIY 3 – Sew a Straight Line. Have you ever had a very specific vision in mind for a space but just can’t seem to find the right products to make it a reality? Instead of finding the exact pillows you want, you can only find some cloth napkins with the right scheme. Or nothing in the curtain section strikes your fancy but you found some awesome tablecloths that are the perfect style. This is where having a sewing machine, knowing how to use it, and being able to sew a basic straight line truly comes in handy! You do not need to be a seamstress or love to sew, but having the ability to sew your own pillows, curtains or other decor items yourself opens up an entire new (and often more budget-friendly) way to decorate your home.
Try It! If you have a sewing machine, break it out and dust it off. If you don’t, consider purchasing a basic, inexpensive one or asking friends/family to borrow one. Use the manual (or YouTube) to learn how to thread the machine, keeping in mind it will take some practice. Before you start on an actual project, practice sewing straight lines on scrap fabric. Once you’re comfortable with straight lines, you are just minutes away from your own custom pillows, curtains, tablecloths and more!
Use these smart tips for incorporating bold and colorful pillows into your home!
There are so many great DIY ways to decorate a rental space that it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. If you’re looking to make a big impact in your space for (relatively) little effort and cost, these three skills are a perfect place to start. If you can master hanging things on the wall correctly, painting, and sewing a basic straight line, you will have all the tools you need to create a rental space that truly reflects you and your style!