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5 Tips to Decorating While Renting

A couple of weekends ago my mother came over to help me start decorating my bathroom. I have a beautiful bathroom but I have no decorating sense. She brought over quite a few things and we spent a few hours shopping for a few more. I don’t have any photos yet because we still need to do a little more. Curtains to hang, a new shower curtains and bath mats, and I’m on the look out for the perfect picture frame for a new shelf.

While I’m excited about the outcome I realize that renting is a drawback when it comes to decorating. Your ability to paint is limited. I mean if you get the ok you can paint but you usually agree to paint it back when you are done. Who wants to paint the old house when they are moving? If you find a beautiful stainless silver fridge or see some useful cookers (isn’t that funny, cookers is another word for ovens) you don’t purchase them because it is not your home. However despite the drawback I am realizing that decorating your home makes you just plain feel good!

My tips for decorating while you are renting

1. If you plan on staying for a while painting a splash wall may be the way to go if your landlord agrees.

2. Use curtains and bring in color (most rentals are all white). This is easy to put up and take down

3. Consider the vinyl lettering that can easily be removed (or they say it can) when you leave.

4. Add shelves to hold beautiful knick knacks

5. Use drop rugs to add character and color to a room

Do you consider your home..homey? Do you decorate well? Do you have any tips for renters?


About Colleen Shibley

Colleen Shibley Mother to 3 kids, wife to an awesome & thoughtful husband, beach lover, book reader, working woman by day, and blogger by night. Blogging from sunny South Florida passionate about travel, good food, entertainment, and enjoying family time...[Read More...]


  1. My husband and I sold our house 12 years ago and became renters. Being in our 50’s we have no desire to purchase a house at this age and love that the upkeep for major repairs falls on someone elses expense account. Some tips for renting…I have found that if I scour flea markets and antique stores and pick up vintage items…old tables or chests, trunks, vintage Pyrex dishes, and use them as part of my decor, it makes the rental property feel like a home. It adds character and age and gives the elusion of a family history. I also use a lot of floral arrangements with pretty silk flowers. If you have a window seal or a planter stand where you can grow some potted herbs such as lavendar and sage, it also gives a homey feel to it. I put cookbooks in baskets on display and hang an old apron on the bakers rack. All of these little “homey” touches make it feel like our place instead of something we are renting. For the outside, I like to decorate my porch and deck with large flower parts full of assorted flowers in spring and change it out to Mums in fall and small pine shrubbery for winter. This again adds to the allusion that this is my home and I care for it. I hope you enjoy your new place and I can’t wait to see pictures. We are in the process of redoing our master bath and I’ve changed my mind four times on the decor so I haven’t actually started it yet. I’m still scouring the web for ideas.

  2. Cushions are also good for adding color & texture.

  3. Jodi Hoppe Wresh says:

    I live in a small apartment and as their not being alot of space for storage, my dad had a nice old dresser which he painted and i put it in the hall way and used curtains to cover and hang over the dresser. It looks very nice and decorative. I also had a small entertainment center i put curtains over and can use that as storage and a catch all for quick pick ups when guest visit. it looks nice and adds a nice touch to the home. Even an table covered like that looks good and can be used as storage underneath!

  4. These are great tips! I’ve never rented before (except for apartments with I was really young) but my daughter is renting a house soon and moving in next month. I’ll have to share with her!

  5. I also do curtains , rugs, wreath and potted plants at the door and hang pictures, but some other things that I do to personalize my apartment is:

    I change the drawer and pulls on the cupboards in the kitchen to nicer ones.
    I change the light that goes above the table to a nicer one.
    I put up fans in each room if there is none and if there is I put light fixtures on them.

    Understanding that I have been living in apartments for the past 7 1/2 years, I have a dining room light, nice fans and knobs and pulls that I take with me so I only invested once but it makes a big difference in the look of the apartment since many items in rentals are not of the highest quality and it makes it my place because no other apartment has a light or fan or knobs and pulls like mine.

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