In this post, we will explore effective tips for safely decorating a rental house while sticking to a budget. These ideas are sure to maximize your room’s potential without breaking the bank… or common rental agreements.

decorating rented flat

It’s no secret that renting a home on a budget often comes with certain limitations on what you can do to customize your space. However, I’d like to point out that just because you’re a renter, it does not mean you have to sacrifice style and personality with your home!

In this post, I’m about to share effective and impactful ideas that will help elevate your rental space without breaking the bank…or losing your security deposit.

  • First and foremost it’s important to take another gander at that rental agreement before trying ANY decorative ideas. For good measure, check directly with your landlord. In this post, I’m listing commonly safe decorative strategies, but rental agreements can vary from person to person. So be mindful of that so you do not risk losing your security deposit!
  • If you remove any decor that is already supplied such as curtains, be sure to put them in a safe place and take good care of them. When it comes time to move, simply put the decor back up exactly how it was.

Please note that some of this site’s links are affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. I will earn a small commission AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU if you purchase them. These products I recommend to my customers as they are good products with high ratings

decorating rental flat

1. Add Removable Wallpaper and Decals

decorating rented flat

Gone are the days of having wallpaper that is a pain to remove! Now with the invention of removable wallpaper and decals, renters have an option to get creative by adding pops of color, an accent wall, bold patterns, etc to express themselves without risking their security deposit!

I personally would opt for an accent wall versus an entire room because when it’s time to move out, you don’t want too much to have to do as moving is a whole process on its own. An accent wall is a great compromise. It is such an easy way to take a bland room and really make it pop!

Why Wallpaper?

  • If you don’t have a lot of furnishings, it’s an easy way to take a room from boring and plain to wow!
  • It is impactful
  • There are SO many options to choose from! You are bound to find a pattern that speaks to you

2. Opt For Temporary Decorative Solutions

decorating rental house

Adhesive hooks and strips were a decorative lifesaver for me! Specifically Command Hooks. They have so many different kinds of options and styles with various weight limits.

Utilizing adhesive hooks is the perfect way to avoid putting holes in the walls while still expressing yourself. Plus, they are not only great for decorative items but functional ones as well.

They are specifically designed to leave no trace of damage to the wall as they adhere to it. In addition, they are inexpensive!

One way that I loved using these hooks is for my balcony curtains! It was the most inexpensive yet effective idea to elevate our balcony. And more importantly, no harm was done to the rental property!

All I did was use 2-3 Command Hooks, a shower curtain rod, and 2 sheer curtain panels. It made morning and evening sunsets just that much more cozy!

And if you do not have a balcony like an apartment, you can do the same thing on a back patio!

3. Mix Up Textiles

decorating a rental house

Textiles are an inexpensive way to add color, texture, and personality to your rental decor. Invest in budget-friendly throw pillows, area rugs, and curtains to instantly update your space and make it feel more inviting.

Amazon is my go-to as they have so many great deals on area rugs and pillow covers that you won’t find in major retail box stores. You can purchase slipcovers for outdated, worn furniture. Lay a throw or sheepskin on the couch for added comfort.

When mixing textiles, it’s good to have solids mixed in with patterns. For example, with throw pillows, I like to have a solid color and then a patterned pillow in front of the solid.
I make sure the pattern has a solid color incorporated in it somewhere to help complement it and create a more cohesive look.

Also, to make your space feel more homey and less empty, hang curtains that reflect your style and choice of color scheme. Curtains help anchor a room as well as add pops of color and patterns to a blah space.

In addition, you can even balance a room with curtains. For example, if you have a patterned couch, buy solid-colored curtains. If you have a solid-colored couch, buy curtains with a pattern on them.
An extra tip: To make a room appear larger, use large patterns. It helps trick the eye into expanding the space.

**Remember, when decorating a rental house, if there are already curtains, be sure to store them away with care and hang them back up before moving.**

decorating a rental house
decorating a rental house

Pictured above are my curtains from about 10 years ago at my old apartment. I mixed and matched two different tones to create more interest. In addition, the valance adds drama and helps break up all the brown.

It’s good to have 2-3 colors in your color scheme to choose from. This helps you to draw from each color for other textiles in the room and creates a more interesting and dynamic flow.

decorating a rental house
decorating a rental house

Fast forward 10 years later, I can not talk about curtains without mentioning my FAVORITE Amazon find! I love love love these curtains by Best Home Fashion, especially the PRICE. I purchased them in the “Cloud Grey” color. *Chef’s kiss* I highly recommend them!

4. Shop Second Hand and Thrift Stores

decorating rented flat

I have many fond memories of hitting up local garage and estate sales with my mom and grandma growing up. You never know what you will find at a fraction of the cost!
The best day to go is on Saturday mornings. And go early so you get the first pick! My grandma took garage sales very seriously and she was always on the hunt early in the morning! Lol

I often recommend garage sales first before the thrift store as you will get better deals, especially on furniture compared to the stores. Plus, you can always bargain with the seller.

Another great way, if you don’t have the time to go to garage sales, is to check out your local Facebook Market page. There are always pieces of furniture being sold on there and the sellers are usually willing to negotiate price.
And always keep an open mind about a piece of furniture. It may just need a little TLC with a coat of wood stain. In fact, I’m working on repurposing an old armoire into a coffee station at the moment! This leads me to my next tip…

5. Explore DIY Projects For Your Old Furniture

Don’t ever be too intimidated to try your shot at a DIY project! There are thousands out there to choose from that range from beginner-friendly to expert. I personally like to explore Pinterest for handy DIY ideas.
I’ve saved SO much money over the years repurposing furniture, light fixtures, etc. And let me tell you, I am NOT a DIY expert, so if I can do them, I KNOW you can too! And just to clarify I’m talking about if the furniture is yours, NOT the land owners.

P.S. Never underestimate what a can of Rustoleum spray paint and a can-do attitude can accomplish! ;)

6. Invest In Multipurpose Furniture

decorating rented flat
decorating a rental house

Anything that is multipurpose is going to give you more bang for your buck! One piece of multipurpose furniture that I like in particular is ottomans that double as a coffee table.

You can not only store blankets in these, but the lid is reversible and you can use it as a coffee table! be mindful of measurements when ordering these. My ottoman doubled as a decorative window seat in my rental and I loved it!

7. Add A Wallpaper Backsplash

decorating rented flat

Often times installing a tiled backsplash is a no-no for renters. However, adding the removable wallpaper is a great option for infusing your personal style into a kitchen! Yes, there are stick-on tiles but those can actually damage walls. And we want to avoid that.

Decorating a rental house while on a budget does come with specific limitations. However, that does not mean you can’t add your personal touch to your space! With DIY projects, temporary solutions, shopping savvy, and utilizing textiles, you can easily make your space your own without breaking the bank!

I hope this post has sparked some ideas to try as well as creativity! Remember to always double-check by asking your landlord before doing anything.

As always, happy decorating!

– Olivia Jay

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