Trying to find ways to decorate your rental is always a pain in the butt. Even more when you have strict constructions as to what you can and can not do to your space.  I know how hard it is to decorate a rental because I know most people don’t really want to put in the money to decorate a place that isn’t fully theirs.

First off, I feel your pain. I ended up renting all four years of College, rented for a few years after that too and now we’re in and out of military housing. Trying to decorate a space where you have so many limitations, is not only hard but beyond frustrating too.

Secondly, trying to find ways to decorate that aren’t tacky and won’t cost you your security deposit seem to be few and far between. I am counting down the day that we move into a place where I can actually paint a wall a colour I would like and not have to hire a pay-by-the-hour licensed electrician to change out a light.

I’ll be the first to say that even though paying your rent on time is important, so is making your place as personalized and stylish as possible. Take a look at these easy design tricks and start turning that boring rental into your humble abode. 

Over sized artwork will be your best friend, but remember to hang  your art with meaning not just to fill the space. 

No excuses here people. Stop hanging art that has no meaning. Your space is most likely on the smaller side of things so, make sure everything you put into your space has meaning. Don’t just slap any old piece of art on your walls, pick a piece that you can draw inspiration from for the rest of the area. What I like to do is, find one really large scale item and make it the focal point of your room. This will not only draw people into your space, but it will also fill your blank walls with two nail holes and not a gallery wall full.
Here is an example of what I ended up doing in our townhouse rental on base. I think I searched Etsy for about three days before I landed on this beauty from I mean who doesn’t love a great pop art piece. W Francis Design creates their designs from high quality, lightweight spun polyester. They make sure that every piece is finished by with state of the art fabric printing technology to produce a crisp, high-quality image.  When they says this, they mean it. This tapestry has zero bleed between colours and absolutely zero pixeling as well. Here’s the link to Pop Art Tapestry i picked up but they have so many other awesome designs too!

Accessorize With Meaning

True story, this is the only way you are going to get a truly personal feeling in your space. Beef up your space with as many throws, pillows, and accents that reflect your style as possible. This is another great way to add colour into your space. So, keep that in mind when you are picking out your accessories, make sure the colours you choose flow and not clash. If you are lucky, you will have a neutral wall colour making picking out your colour pallet a bit easier. Our house is a mix of mid-century modern and Bohemian inspired accents. We ended up with a very light warm gray wall tone on our walls making the colour pallet we went with pop really well. I haven’t had this much colour through any of our rentals in the past and I wish I would of done this sooner. Textiles will be your best friend when it comes to really bringing in your favourite tones throughout your space.
Here is our bedroom on base. We have a six piece mid-century modern teak bed set that I have paired with textiles from my own line and a great bed spreads from Ikea.

Polka-dot bed sheets- Homesense Canada
Hunter Green Duvet cover (no longer at Ikea but I’m a fan of this here )

Embrace Lighting

This is something that most renters don’t really consider when they are decorating their space. Lighting plays a large roll in the way your room feels. Set the mood with unique floor lamps or sophisticated side table lamps. These are all things that you are able to take with you to your next home. However, if you have a really ugly looking light that you aren’t able to change think about covering it. I used the Sinnerlig pendent from Ikea and took it apart to fit over the existing light. Simple easy fix that I can bring with us when we move… again.

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Keep Plants Alive


If you are a horrible person like me and can’t keep plants a live BUT want that fresh feeling of nature, try succulents. This is a great way to add life into your space and make your parents believe you are capable of living on your own because you can keep a plant alive. Succulents are super easy and don’t require a lot of love.
Benefits of having plants in your home?
1. they clean the air
2. they have a positive impact on mental health
3. they help with sleep
If you want to find out some other really easy plants to add to your home, click here its for all your serial plant killers out there like me.

fell like a friend needs this advice? send it to them now

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