8 Easy Ways To Decorate A Rented Home

You’ve finally got the keys to your rented home and unpacked all the boxes, so now it’s time to start decorating. Interiors blogger, Medina Grillo, shares her top tips on how to style your new home without losing the deposit.

TIP 1: INVEST IN STATEMENT FURNITURE 

Now, I’m not about to dictate the sort of home furnishings you should have in your house because, like most things in the interiors world, styles will vary and there really is no one-size-fits-all set of rules. However, if this were a general renter’s guide to furnishing a home, it would read something like this…invest in statement pieces. Furniture might just be the only way that you will be able to add personality to your rented home, so think of it as an investment worth focusing your energy on.

Wooden round dining table with grey metal chairs and pink rug

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TIP 2: CREATE A RENTER-FRIENDLY GALLERY WALL 

Let me explain, in just two words: Adhesive Strips. These are a specialised kind of tape with an adhesive backing that come in a variety of sizes and forms. They are perfect for hanging items with a flat back, such as pictures and frames. When applied properly, these strips can later be removed from the wall without leaving any damage or residue behind.

Gallery wall with different sized prints and frames

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TIP 3: SEEK OUT INEXPENSIVE RUG SOLUTIONS

Large rugs are expensive so no matter how tempting, you might want to resist the urge to cover every inch of your rented floor with a rug. Here are some cheaper ‘rug’ suggestions.

Buy flat-woven rugs

These tend to be much less pricey than woven wool rugs. They will also sit better on carpet without creating a tripping hazard.

Blue upholstered 3 seater sofa with two flat woven rugs on the floor

Layer your rugs

Layering rugs is a great way to introduce additional pattern and texture to a space. Start off with a large, neutral, flat-woven rug. Next, add a patterned or coloured rug on top, either smack in the middle or at an angle, if you want to cover a larger surface area of your floor. Just make sure that the second rug isn’t too small or it will end up looking very out of place.

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TIP 4: BUY MULTI-FUNCTIONAL FURNITURE 

Multi-functional furniture provides a way to get more utility from a space. Great examples are:

  • Beds with additional storage underneath.
  • A stylish ottoman that can function as both a coffee table and a place for storing blankets.
  • A table that can be folded down into a desk or extended for entertaining guests.
  • Chairs that can be folded when not in use and either hung or stacked elsewhere.

Yellow velvet storage bench in bedroom with wooden legs

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TIP 5: BASKETS ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS

No kidding… here’s why:

  • They are great for hiding (or organising) clutter, including toys, books, shoes, clothes or any small items.
  • They look great while hiding said clutter and you can buy them in all different shapes, sizes and styles to suit your needs.
  • They can be placed inside larger pieces of furniture to create a more streamlined, organised look.
  • They are affordable (for the most part).

Wicker baskets with cushions and plants in

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TIP 6: IMPROVE POOR LIGHTING 

Here are some inexpensive ways to improve poor lighting:

Floor and table lamps

These lights can be placed in the corners of a room or on surfaces to amplify the amount of light in a room. Table lamps can be placed on hall tables, sideboards, bedside tables, or desks.

Overhead pendant lights

It’s no surprise that rental properties often don’t have good overhead lighting. But the good news is you can add your own ceiling pendant lights without needing an electrician. By using cup hooks in the ceiling, you can suspend plug-in pendants from covered cords or chains.

Blue high gloss sideboard with pendant ceiling light and table lamps

Candles

These offer a cosy glow. For maximum effect, place them next to mirrors, windows or in glass or metallic containers. I love placing tealights inside glass mason jars.

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TIP 7: DRESS YOUR BED

Here are just a few things you might need to dress a bed (ensure you get the sizing right).

  • Mattress cover: if your mattress is already provided but not new, invest in a comfortable mattress topper, both for hygiene reasons and added comfort.
  • Fitted sheets: opt for an extra-deep version if you are using a mattress topper.
  • Duvet and duvet covers: Choose duvet covers that complement the colours in the room.
  • Feature (accent) cushions: play around with sizes and colour.
  • Throw: folded at the end of the bed, a throw can add warmth, colour or pattern and texture – try velvet, faux-fur or wool.

Khaki bed linen with cream throw and pink velvet upholstered bed frame

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TIP 8: GET PLANT HAPPY

Indoor plants are probably the best way to add character to a rented home. Here’s why:

  • Houseplants are affordable.
  • They bring the outside in and, frankly, you can never go wrong with a little greenery in your life.
  • Plants are great air cleansers.
  • You can’t have too many. Fact.

Plant in wicker basket and blue wooden sideboard

Read our top tips on house plant   »

Extract taken from: Home Sweet (Rented) Home: Transform Your Home Without Losing Your Deposit by Medina Grillo. Published by Mitchell Beazley, £15.00.

Home sweet rented home by Medina Grillo
Medina Grillo
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