Decorating Hacks for Rental Properties

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In this article, you'll discover some cool decorating hacks for rental properties.

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We all know the American dream – to live in a property that you own. But for many, this dream is out of reach. Ideally, we would all love to own the house that we live in, but there are many reasons why one needs to rent. Whether it be financial issues, a need to move around constantly, or simply not wanting to be tied down to a single location or house forever. So, whether you are thrilled about living in a rental property or not, one thing is for certain – you are going to want to make feel like your own. A place where you and your family feel comfortable and at home. Decorating where you are staying is one of the best ways you can add a bit of personalization to your home, and while you will not be able to knock down walls or change the layout of your rental property, there are some useful hacks for decorating a place that is not owned by you, and that will keep your landlord happy.

Top hacks for rental properties

Blinds and Curtains

One thing that every rental property has in common is windows – some more impressive than others, but the design of your windows can make a large impact on how your space feels. Most rental properties will have existing blinds, but they are easy and cheap to change. Just make sure you keep the existing ones in a safe place for when you move out. If your space is feeling too dark, lighter (or thinner) curtains can make a world of difference. Even something as simple as an updated curtain rod can make a space seem more modern and suit your style better.

Change the Hardware

Now we are not talking about large scale renovations here, but with a bit of creative thinking and work, you can change how your rental property looks completely. Walls are permanent, but so many other areas of a house are interchangeable – shelving, doors, cupboard, handles. Places like IKEA are good sources of inspiration on how to make little changes. So, if you are not a huge fan of your kitchen cupboards – simply swap them out. Just make sure you keep the old ones handy to put back when you leave. Even if the style you choose is not that different from what was previously there, just knowing that the hardware is yours (and not owned by the landlord) can change your whole perception of the property. Removable decal stickers are also a simple and affordable way to change the look of existing hardware if you are not wanting to completely swap them out.


While you cannot change the shape or the number of walls in your property, the look of them is easily changed. Talk with your landlord – perhaps they will allow you to paint the walls (as long as they are done professionally and tastefully). Offer to paint it back to the original color once you leave, or if they are against painting at all, look at removable wallpaper. Apartment Therapy lists specially designed wallpaper for renters that look professional and permanent yet are easily removed without leaving a trace. Even something as simple as painting or wallpapering a single wall (as a feature wall) can change the whole feel of a room.

One way to make a place feel more like your own is to hang pictures or add shelving to bare walls. Many landlords will be fine with you drilling small holes in certain walls. And you can always patch up any holes you do make when you leave. Hardware stores often offer special kits for fixing the walls of rental properties.


String lights are not only for Christmas and are a great way to add a touch of color and personalization to a space. Adding some warm fairy lights to a room can make a room feel larger, more homely, and comfortable. And the best part is that they are yours, and can match your personality. If fairy lights are not for you, consider swapping out any existing lampshades or light fixtures for something that is more your style. Many lights can be changed out without an electrician (make sure you check).


While it may seem like a waste of money to make changes to a home that is not even yours, remember that you are the one who is living there, and it is important to be comfortable in your place of residence. Many of these design hacks are very affordable, especially if done yourself, and remember that most of what you purchase can be taken with you for your next property. Before you make any changes or spend any money, make sure you talk to your landlord to understand their limitations. Otherwise, a cheap hack can end up being much more expensive than you anticipated. Make sure you set a budget however as these hacks can end up costly if you do not shop around or are not careful.


So, if you are not able to own your home, you can at least make it feel like it is yours while you are living there. The number one goal here is to make your rental property feel like a home, and these small personalization’s can make a large difference. So, whether it is as simple as changing a curtain, installing a shelf (with permission), or adding a pop of color that was not there before, you can now have a place that feels like yours.


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About the AuthorCharles at infoSpike

Charles is the founder of He enjoys real estate investing, marketing, and personal finance. Read more about Charles here.