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Decorate your rental apartment with minimum costs!

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Living in a rental apartment has its own advantages, especially for those who are always on the move from one city to another. A majority of the working population all over the world live in rented accommodations which may be unfurnished, or partially furnished or even fully furnished. The kind of apartment chosen often depends on the individual’s budget, family size, and factors like proximity to workplace and so on.

But no matter where you live, you would definitely want to turn it into a home and add your personal touches or the décor accents that you like, right? And that is where the biggest drawback of living in a rental apartment kicks in, since landlords almost never encourage you to re-decorate. Installing any type of fixture like wall shelves or cove lighting is a serious no-no. Even small changes like nail holes on the living room wall can cause a rift in your relationship with your landlord.

With all the landlord’s strict “don’ts” in mind, decorating a rental apartment can seem challenging. But where there is a will, there is a way! Here are some cool ideas and tricks which can enable you to adorn your rental apartment the way you want, without causing any permanent changes.

Self-adhesive kitchen tiles are a godsend

Don’t like the dull and mundane kitchen of your rented accommodation? A change of tiles can perk up things. And not all tiles have to be installed with cement and grout. If you don’t like the landlord’s choice of kitchen or bathroom tiles, pick between vinyl tiles and self adhesive polypropylene tiles. While the vinyl tiles are cheaper, polypropylene tiles have greater longevity. The advantage of both these types of tiles is that, they can be attached conveniently over existing tiles and they don’t damage the landlord’s tiles when you remove them at the time of leaving the apartment.

Use command hooks

Decorating an apartment can be difficult without nails and screws. But drilling holes may irk the owner. Which is why, command hooks are every rental apartment decorator’s best friend. The adhesive backing of command hooks enables you to attach them to any vertical surface while the hook in the front will endure anything light weight.  Command hooks can be put to a number of uses in a rental house, from being used to hang decorative wreaths or wall arts to supporting curtain rods.

Wall decals can transform your apartment

Bored by the lifeless empty wall spaces of your apartment? The answer is decals or wallpapers. From word art and quotations to graphics and 3D art, wall decals are available in a number of sizes and cater to varying budgets. These can also be customized to suit your personality and style. Walls of the living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen are some of the most suited spaces for decals. They are easy to apply and remove too. Just make sure that you buy good quality wallpapers or decals, so that they don’t leave behind any sticky residue once you remove them. Take a cue from this gorgeous wallpapered room designed by Studio Lisa Bengtsson, from Sweden.

Hang tapestry as artwork

modern  by Svetlana Kuliskova, Modern
Svetlana Kuliskova

Tapestries Art Protis

Svetlana Kuliskova

Besides decals or wallpapers, tapestries can liven up your walls very efficiently too. They are usually lighter than framed art or canvas prints, and hence is better suited for rental apartment wall décor. You could also hammer nails high on the wall, close to the ceiling where they are less noticeable and hang tapestry from them with the help of transparent nylon fishing line. Using command hooks may also work well.

The magic of bold curtains

Curtains are a great tool for rental decorating. Choose drapes that are bold and make a fashion statement. This way, curtains can draw the visitor’s attention and become the focal point of any room. Consider colour blocked fabrics, bold geometric patterns and retro prints for visual interest. Along with patterns, also look at how the texture of the fabric will affect the room’s décor. The way your curtains are draped also make a difference to the way a room is perceived. To give your rental apartment an opulent and elegant look, install curtain rods closer to the ceiling and let the curtains skim the floor.

Plants and flowers for a natural feel

eclectic  by rigby & mac, Eclectic
rigby & mac

Animal Head Wall Vase

rigby & mac

Their budget friendliness and ability to purify air are amongst the most popular reasons to decorate a rental apartment with plants. In addition, they do not interfere with the existing structure or layout of the house in any way, making them ideal as decorative accents. A windowsill herb garden is ideal for kitchens, while a pothos potted in water is perfect for a bathroom. When choosing plants for home interiors, check their water and natural light requirements, and pick plants that are draught friendly and shade resistant for easy maintenance.

The versatility of bookcases

modern  by Empatika, Modern

Random bespoke bookcase


Books don’t just augment your knowledge, but also are a wonderful way to decorate a rental house. Books can be stacked in bookcases or piled high on shelves to create interesting focal points in a room. Displaying books in a rental apartment also lets your home décor reflect your personality, and adds character to the room.

A statement mirror? Why not?

A mirror is an essential element of every beautiful home interior. When placed right, mirrors can alter the appearance of a room by making it look larger and brighter. A beautifully framed mirror can be just the statement piece needed for a living room. When finding a place for a mirror, consider both the wall it will be mounted on and the view it reflects. Instead of letting the mirror reflect an empty wall, place it in a way so that it reflects a window or an interesting element in your room.

Lean artwork, don't hang

Some pieces of art are too beautiful to not put up in a house. But large artworks come with heavy frames that often cannot be mounted on the wall directly. To display them without drilling holes in the wall, consider placing them on the floor or a table and rest them against the wall. Using an easel is another interesting way to display framed artwork.

When thinking of ways to decorate a rental apartment, think of solutions that are of a temporary nature. Faux wallpaper made with starched fabric is a viable alternative to dull plain walls. Not only is this a DIY home décor project that is budget friendly, it is ideal for rental apartment décor since it can be easily installed and removed without harming the wall finish. Area rugs can also be used to divide spaces and create intimate zones.  Lastly, add lights in the form of table lamps and floor lamps to brighten up a rental apartment. Fairy lights are an interesting alternative that can give your home a cosy vibe. Here is another ideabook to inspire you further - How to bring your rental kitchen alive!

Which idea from here inspired you the most? Let us know in the comments!
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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