Living in rented accommodation means that your interior is limited to what your landlord will allow, making it hard for your house to feel like it’s yours. However, having lived in rented accommodation while at University myself, I have some great ways in which you can decorate which won’t annoy your landlord, so if you’re bored with those plain walls, tired of that blue carpet or just want to make the space have more of your personality keep reading and make your house a home!
Cozy up your home
Adding soft furnishings to your sofas and chairs makes the space look more homely and displays your personality. The best way to do this is buying or making cushions. Using several cushions is the best way to add interest and create a focal point. Have a look out for bold printed cushions which will liven up your furniture, just try not to use too many different bold ones or they’ll clash! Choose cushions that will fit the style and colours of your interior so they work with the room.
If your sofa was purchased by your landlord and you don’t like the colour or material you can add a throw or blanket to cover it up – simple and effective!
Bye bye boring walls
Wall art is the best way to get rid of those plain walls, and with so many options you can decorate to your heart’s content! Here are some of the options that you can choose from:
- Vinyl wall stickers – instantly adds impact and style to a room, and with so many designs you’ll be spoilt for choice! They’re easy to apply and remove so you wont damage the paint on the wall (just make sure the walls were painted 6 months ago to ensure they’re completely dry!) I love how these look, and you can create a feature wall which will instantly liven up your home.
- Canvases/frames – Simple and modern, canvases and frames with your choice of artwork shows off your personality and livens up the room.
- Mirrors – These are great especially if your rooms are small. Adding mirrors reflects light, and magnifies the room creating the feeling of a larger space. They also look great and come in many different designs.
- Photographs – What better way to show your personality than through photographs. Relive those old memories and good times by displaying your photographs. You could choose to have a neat, uniform design, or mix and match sizes and create a collage. Either apply with blutac, or put in simple frames.
- Metal and wire wall art – If you have existing nails in your walls or are allowed to add some, metal wall art is stylish, modern and unique. It instantly adds a focal point so no more dull walls. There are so many designs to choose from, from trees to fish; there is something for everyone.
- Shelves – Again, if you have existing nails in your walls or are allowed to add some, shelves are a great way you can display ornaments, items, photos, artwork etc. and add interest to your walls.
You can also purchase removable wallpaper for your walls. This works just like normal wallpaper, but peels off easily when you want to remove it meaning this is a great choice for renters! There are loads of designs to choose from so find your favourite and get wallpapering!
Decorate your floor
Having lived in rented accommodation during university, I know how some carpets can be… but there is good news! You can detract attention away from the carpet or even cover it by placing a large rug. Bold designs work best for attracting the eye so your existing carpet will hardly get noticed.
Add a little light into your life
Lights are a great way to add to your interior; they are easy to change and move around, they brighten up dark areas and they can change the atmosphere. Below are the types of lights to look into, and why you should use them.
- Floor lamps – These are a great way to decorate your rented interior and fill up some of that unwanted corner space. They can be moved easily and can be a part of your design. There are loads of styles from wood to crystal so choose whichever will fit best with your home.
- Table lamps – Using them in places you want more light makes a room feel bigger and brightens it up. You can get some interesting and arty styles, so why should a lamp just be for light? Center it on your table like a piece of artwork.
- Ceiling lights – If your landlord has an ugly light shade or just a bulb, you can change to a light shade you like. Look for ones that will fit with your furniture and colour scheme which will work best with your room. For example, if your interior is elegant and stylish, a crystal ceiling light will look great and will fit with your existing furniture, if your interior is simple and modern, a simple coloured shade will look best and if your interior is contemporary you can choose many unique shapes and designs and so on.. There’s no limit to what you choose, most styles work well in most homes!
Creative with curtains
Buying some new curtains is important if there are boring, old ones in your home. Match the colour to the accent colours of your room, so if you have a neutral colour scheme with red cushions, then red curtains will work best. Printed curtains are also a great way to brighten and add interest to your room. If there is a blind, then you can buy curtains to cover it up, or even buy a more stylish, modern blind – just remember to change back to the existing one before moving out!
Feel good furniture
Whether you bought your own furniture, buying new items, or the place was already furnished before you moved in, furniture is the most important aspect of your home. If the pieces and colours are all different, then they wont work together and wont create a uniform interior. This is especially hard if the house was already furnished, however below are some ways to make the furniture look nicer, more stylish and have more of your personality.
- Living room – as I mentioned previously, you can change how a sofa looks by adding cushions or a throw. If you’re tight on space, purchasing a smaller sofa will help make the room feel bigger. For tables, add some unique coasters to add some interest and a centerpiece such as a vase of flowers, a lamp or an ornament. TV stands or bookshelves can be decorated with pictures and photographs and you can add plants, lamps, storage or large ornaments to fill in any empty space.
- Bedroom – The bed is the most important feature of the room, so adding a stylish duvet cover and matching cushions is a must. An accent colour will work wonderfully as you can choose to use this colour on the curtains or cushions to stand out and add some interest. For example, if you have a dark bedroom and your accent colour was red, you could have a black duvet with red cushions to stand out. Play around with colours and see which works best! For bedroom storage such as drawers and a wardrobe, you can add fairy lights or photos to make them less plain (if your room was furnished before you moved in).
- Kitchen – This is definitely the hardest room to alter and make it feel like yours as you can’t really add your own furniture. The best thing to do for your kitchen is to purchase bold kitchen appliances. When I had my rented house, my kitchen was wooden with black counter tops, so I added a bold red microwave, kettle and toaster to add interest and which looked stylish. Make sure to match these appliances as they’ll help to bring the design together. You can also find some cute utensils and items such as bread bins to fill empty space. If you have a breakfast area, buying some modern dining stools will instantly revitalise the area and will look fantastic.
Even simply re-arranging your furniture can make a room look more interesting and adding plants and flowers will brighten it up.
There are so many ways in which you can make a rented house feel like it belongs to you, so I hope this helped you with ideas and hope you have fun decorating! If there’s anything else you wish to know about changing rented interiors, leave a comment below!