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Rental Decor 101

You just signed a lease on an adorable rental in a great location. Now, it’s time to make your new place feel like home. When it comes to decorating, it’s important to know and respect the landlord’s rules. Even if you’re not allowed to paint, there are plenty of other ways to make this space your own. We’ve pulled out all the stops to give you decorating tips and tricks that will make your rental feel like home sweet home

Decorating Tips

An assortment of decorating tools

Know Your Limits: Before going to town with your decor, study your lease and get on the same page with your landlord. This way, you know exactly where to draw the line when changing the rental’s appearance. You never know — you could be pleasantly surprised by what he or she will let you do!
Take Stock: Make a list of what you already have and what you need or want. For example, maybe you have plenty of furniture but not enough storage to accommodate a small space. Or perhaps you have a couple of lamps, but you don’t have enough to make up for poor lighting. Making a shopping a list will help your decorative process be stress-free. It will also help you establish a better idea of the style you’re shooting for, which will help you create a cohesive design.
Take Measurements: The key to successful rental decorating is utilizing the space you have to its fullest potential. Before you move into your rental, measure your furniture to be sure it will fit into your new space and request measurements of each room from your landlord. Doing this will help you visualize how you can arrange things and prevent any moving day surprises of furniture that won’t fit.
De-clutter: Moving is a great opportunity to declutter and downsize. As you pack and unpack, take stock of your belongings and get rid of junk or things you simply don’t use anymore. This will make settling into your rental home less stressful and leave room for new things and decor updates.

Rental Essentials

Window shades, a perfect addtion for a rental property

Window Shades

Your rental might come with standard, flimsy window blinds, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with them. Replace them with Roman shades or wooden blinds for a look that is both functional and decorative. Hang these in addition to curtains and you’ll have a layered look that adds dimension to your home.

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A colorful area rug, perfect for a rental home

Area Rugs

Area rugs can cure a multitude of decorative ills like outdated carpet and laminate. When fighting the monotone, neutral look of a rental home, a patterned, textured, or colorful area rug really helps lay down the law of your personal style. Rugs also help ground your design scheme, warm up tile and hardwood, and add depth to your decor.

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A table lamp, perfect for lighting your new rental


If your home lacks natural light or proper overhead lighting, it’s easy to supplement with lamps. Use floor and table lamps to bring quality lighting into your space. Task lighting works well in focused spaces like a desk or office area. Accent lighting helps warm up corners and hallways.

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A slipcover, this is great to cover old furniture and give it a new look


If you want to change the look of your furniture in cinch, but don’t have the funds for all new furniture or upholstery, slipcovers are your best friends. Not only do slipcovers offer an easy way to change your look, but they also come in varying textures and designs. Additionally, slipcovers make it easy to keep your furniture clean.

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Rental Accents

An indoor planter filled with succulents

Indoor Plants

Whether your rental comes with plenty of outdoor space or a zero lot line, plants are a decorating essential. Indoors, they  automatically make your home feel more alive, and research shows that indoor plants can significantly improve mood and mental health. Be sure to choose plants that are known for thriving indoors, such as succulents and ferns. If you don’t have floor space to spare, display your houseplants in hanging planters where they’ll get enough light or cluster them on surfaces like tabletops and shelves.

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A metallic mirror perfect for a rental decor piece


If you’re trying to improve the lighting in your rental home, metallic details can perk up your space and add some shine. The metallics in your home don’t have to be the main act. Small details like metallic picture frames and planters are enough to reflect light and add new dimension. If your style leans more toward glam, don’t be afraid of larger metallic pieces like coffee tables and shelves.

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A home storage rack, perfect to help keep a rental property clean and tidy

Home Storage

Don’t let clutter get in the way of a well-decorated rental. Small things like shoes, mail, books, and coats can easily pile up and disturb the harmony you’ve worked so hard to create. Combat possible messes with practical and stylish home storage. Storage essentials typically include coat racks or coat hooks, shoe organizers, mail storage, and shelving. Choose storage that complements your decor so it blends seamlessly.

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A pop of color with bold throw pillows

Pops of Color

While decorating with neutrals can be a beautiful thing, a pop of color is an undeniably cheerful way to warm up a cold space. Whether you love neon, earth tones, or jewel tones, using color in some way will add interest to your decor. Choose throw pillows, curtains, and wall decor in the accent color of your choice.

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