The 17 Landlord-Approved Decorating Hacks For Renters
Whether they're overwhelmed by the skyrocketing house prices or enjoy the freedom of a short-term lease, a huge number of Australians rent the homes they live in. There are definitely some perks to renting, for example being able to pack up and move to accommodate new work or family commitments without a mortgage to think about. Renting also comes with some challenges as well, with not being able to renovate or seriously alter the interior a common problem that renters come up against frequently. The good news is that we're here to help you modify your rental with seventeen of the best decorating hacks that even your landlord would approve of.
1. Mood lighting
This is one of our favourite go-to decorating tips of all time because it has the power to turn a lacklustre room into an ambient space where you'll actually enjoy spending time. Choosing to add multiple sources of light from lamps on the floor, wall or table will give you a much more flexible and intimate space that will feel very grown-up as well.
2. Smart storage
Enough storage is hard to come by at the best of times, but when you're renting a place without built-in wardrobes or even a linen cupboard, it's time to get creative. Tuck inexpensive baskets full of towels and sheets neatly under the laundry bench or choose to show off your best threads on a sleek clothes rail. Making an attractive feature of storage is a great way to solve a problem.
3. Go frameless
If you've signed a contract that forbids you from hammering hooks into the walls, consider removing your favourite prints from their frames and applying them to the wall in a way that won't leave a mark. Washi tape or trusty blu-tack work well and mean that you can easily swap pieces in and out to suit your desired look.
4. Cover the floor
Sometimes an apartment ticks all the right boxes but has a bad case of ugly carpet. Short of covering the cost to have it removed yourself, the best way to get the look of new flooring is to layer with rugs. This works really well with weathered tiles and floorboards as well, and the bigger the better.
5. Introduce greenery
Whether your rental comes with an outdoor space to enjoy or not, an easy trick to remain feeling connected to the natural world is to simply bring some leafy friends inside. You'll be surprised how much a pop of green and an organic element will change the entire vibe of your place.
6. Removable wallpaper
Yep, it's a thing! Wallpapering is out of the question unless you're looking to spend a whole lot of time and cash when it comes time to reset the place to claim your bond back. A removable option is perfect for those of us who love a bit of colour and pattern and can't stand the sight of a blank wall. The best part is that your landlord will never even know it was there.
7. Swap curtains
Curtains and window treatments are notoriously daggy in rental properties. If yours are also looking a little bit worse for wear and letting your whole scheme down, go out and grab some inexpensive replacements that you can take with you when you move on. Make sure to tuck the originals away for a later date.
8. Paint furniture
Sure, you could change the colour of your walls and paint them again when you move out, but that just sounds a little bit too tedious. Instead, inject colour and personality into your home by taking a paintbrush to your furniture pieces. Look for some vintage bargains that are in good condition but would benefit from a fresh new update to match your aesthetic.
9. Room dividers
Knocking down or putting up walls is completely off the cards, but creating separate living zones is still possible in a rental home. Screens and room dividers can work as both décor and a way to section off areas for privacy. For example, you could create a little reading nook with an armchair that feels cosy and secluded.
10. Lean a mirror
Large-scale mirrors are one of the trendiest (and heaviest) must-have homewares right now. Luckily though, they look just as great when they're leant against a wall or on a mantle, so renters won't have to worry about any damage caused.
11. Stacking furniture
If space is tight at home, there are ways that you can make space for friends and guests without crowding every corner. For example, by choosing dining chairs that are able to stack together, you can easily store extras away for gatherings. The same goes for a nest of side tables that can function together or be spread across your place for multiple uses.
12. Change pendants
Similar to the way in which you can easily update your curtains while you rent, you might be able to do the same for unattractive pendant lights. Often light shades are easily removable and can be replaced without the need for an expert.
13. Replace handles
So simple but so effective, selecting inexpensive handles and knobs for your kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanity will automatically elevate the interior and modernise the overall look and feel. Grab the toolkit and get your DIY afternoon on.
14. Colour play
While you have to work with what you've got to some degree in a rental property, there are no rules about having fun with decorating. The best way to introduce some fun into your aesthetic is to choose smaller items like cushions and ceramics in bold shades to spruce things up throughout.
15. Island bench
You're not always going to get the kitchen of your dreams when you're renting, so some clever choices can really transform the heart of the home. A great hack for renters is to buy a movable island bench to give you more bench space that could even work as a breakfast bar.
If someone could walk into your home and not recognise who lived there, that's an issue. Whether you rent or not, your place should feel specific to you and should remind you of experiences, travels and loved ones. Dig out special photos and mementos from boxes and find ways to display them on shelves and around the house so that you feel ownership of your rental.
17. Wall shelves
There are so many products on the market these days that help renters to execute their design ideas while upholding their rental agreements. To give yourself more surface to display books, vases and other décor pieces, look for floating shelves that don't require drilling. You could also try your hand at a DIY shelving unit if that's your type of thing.