When you live in a rental property, you probably seek to do everything you can to make it feel like home. That’s because, although you don’t own it, you’re the person living in it. The last thing you want is to feel as if you’re living in someone else’s space.
From an interior design and decorating standpoint, there are limits to what you can do with the place, though. Most of the time, permanent alterations aren’t an option. But there are plenty of ways you can spruce up a space and make it feel more like your style.
Rental Property Design Tips
Designing and decorating a rental property requires creativity. There are certain things you can do and certain things you probably can’t. As a basic rule, you have to return the premises to their original form when you move out.
So if it’s going to require a lot of work on the back end, you probably shouldn’t do it. Here are several useful tips:
Talk to the Property Manager
Sometimes there are major elements you would like to upgrade or change, but you know you’re not permitted to … or are you?
If there’s a renovation you’d like to effect, and you’re willing to do it on your own dime, the property owner might actually be okay with that (assuming it will increase the value of the property).
For example, you might want to paint old stained cabinets white to refresh the kitchen. Perhaps you want to replace a light fixture in the master bathroom. The key is to talk with your property manager and get their written approval.
Choose Statement Pieces
Many people assume they have to load up on tons of decorations and expensive furniture to make a room look luxurious. But that’s simply not true.
Typically, the best interior design is also the simplest. Rather than buy lots of decor, choose one statement piece for each room.
In the living room, it might be a coffee table. In the master bedroom, it’s a headboard. In a hallway, it’s a piece of art.
When there’s a statement piece, it draws in the eye and alleviates the pressure to fill every square inch of the room with stuff.
Want to know an easy trick to decorate a room when you don’t know what else to do? Add houseplants.
Seriously… it’s an effortless design hack. Adding plants appeals to our human attraction to nature and environmental processes.
“It’s also about introducing natural materials, colors, textures, patterns and even technologies that evoke a feeling of nature, and remembering that our homes need to have spaces that energize, stimulate and connect us with each other, while being calming, relaxing and restorative,” Oliver Heath writes for House Beautiful.
When it comes to houseplants, select a variety of sizes, colors, and textures. A large ficus can fill an empty corner, while small succulents will add visual intrigue to a windowsill. A potted flower may serve as a great centerpiece. (The list could go on and on.)
Have Fun With Walls
You’re typically allowed to paint walls when you live in a rental property (as long as you return them to their original color before moving out). There are also a lot of fun stick-on wallpaper options you can use to spruce up smaller spaces without damaging the walls.
Throw Down Some Rugs
Rugs should be a must-have on your rental property decor list. They’re great for hiding ugly stained carpet or scratched hardwoods.
They also add an extra layer of comfort to the space by absorbing noise and cushioning your feet. Another great thing about rugs is that you can take them with you when you move and put them to work in your next space.
For this reason, it’s typically a good idea to go with neutral rugs that are versatile in a number of places.
Adding It Up
It doesn’t take much to turn a drab rental property into a comfortable and homey space that you love. The key is to choose the right upgrades and decor so you get maximum visual impact without compromising the property.
Start with the tips highlighted in this article, but don’t be afraid to get even more creative! There will be viable options for each and every room in your home.