Adding Color When You Rent

Adding color when you rent is easy, even if you have plain white walls that a landlord won’t allow you to paint. There are still lots of things you can do to add color to your space. Here are six creative ways you can bring in color without adding paint to the walls!

6 Ways to Add Color When You Rent | | #color #renting #decoratingrental

1 USE DECORATIVE FOLDING SCREENS. Buy a decorative folding screen and mount it to the wall as a whole or for more impact, separate the pieces and hang them a few inches apart. To add even more of your personality, find a plain screen and cover it with a fabric you love, paint it in your favorite color or use it as a canvas for your own artwork.

Adding Color When You Rent: Use decorative folding screens

Source: Apartment Therapy

2 COVER A LARGE CANVAS WITH FABRIC. Remove the frame from the canvas, wrap with your fabric and staple.  It’s that simple. Your local second hand store is a great source for large canvas artwork. Not only are the prices good, but it won’t matter what the picture is because you are going to cover it with fabric. For a slightly different look, use several different sizes of canvas and cover them each in a different but coordinating fabric, then create a collage by grouping them together on the wall. (If colors from the picture show through your fabric, prime the picture first and then paint it with a color that is closest to your fabric color.)

Adding Color When You Rent: Cover a large canvas with fabric

Source: Apartment Therapy 

3 PAINT YOUR FURNITURE. Painted furniture is a fabulous way to bring in much needed color. This is one of my favorite ways to add color. I have a cabinet with great lines that I have painted so many times over the years that I swear it is a couple of inches bigger than it was when I first got it.

Adding Color When You Rent: Paint your furniture

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

4 USE AREA RUGS. Area rugs not only define a space, they also add color and cover unsightly flooring. You can put them on bare floors and over wall-to-wall carpeting. Yes, it’s okay to layer rugs. With a colorful rug over plain “apartment beige” carpeting or worn out floors, the rug becomes the focal point not the flooring. To keep rugs from slipping use carpet tape or rug pads. Make sure rug pads are the appropriate size for the measurement of the rug.

Adding Color When You Rent: Use colorful area rugs. You can even layer an area rug over carpet.

Source: Elle Decor

5 ACCESSORIZE WITH COLOR. No room is complete without the accessories. Here is where you can throw in as much color as you can want. Pillows, art, plates, vases, flowers, etc. are all opportunities to bring in color, design, personality and give the room a cohesive look.

Adding Color When You Rent: Decorate with colorful accessories and fabrics

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

6 HANG CURTAINS ON THE WALLS. Curtains are a great way to bring color and texture to a room and not just on the windows. Mount a curtain rod as close as possible to the ceiling or the edge of the crown molding; if there is a heading, leave enough space as necessary to accommodate it. Run the rod the full length of the wall you want to cover; then hang the curtains from the floor to the ceiling. You can use straight panels or go for fullness with gathered curtains. For a look with fullness, the width of your curtains should be 2 – 2½ times the width of the wall space you want to cover. You can find extra long extension rods at your local home improvement or decorating store. There are also special brackets available that let you hang curtains from the ceiling. Ikea has several different options at very good prices.

Adding Color When You Rent: Hang a wall of curtains

Source: Michael Abrams via Houzz
and My Design Chic

Sometimes we have to learn to work around things that we can’t change. Just because your landlord won’t allow you to paint, doesn’t mean you can’t have a well designed and colorful room. You now have some options for adding color when you rent and without painting the walls! Let me know how it goes; send me your pictures. I’d love to see what you’ve done. If you have other ideas, I’d love for you to share them with me. I look forward to hearing from you!

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  1. 1


    Peggy, thank you so much for sharing your link with me today. I love these very valuable tips you’ve made for alternative ways to add color when you can’t paint. I think my favorite is the screen idea…I would so love to alter one of those myself. The possibilites are endless.

    • 2

      Peggy Pardo says

      You are so welcome Theresa. Thank you for stopping by. If you do find a screen and change it up, I’d love to see the results!

  2. 3


    What a great post. I love all the beautiful photos. I am fascinated by decor, furniture pieces, etc;. but lack any eye for it…LOL. Glad to be connected with your blog 🙂

    • 4

      Peggy Pardo says

      Thank you Sara! It’s so much fun finding photos to illustrate my tips. Glad you found me!

    • 6

      Peggy Pardo says

      Thank you so much, Diana. That’s so sweet of you. Very happy you’re enjoying the blog! 🙂