10 Decorating Ideas for Renters

Decorate your rental space with landlord-friendly ideas! Often when renting an apartment or house you are limited to what you can change in it. But that doesn’t mean it can’t still be stylish. There are lots of ways you can decorate an apartment or other leased space without having to paint the walls or tear out those funky colored tiles in the bathroom. With a few decorating tips and tricks you can put your stamp on it and make it a space that is a reflection of your personality.

10 Decorating Ideas for Renters | DecoratingFiles.com | #renting #decoratingrentals #renters #interiordesign

Decorating Ideas for Renters

1 Use accessories and fabrics to fill a room with your personal taste and liven up a dull space. Curtains, slipcovers and pillows are available in so many colors and patterns. They are a wonderful opportunity to add your special touch to a undistinguished room. Then bring in coordinating accessories to complete the look.

Decorating Ideas for Renters Adding Color with Accessories

Better Homes and Gardens

2 Hang a large mirror. Mirrors are especially great in small spaces, because they reflect light and make rooms appear larger. It’s like adding another window to the room.

Decorating Ideas for Renters Use Mirrors

Better Homes and Gardens

3 Layer area rugs over carpets. Yes. You can do this! This is a great way to define each space, bring in color without painting and add texture to a room. They’re also perfect for covering up not-so-fabulous flooring.

Decorating Ideas for Renters Layer Rugs

Southern Living

4 Use furniture that has hidden storage space. Storage ottomans are a stylish way to store linens, towels and other items when cabinet space is lacking. Besides being another chance to bring in color, they provide extra seating when you have guests and are easy to move around so you can put them where you need them.

Decorating Ideas for Renters Storage Ottoman

House Beautiful

5 Work with the vintage charm rather than fight against it. Older buildings are very charming, but can pose many decorating challenges. A common feature found in them are colored tiles in the bathroom.  Draw attention away from the color you don’t like by bringing in one you do like. Then repeat it in various elements in the room to create a new focus. Have “granny wallpaper” you aren’t allowed to remove? Lisa Gilmore of Be Inspired Live Inspired came up with a great solution for decorating around this problem.

Decorating Ideas for Renters Vintage Bathrooms

Better Homes and Gardens

6 If you can’t paint the walls, paint the furniture. Adding a beautiful color to your furniture can add just as much punch to a space as a new color on the walls.

Decorating Ideas for Renters Paint Furniture

Somerset Bay Home

7 Add some glamour with a wall of drapes and turn an ordinary bedroom into a luxurious retreat. Hanging layers of drapery behind your bed is a beautiful way to bring color, pattern, and texture to a plain room. It can also be used to give the illusion that a small window is much larger than it really is or to balance out windows that have an awkward placement.

Decorating Ideas for Renters Drapery Walls

Better Homes and Gardens

8 Hang peel-away wallpaper or decals. Ordinary wallpaper is a definite no-no for many landlords. But you can still make a statement with splashy walls by using removable wallcoverings and decorative decals that go on your walls like a sticker and come off just as easily. Check out this post from Apartment Therapy for a list of companies that make a variety removable wallpapers.

Decorating Ideas for Renters Removable Wallpaper


9 Take advantage of coveted outdoor spaces. Even a small balcony is an opportunity to create a cozy sitting area. A nice bench, a couple of rugs and some colorful pillows transform this space.

Decorating Ideas Renters Balcony

Apartment Therapy

10 Mix the new with the new-to-you. Even if you’re decorating on a shoe-string or setting up temporary housing, you can still apply creative flair to your space. Things don’t always have to be lavish and new to be fabulous. Blending second-hand items with new purchases help to give a space character. Shop those thrift stores, garage sales and second-hand stores for items that, with a little paint and elbow grease, can become one-of-a-kind treasures.

Decorating Ideas for Renters Thrift Store Finds

Better Homes and Gardens

With a little imagination and a few decorating tricks, you can express your personality in your home’s decor. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re renting it or you own it. For more ideas check out this post I wrote on bringing color to a rental space (or any space for that matter).

For more ideas on decorating when you rent:

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  1. 1


    I put rugs over the carpet in the last apartment that we lived in. Brings some life to bland rooms and makes the area feel more like your home!

    • 2

      Peggy Pardo says

      Hi Melanie! This idea probably brings about the biggest change. Thanks for visiting!

  2. 3


    These are great ideas Peggy, and very timely! We’re signing our contract this afternoon as we’ve sold our home of 26 years and moving temporarily into a smaller space. As always, a very enjoyable and informative post!

    • 4

      Peggy Pardo says

      Congratulations! Glad these ideas will come in handy for you. Thanks for the kind words!

  3. 7


    Lovin’ the tips for renters – and can’t wait to see what you come up with for Christmas. Have pinned several of your ideas/images to “Small Space Design Stretchers” and “ADD and Organized.”

    NOW to stop trolling and pinning and START doing (always the challenge, huh?). Just moved, so time is shorter than usual — but I’ll be back!
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”