Renting felt like my decorative creativity is being stifled.
I remember hating not being able to add colour or personalise my room but that’s so not true, I simply wasn’t thinking hard enough. I thought long and hard about the things that the landlord isn’t going to mind and have come up with ten great things that I could have done to decorate a rented room.
1. Add Accessories
It may seem obvious but it’s probably the most forgotten way to decorate, especially with the minimal interior trend being quite popular lately. Adding accessories onto a TV stand, a dressing table or a desk can add that something special to the room without much effort on your part. These are things like trinkets, ornaments, vases with fake or real flowers or even a souvenir from a family holiday. One of my favourite decorative pieces are copper accessories (here’s an example within an old post – this modern bedroom with copper accessories is one of my favourites!)
2. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
If you’re renting in a city, particularly in London, renting a room may mean being temporarily cramped. Easily open up the space by hanging a mirror or two. I recommend putting up a mirror near or opposite a window to reflect as much natural light as possible and brighten up the space. This is easily done and can be hung either with already existent nails or why not use the ‘no nails’ hanging alternatives that help you hang things up without damaging the wall? B&Q is usually where I get mine from.
3. Choose Wall Art and Posters
Similarly to the mirrors, you can hang wall art or posters using damage-free hangings or how about blue tack? I find that art or a simple poster can really show off the interests and personality of the person living there. Bold art or a poster with a quote are usually good conversation starters as well, so they’re perfect for social butterflies. If you’re not keen on hanging these and risking damage to the wall though remember that you can leave framed art or prints unhung, simply lean then on the walls or use a stand to prop them up.
4. Cosy and Soft Home Furnishings
Coming to think of it, my first love of interior styling started with super soft cushions and throws. I remember buying a cushion and throw set at university for my room because I simply couldn’t walk past them in Tesco’s home section. They were soft, cuddly and so comfy! The great thing about soft furnishings is that they comes in loads of colours, patterns and fabrics. I’m a massive fan of knitted cushions at the moment as it’s cold but I know that when it comes to summer I’ll take out my pastel coloured scatter cushions whilst storing the others in the loft. It’s an easy way to add a pop of colour to a white space, to update the interior without much effort and it’s ideal for decorating a rented bedroom.
5. Sweep it Under the Rug
Rugs also are a great way to style a neutral room. I’ve worked at Carpetright for two years so trust me when I say that there is a huge selection, from different sizes and materials to bold colours and trendy patterned rugs as well. In a rented bedroom, add a shaggy rug by your bed to sink your toes into as you get out of bed or try out a larger rug in the living room if you’re renting a flat. Either way it doesn’t just add comfort but interest to the place and makes it feel like home. Plus, you know that it’s an investment because you can always roll up the rug and take it with you when you decide to move!
6. A Photo Speaks a Thousand Words
A photo bunting or a collage of photos that are special to you can make any rented place feel homey. Whether you print out your Instagram photos to remind you of your fun times or family photos that bring back happy memories you’ll always find a space for them. There’s the wardrobe, desk and drawers or even the wall above your bed. I recommend using blue tack or I like hanging some string and then use cute pegs to fasten nice photos to it or pretty sticky tape. It’s chic and effective, have a look at my post on retro photos if you need inspiration 🙂
7. Sexy Storage
Storage boxes are a great way to keep the place tidy and make it look stylish. So, if you have three boxes for example, all different sizes, stack them up on top of each other on a shelf or get four large, identical storage boxes and paint two one colour and two another colour. Then, put these on your desk, firstly one of each colour and then alternating the colours stack them to make a second level. I hope this makes sense but if not just have a look at my pinterest board!
8. Let there be Light
A super cute decorating idea I like is fairylights on the wall or around the bed’s headboard. Anywhere you put it though in the end it makes your rental look and feel so much cosier. I don’t know what it is about them haha. Don’t just add fairylights though, think about changing your lampshades too as this will give the space that bit more of a personality. It’s affordable and can add a pop of colour easily as well.
9. A Statement you Can Take Away
If you have people around often but your rented room or flat doesn’t have enough furniture then have a think about making an investment. Floor cushions are a really fun way to keep things social or perhaps find a furniture statement piece like a patterned armchair or a loveseat that you can show off your personality with. The good thing about these is that they can be easily picked up and taken with you if you ever need to move out.
10. Get creative!
I love giving items a purpose that they weren’t originally given (have a look at my post on original tables that I saw during my LivingEtc House Tours visit here.) Anyway, think outside of the box. Try colour co-ordinating all of your clothes on a clockwrack that’s open for everyone to see, or what about creating your own temporary headboard or even decorating your wall with wall stickers that can easily be taken off later without damage. There’s plenty that you can do, you just haven’t thought of it yet 😉
I hope my ten decorating ideas for rental spaces help you create a personalised space that’s homey. Also, I’d love to know what you think and what you would recommend so please comment a decorating idea for a rented place below!