June 12, 2020
Decor Tips for Renters
Featured image: Jonathan Adler
Your Design Questions Answered: I am in a rented flat and not able to paint much, if anything. What’s the best way to make a big stylish impact?
Removable wallpaper & wall decals
If there was ever a way to pack a design punch in your rented accommodation without upsetting the landlord, then this is it. It’s all in the name! Removable wall decals or stickers and removable wallpaper can indeed all be removed, and if done gently, they shouldn’t damage your wall paint underneath at all. Make sure to clean your wall thoroughly beforehand to remove any dust or dirt before installing the wallpaper. And it is very important that the wall is entirely dry before application.
My advice would be to pick a feature wall you want to draw attention to – the chimney breast or the wall behind the bed – and keep the surface you are tackling small, but the impact mighty.
If wallpaper is all a bit scary as a jumping off point, then decals are the entry level option and might give you the confidence to go bigger at a later date. Fabulous for kids rooms, especially when they change their minds 100 times a day! And great for jazzing up the most mundane appliances in the house, these are essentially stickers for adults to play with – what’s not to love!
‘Command’ strips have revolutionised the options available to renters. Long gone are the days of panic filling those picture hook holes, picture hanging strips make decorating quick and easy. One click and they are locked in and holding tight. Best of all, when you are ready to take down or move your pictures, they come off cleanly—no nail holes, cracked plaster or sticky residue. So you might not be able to get the paint pot out, but you can sure as hell make a statement with your artwork!
These versatile pieces can be used in all sorts of ways in your living spaces. In their intended form, they can be a great way of zoning a room or providing privacy in curtains areas. But think outside the box and the possibilities are much greater. Stuck with a boring divan bed? Why not use a screen to create a bold headboard. Can’t paint the living room or worried about hanging pictures on the wall? Use a screen as a focal point behind a neutral sofa or propped up against the wall as a statement piece of artwork.
Colourful Furniture & Accessories
Don’t be restricted by the white box. The walls might be plain and simple, but the furniture you choose definitely doesn’t have to be. Invest in small, portable pieces that will be versatile wherever you go next – side tables, chairs etc. And if you are renting the main furniture as well, look to your accessories for the colour. Think cushions, vases, throws, lampshades even. These can all be easily packed up and taken with you, leaving the space behind just as you inherited it.
Rugs are a great way to add interest and colour and cover up all manor of unpleasant low budget rental flooring! Particularly good if you are working with neutral furniture as well – tie in your cushions and throws with the same colour palette for added impact.
Pot them, trail them, group them – plants are good for the soul and a great decorating accessory. And if you’re not green fingered in any way (I’m firmly in this camp) then there are is a fabulous selection of beautifully realistic faux plants out there, so there’s no excuse not to jump on the band wagon any more!
Rental properties are often furnished on a budget, and this can be really evident in the small details. Ok, so not such a massive style statement perhaps, but nonetheless, this simple change can transform a kitchen without the need for new units. What a fantastic trick! Note: make sure you are selecting handles or door pulls that will utilise the existing holes in the units, and do keep hold of the originals so you can pop them back in place before you move on.