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7 Temporary Decorating Tips for Renters

Posted in: I'm Moving, Apartment Life

We are big believers in the idea that you should make every place you live feel like home. Heck, that’s why we have an entire blog about personalizing your space. We don’t care if you’re in your “forever home” or if your lease ends in 6 months…you should take some time to create a home that reflects your style, personality, and interests.

But now you’re thinking, “I rent and my landlord won’t let me do anything to make my pad more cozy.” Well renters, it’s time to rejoice. Gone are the days of staring at blank white walls devoid of any personality. There are plenty of ways to transform your rental, and still get your deposit back when it’s time to move onto another place.

Moving 101 Moving Options

(And when you’re ready to get that deposit back, don’t move without Moving 101)


1. New Hardware


So you can’t paint your orange-y wood kitchen cabinets, but you can still spruce them up! Unscrew the old hardware on your cabinets, and replace it with something shiny and new. This won’t take much time at all and should only cost you a few bucks per knob. Don’t just stop at the kitchen…replace bathroom cabinet hardware and even closet door knobs. Just be sure to keep all of the old hardware in a bag, and screw it back on when you leave.

2. Invest in Rugs

Throw Rug to Cover Bad Floors in a Rental

Ugly stained carpet? Scratched hardwood? Cover those suckers up with a nice area rug of your choice. Rugs are great investment pieces and make any space look that much more complete. Plus, they’re comfy on your feet and absorb some noise. Your neighbors will thank you!

3. Ditch Vertical Blinds

Ditch the Mini Blinds

No need to pull off all of the blinds in your home, instead just pull them to one side or all the way up to let as much light in as possible. Then you can add your own personality to your windows with curtains or simple drapes.

4. Hang Some Art


Yes you will have to fill nail holes when you move out, but c’mon that won’t take you long at all (check out this post for the how-to)! Don’t let that be an excuse for blank walls. Art is an easy way to bring life to a space, and it will definitely make your rental feel more like a home. We’ve also used heavy-duty 3M command strips to hang art…so that could be an option for your next gallery wall. Leaning large frames or canvases on dressers is a good option too, especially if you want to add some height to a space.

5. Add your own Lighting:


Overhead fluorescent lighting could make even Kate Middleton look bad (okay, maybe not her..she is pretty darn perfect!) But you get the point…harsh lighting isn’t going to do your home any favors. Instead get some table lamps and standing lamps to light your space. They’ll create a warm moody vibe and they’ll definitely up the coziness factor.

6. Opt for Secret Storage


If you’re in a rental, chances are you might not have as much space as you would like. We’re all about “secret storage.” That means hiding all of our clutter away in concealed spots. Benches, ottomans, baskets, and wooden chests are all great spots to store items you don’t need on a regular basis. Also, maximize your vertical space with some wall shelves.  Yes, you may have to put an anchor and hole in your walls, but again…don’t let a little maintenance deter you from making your house more efficient.

7. Get Creative:

Here are some awesome DIY projects you can complete in rentals. Check out the links for the full tutorials!

renter-draperiesRenter Drapes via Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

tn-living-room1Fabric Panel Wall via Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

Original_Michelle-Edgemont-Dorm-Washi-Tape-door-wide_h.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960Washi Tape Door via

So what do you say…are you finally ready to make your rental feel a little more like home?


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