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Expert decorator shares 12 tricks to spice up an old rental home without losing your deposit

April 2nd, 2021

If you live in a rental property, you may be limited as to how much design work you can do.

Your rental terms may prevent you from carrying out full refurbishments, but you can still find ways to add your own touches to your property that’ll make it more suited to your tastes.

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Kristen McGowen/ YouTube Source: Kristen McGowen/ YouTube

Let’s jump into the 12 tricks to elevate a rental home or apartment, according to the experts:

1. Change your drawer handles

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Kristen McGowen/ YouTube Source: Kristen McGowen/ YouTube

Search online and you’ll come across an array of easy-screw drawer handles that you can use in place of your current handles. Just make sure to keep your current handles in a safe place so that you can switch them back before you move out.

2. Invest in new lighting

If your rental lighting isn’t to your tastes, switch it up for something more appealing. You could also add additional lighting, like table lamps, that will jazz up an otherwise blank canvas of a room.

3. Use curtain cover-ups

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Kristen McGowen/ YouTube Source: Kristen McGowen/ YouTube

It’s common for rental homes to have ugly, less-appealing spaces that you can’t do anything about. Whether you want to hide a storecupboard or a heating unit, tension rods and a pretty curtain will do the job. This method doesn’t require any drilling, so it’s typically a good option for renters.

4. Up your bedding game

Your bedding is one of the most obvious items in your bedroom, so it’ll always draw your eyes – whether for the right o the wrong reasons. Since, as a renter, you have complete control over your bedroom, don’t be afraid to spruce it up and see what effect it has on the whole room.

5. DIY open shelving

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Kristen McGowen/ YouTube Source: Kristen McGowen/ YouTube

If you’re someone who loves the open-shelving look in your kitchen or bathroom, you can get the same look in your rental property without having to do any major installation. Simply remove your cabinet doors for an instantly pleasing effect.

6. Mirror, mirror

Mirrors can make a house feel like a home. Plus, they can make a home feel so much bigger and airier than it actually is, which is a big bonus if your rental property is pretty small. Install mirrors in your hallways, living room and bedroom.

7. Experiment with peel and stick wallpaper

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Kristen McGowen/ YouTube Source: Kristen McGowen/ YouTube

Most rental properties won’t allow you to paint or wallpaper your walls – but peel and stick wallpaper is totally fine. This type of wallpaper is simple to use and removable, and there are so many styles to use for. Experiment with peel and stick wallpaper on accent walls, nooks and crannies, or even furniture.

8. Decorate with unique rugs

Even though you won’t get a say in your rental home’s flooring, there’s nothing stopping you from accessorizing with unique rugs and mats that suit your tastes. A giant rug can take up the majority of your floor space, so if you’re trying to cover some ugly tiling or carpets, you could certainly do so.

9. Consider temporary decking tiles

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Kristen McGowen/ YouTube Source: Kristen McGowen/ YouTube

If you have some outdoor space with your rental property, such as a balcony or terrace, you could consider putting in temporary decking tiles. These tiles come in a variety of colors, patterns and styles, so there’s something for everyone. Simply place them over your current tiles and slot them together.

10. Invest slowly in furniture

When you’re furnishing a rental property, it can be tempting to cheap out and buy everything you need in one go. But this furniture probably won’t give you the same satisfaction as a piece of furniture you’ve spent months saving up for. Invest slowly in your furniture and you’ll be happy to take it with you to future homes.

11. Lay frames against your wall

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Kristen McGowen/ YouTube Source: Kristen McGowen/ YouTube

You might not be allowed to nail frames into your wall, but an on-trend design technique is simply to lay these frames against your wall. You could even layer a smaller frame in front of a bigger frame for extra design points.

12. Use peel and stick hooks

Finally, if you’re looking for extra hanging space in your rental property, peel and stick hooks are a great solution. No nails or major installation required – you just peel the plastic off the back of the hook and stick the sticky surface to your wall. These hooks are easily removable and rental-friendly.

If you’re looking for even more tips and information about renter-friendly home decor ideas, check out the video below.

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Kristen McGowen/ YouTube Source: Kristen McGowen/ YouTube

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Source: Kristen McGowan/ YouTube, Apartment Therapy

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