Tips For Transforming Your Home When You're Renting

While renting does mean you probably have some restrictions on how much you can decorate your home, it doesn’t mean you can’t update it to make it your own. We take a look at some of the best tips for transforming your home when you’re renting: 

Talk to your landlord 

The first thing to do when you’re thinking of doing a bit of updating to your rented home is to talk to your landlord. Ask them exactly what you are and aren’t allowed to do, and if things are looking a bit dated or worn, perhaps suggest the things that you would like to change. Emphasise that you’re trying to make it into a home, and you intend to stay there for a while so they won’t have to deal with finding new tenants anytime soon. 

You might find that your landlord is perfectly happy for you to paint some of the walls if you’re willing to pay for it because it needs doing anyway. They could even be happy for you to change the colour, or add hooks and nails, as long as you fill in any hole and repaint the walls when you move out.

Hang pictures with command strips 

If your landlord has said you can’t hammer nails into the wall that doesn't mean your dreams of a Pinterest-worthy gallery wall have to be forgotten. 

Use Command Strips to hang things on the wall instead. These are sticky pads that are strong enough to hang even large frames, and you just peel them off when you’re moving out with no damage to the wall. You’ll be able to hand your favourite pictures and prints throughout the house without any nails at all.

Pick the right pieces of furniture

Even if your rented home comes furnished, they’re probably fairly basic, so it’s worthwhile investing in a few pieces of furniture that you really love. 

Pick pieces that are good quality and are going to last, especially if you need to take them apart and put them back together again when you move. You can find affordable but stylish furniture from places like Furniturebox — look for storage furniture like shelving units, sideboards, and chests of drawers that allow you to keep your home tidy and free of clutter. 

Add in a few unique pieces as well by looking in second hand and vintage shops, or find something cheap that you can upcycle on Gumtree. Things like a coffee table or a drinks cabinet can be eye-catching feature pieces of furniture that add a bit of personality to your home. 

Removable wallpaper

So maybe you can’t retile the bathroom or paint the living room in a bold new colour, but there are many ways in which you can cover over or update ugly walls, temporarily. 

You can find a range of different removable wallpaper online from places like Wallpops. And it doesn’t have to be the whole room — removable wall decals can be used to cover a feature wall, the fronts of cabinets, or around your bathtub. It’ll transform the look and you’ve just got to peel it off when you leave.  

Update fixtures and fittings 

Small changes can make a surprisingly huge difference to your home. Take a look at somewhere like More Handles to find new handles for cabinets and drawers around the kitchen and bathroom. Replace the light pulls and light bulbs as well. And you can also find some great patterned lamp shades for ceiling lights. For your sinks, switch to low-flow faucets. If you’re using a toilet that is older than two decades, consider replacing it with a new water-efficient unit with built-in macerator. Macerating toilets, also known as upflush toilets, are easy to install and don’t require stripping the bathroom floor to connect to the drain system. This makes them a more cost-effective alternative to standard toilets. Most macerating toilets also use less than the standard 1.6 gallons of water per flush, which classifies them as water saving.

All of these things are fairly cheap to do and can help you to make the place your own. Plus it’s really easy to put the original ones back when you move out (you just need to make sure you keep them somewhere safe). 

Add soft furnishing 

Use soft furnishings to add some colour and texture to your rented place. Soft throws and cushions can transform your sofa from drab to cosy, and add a bright footstool to make it the perfect place to relax. You can even find covers that fit over some standard sofas so you can transform it completely, plus the cover will protect the sofa from spills and damage while you’re living there.

If you don’t want to add removable wallpaper or hang pictures, you can cover up large, bare walls, with wall hangings to make the room feel more home-like. 

Old, tatty carpets throughout the place? Invest in large area rugs for your living room and bedroom to cover over them. Use carpet runners in the hallways and treat yourself to a fun new doormat that brightens up your doorway. The best thing about all these bits is that you can take them with you when you leave to transform your next home. 

Whether you just want to generally update the place a bit or you’ve seen some interior ideas you want to copy, there are plenty of creative ways to transform your home when you’re renting.