Customizing a rental home can be challenging since you don’t have complete freedom to make permanent changes. However, several ways exist to personalize your space and make it feel more like home. Furniture, proper decor placement, and even wall tiles can transform an otherwise boring room into a sanctuary for relaxation and fun. While the following ideas will help tenants customize their rental home, even landlords can use them — they make great tips to pass on to future tenants.
Furniture and Decor
Whether you have fully furnished your rental unit or not, bringing in your own furniture and decorative elements can go a long way to add your personal touch. These items can be easily taken with you when you move out.
If you live in a place like Colorado, patio furniture in Denver is often seen year-round as varying temperatures often welcome random days of sunshine and warmth during the winter months. Using your own furniture will also reduce any wear and tear on items belonging to the owner and may save you some energy and money in replacing worn or damaged items.
Removable Wallpaper or Wall Decals
Typically, landlords prefer tenants not to repaint or install permanent wallpaper or texturing inside the rental, as these are harder to remove after a tenant leaves. If they do allow paint, it’s often required to be a neutral color that may not suit your style. Use temporary wallpaper or wall decals to add color, patterns, or visual interest to your walls. They are easy to apply, and you can remove them without damaging the paint.
Felt tiles are another option for easy-to-swap wall treatments, as they are available in various sizes, shapes, and colors — excellent for adding design and texture to any wall space. They can be changed out or removed with minimal fuss and leave no damage. Additionally, they provide excellent sound absorption, which can come in handy with close neighbors.
Replace generic light fixtures with ones that suit your style. Choose floor, table, or pendant lights that provide your desired ambiance. Just be sure to keep the original fixtures stored safely to reinstall when you move out.
Another option that may be easier to manage is to look into smart or rechargeable lighting that you can temporarily adhere to walls, many of which even come with light switches or removal controls.
For additional privacy inside your rental home, hang curtains or blinds that match your aesthetic. Use non-permanent methods such as tension rods or adhesive hooks to avoid damaging the walls or window frames.
Shelving and Storage
Instead of wall-mounted shelving, invest in freestanding bookshelves, storage cubes, or modular shelving units to display your books, plants, and personal items. These are often easy to dissemble for relocation.
If you’re not a fan of the existing flooring, consider using temporary options such as peel-and-stick vinyl tiles, removable carpet tiles, or large area rugs to cover up and add style to the space. Remember, felt tiles can also serve as flooring instead of rugs or carpeting for a more customized and personal design.
Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades
Replace cabinet handles, drawer pulls, and faucet fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to give them a more personalized look. Remember to safely store the original fixtures and reinstall them when you move out.
Create a focal point in your home by arranging and displaying your favorite decor or artwork on a prominent wall. Use removable hooks or adhesive strips that won’t damage the walls. Consider hanging mirrors to reflect light through your rooms to make the space feel bigger and brighter.
Plants and Greenery
Bring in indoor plants and create a mini garden in your rental space. Plants not only add life and freshness but can also help improve air quality. For the outdoors, consider Landscaping in flower pots, window boxes, and other containers instead of planting directly in the ground.
If you are interested in gardening fruits and vegetables, many of these can also be grown in containers. You can employ this gardening method in small spaces or even on a deck or balcony.
Temporary Room Dividers
If you need to create separate areas in an open floor plan, consider using folding screens, bookshelves, or curtains as temporary room dividers. These can be easily moved or repositioned and can provide instant privacy as needed, especially in a studio-type rental unit.
Install peel-and-stick tiles or removable wallpaper as a backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom. This can instantly update the space and add a personal touch without damaging the existing surfaces. Be sure to keep the instructions on hand for easy removal to avoid any damage or residue left behind.
Cabinet and Drawer Liners
Use removable liners to add a pop of color or pattern to your kitchen cabinets, drawers, or bathroom vanity. They not only customize the space but also help protect the surfaces. These liners can also be used as temporary wallpaper inside cabinets to brighten and freshen them up while you are living there, and you can change them at any time.
If you prefer wall-mounted shelving in any room, consider installing floating shelves to display your favorite books, collectibles, or decorative items.
Smart Home Devices
Invest in smart home devices like plugs, lights, or smart thermostats that can be easily installed and removed without any permanent alterations. These devices can enhance your living experience and establish whatever mood you feel is appropriate for a room.
Temporary Privacy Screens
Create private spaces on your balcony, patio, or backyard using portable privacy screens or outdoor curtains. This addition allows you to enjoy the outdoors while maintaining privacy.
Outdoor Living Spaces
Extend your home outdoors by adding outdoor furniture and area rugs to your patio or balcony. You can personalize this space by adding fans, lighting, or a tabletop firepit.
Creative Storage Solutions
Maximize storage in your rental by using modular storage, hanging organizers, or under-bed storage containers. These solutions help organize your belongings while adding extra appeal to your space.
The Bottom Line
Remember to always consult with your landlord before making any modifications, even temporary ones, to ensure you’re within the boundaries of your lease agreement. Adding elements to your design that are easy to install and remove will make it easy to swap out changes and restore the original design when you are ready to move on.