Designer’s Tips to Decorate Your Rental Without Making Permanent Changes

Hey there, in this post you’ll learn designer’s tips to decorate your rental without making permanent changes. Renting a home or apartment often means navigating restrictions on permanent changes to the property. However, this doesn’t hinder your ability to infuse your personal style and create a space that reflects your taste. With a bit of creativity and the right approach, you can decorate your rental in a way that is both stylish and reversible.


In this article, we’ll explore effective tips and innovative ideas to help you decorate your rental, from clever storage solutions to temporary decor options. I’ll provide the inspiration and guidance needed to transform your rental into a space that feels like home, whether you’re a student in a dorm or a young professional in an apartment.

Throughout the following sections, we’ll cover various areas of your rental, including the living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and more. Each section will offer specific tips, tricks, and creative ideas to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of your space without leaving a lasting impact. Before diving into decorating, it’s crucial to understand your lease agreement and any rules or restrictions to make informed decisions and avoid conflicts with your landlord or property management.

Check Your Lease Before You Make Any Changes

Before you get all excited and start to decorate your rental, it’s crucial to check your lease agreement thoroughly. Every rental property has its own set of rules and restrictions when it comes to making changes. Some leases may allow minor alterations, while others may strictly prohibit any modifications. 

It’s important to respect the terms outlined in your lease to maintain a good relationship with your landlord or property management. By understanding the limitations and guidelines set forth in your lease, you can ensure that your decorating endeavors align with the rules and regulations, helping you avoid any potential conflicts or penalties. 

So, take the time to review your lease agreement and seek permission or clarification from your landlord before making any changes to your rental space.

“If you are looking for a way to style your space with wall art without breaking your piggy bank, then I recommend reading “10 Surprising Benefits of Printable Wall Art

Can You Lose Your Deposit?

One common concern when decorating your rental is the potential risk of losing your deposit. It’s important to understand that the deposit serves as a form of security for the landlord or property management to cover any damages or repairs that may be necessary when you move out. While it’s possible to lose a portion or the entire deposit, following certain guidelines can help minimize the risk of losing your deposit while you decorate your rental.

To avoid losing your deposit when you decorate your rental, it’s crucial to adhere to the terms of your lease agreement and any specific rules regarding modifications or changes to the rental. This includes seeking permission for alterations, using non-permanent decor solutions, and avoiding actions that could cause significant damage or require costly repairs.

By opting for temporary decor options, such as removable wallpaper, adhesive hooks, and non-permanent fixtures, you can minimize the risk of causing damage to the walls, surfaces, or structure of the rental. Additionally, being mindful of the proper care and maintenance of the property, including regular cleaning, can help ensure that you leave the rental in good condition.

Before making any changes, it’s always advisable to consult your lease agreement and communicate with your landlord or property management. Seeking their approval and understanding the specific guidelines they have in place can help you navigate the decorating process while minimizing the risk of losing your deposit.

Remember, maintaining open communication, respecting the property, and taking necessary precautions can go a long way in safeguarding your deposit. By being mindful of the guidelines and making informed decisions, you can enjoy decorating your rental while still ensuring the return of your deposit when it’s time to move out.

Creating a Cozy Living Room


The living room is often the focal point of any home. Follow these tips to decorate your rental living room without making permanent changes.

  • Add a statement rug: A large area rug can instantly define the seating area and add warmth to your living room. Choose a rug that complements the existing color scheme and furniture.
  • Use removable wallpaper: Temporary wallpaper is a great way to add personality to your walls without the fear of damaging them. Select a design that suits your style and easily peel it off when it’s time to move.
  • Invest in versatile furniture: Opt for furniture pieces that can be easily rearranged or repurposed in different spaces. Modular sofas, nesting tables, and ottomans with hidden storage are excellent choices.
  • Decorate with throw pillows and blankets: Jazz up your sofa with colorful throw pillows and cozy blankets. These accessories not only add comfort but also allow you to experiment with different textures and patterns.
  • Create a gallery wall: Use removable adhesive hooks or picture hanging strips to display your favorite artwork or family photos. A well-curated gallery wall can make a significant impact in your living room.

Adding Personality to Your Bedroom


Your bedroom should be a sanctuary where you can relax and unwind. Here are some tips to decorate your rental bedroom without making any permanent changes:

  • Opt for removable wall decals: Wall decals are an easy and non-permanent way to add visual interest to your bedroom walls. Choose designs that reflect your personal style, such as nature-inspired motifs or geometric patterns.
  • Invest in a stylish headboard: If your rental doesn’t come with a headboard, consider purchasing a freestanding or wall-mounted one. It can instantly elevate the look of your bed and give your bedroom a polished feel.
  • Hang temporary curtains: Dress up your windows with temporary curtains or blinds. They not only provide privacy but also add a touch of elegance to your bedroom. Opt for curtains in light and airy fabrics to create a calming atmosphere.
  • Use adhesive hooks for hanging accessories: Adhesive hooks are a renter’s best friend. Use them to hang hats, scarves, or even jewelry on the walls. This way, you can keep your accessories organized and easily accessible.
  • Create a cozy reading nook: Transform a corner of your bedroom into a cozy reading nook with a comfortable chair, a small side table, and a reading lamp. Add a few books or magazines to complete the inviting setup.

Sprucing Up Your Kitchen

Entrance Makleri

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home. Even if you can’t make permanent changes, there are still plenty of ways to make your rental kitchen stylish and functional:

  • Add a colorful backsplash: Enhance the visual appeal of your kitchen by installing temporary adhesive tiles as a backsplash. These peel-and-stick tiles are easy to apply and remove without leaving any residue.
  • Upgrade cabinet hardware: Replace the existing cabinet knobs and handles with stylish alternatives that match your aesthetic. This simple swap can give your kitchen a fresh and personalized look.
  • Display decorative dishes: If you have open shelves or glass-front cabinets, use them to display your favorite dishes or cookware. It adds a touch of personality and creates a visually appealing focal point.
  • Utilize countertop organizers: Maximize your counter space by using removable countertop organizers. These can hold utensils, spices, or other frequently used items, keeping your kitchen tidy and efficient.
  • Add greenery: Bring life to your kitchen by placing potted herbs or small indoor plants on the windowsill or countertop. Not only do they add a pop of color, but they also purify the air and create a fresh ambiance.

Enhancing the Dining Area


The dining area is where friends and family gather to enjoy meals together. Here’s how you can decorate your rental’s dining space without making permanent changes:

  • Choose a statement dining table: Invest in a beautiful dining table that can be easily disassembled for moving. Look for one with a unique design or interesting materials to make it a focal point in the room.
  • Use temporary wall art: Hang removable wall art or decals near the dining area to create a visually appealing backdrop. You can choose artwork that complements your dining table or reflects your personal taste.
  • Set the table with style: Experiment with different table linens, placemats, and dinnerware to create a welcoming and stylish table setting. Mix and match colors and textures to add visual interest.
  • Install temporary pendant lights: If you want to create a cozy ambiance above your dining table, consider installing temporary pendant lights. Choose designs that are easy to install and remove without damaging the ceiling.
  • Add a bar cart or sideboard: If you have space, incorporate a bar cart or sideboard near the dining area. It can serve as extra storage for dinnerware and drinks, while also adding a touch of sophistication.

Making the Bathroom Feel Luxurious

Danielle Chiprut 

A well-designed bathroom can make a significant difference in your daily routine. Follow these tips to decorate your rental bathroom without making permanent changes:

  • Hang removable hooks and shelves: Install adhesive hooks and shelves to provide extra storage for towels, toiletries, and other bathroom essentials. This helps keep the space organized and reduces clutter.
  • Upgrade the shower curtain: Choose a stylish and high-quality shower curtain to instantly elevate the look of your bathroom. Look for designs that match your color scheme or add a pop of pattern.
  • Add decorative mirrors: Hang decorative mirrors above the sink or vanity to create a sense of spaciousness and reflect natural light. Choose mirrors with unique frames or shapes to add visual interest.
  • Invest in luxurious bath linens: Treat yourself to plush towels and bath mats that make you feel pampered. Opt for soft and absorbent materials in colors that complement your bathroom decor.
  • Use scented candles or diffusers: Create a relaxing atmosphere in your bathroom with scented candles or diffusers. Choose fragrances that promote tranquility, such as lavender or eucalyptus.

Transforming a Small Balcony or Patio


If you have access to a balcony or patio, you can create an outdoor oasis even in a rental property. Here’s how to transform a small outdoor space without making permanent changes:

  • Add comfortable seating: Invest in foldable chairs or a compact outdoor sofa that can be easily moved and stored. Make sure to choose weather-resistant materials to withstand outdoor conditions.
  • Decorate with potted plants: Use large potted plants or vertical gardens to add greenery and create a vibrant atmosphere. Choose plants that thrive in your climate and require minimal maintenance.
  • Hang outdoor string lights: Create a cozy ambiance by stringing outdoor lights across your balcony or patio. Opt for solar-powered or battery-operated lights for convenience.
  • Use outdoor rugs and cushions: Define your outdoor seating area by placing an outdoor rug and adding cushions to chairs or benches. This adds comfort and style to your balcony or patio.
  • Install a temporary privacy screen: If you want more privacy, consider installing a temporary privacy screen or bamboo fencing. This allows you to enjoy your outdoor space without feeling exposed.

Creating Functional Workspaces


With the rise of remote work and freelancing, having a functional workspace at home is essential. Here are some effective tips to create a productive workspace in your rental:

  • Choose a versatile desk: Look for a desk that offers storage options, such as built-in drawers or shelves. This helps keep your workspace organized and allows for easy access to essentials.
  • Utilize wall-mounted organizers: Install wall-mounted organizers or pegboards to keep office supplies within reach. This frees up valuable desk space and adds a decorative element to your workspace.
  • Invest in a comfortable chair: Since you’ll be spending long hours at your desk, invest in an ergonomic chair that provides proper support for your back and promotes good posture.
  • Optimize natural light: Position your desk near a window to take advantage of natural light. Natural light boosts productivity and creates a pleasant work environment. Use curtains or blinds to control the amount of light entering the space.
  • Create a personal touch: Decorate your workspace with meaningful items such as framed photos, motivational quotes, or artwork. These personal touches can inspire creativity and make the space feel more inviting.

Innovative Storage Solutions


Storage is often a challenge in rental properties, but with innovative solutions, you can maximize the available space. Here are some ideas for temporary storage:

  • Use freestanding shelves: Freestanding shelves are a versatile storage option that doesn’t require drilling holes in the walls. They can be used in any room to store books, decor items, or even pantry essentials.
  • Opt for under-bed storage: Utilize the space under your bed by using under-bed storage containers or rolling bins. This is an ideal solution for storing seasonal clothing, extra bedding, or other items you don’t frequently need.
  • Hang fabric or tension rod organizers: Hang fabric organizers on the back of doors or inside closets to create additional storage pockets for shoes, accessories, or cleaning supplies. Tension rod organizers can be used to hang scarves, belts, or hats.
  • Use modular storage cubes: Modular storage cubes can be easily assembled and rearranged to fit your storage needs. They can serve as a bookshelf, shoe rack, or even a display for decorative items.
  • Invest in furniture with built-in storage: Look for furniture pieces that offer hidden storage compartments, such as ottomans with lift-up lids or coffee tables with built-in drawers. These provide extra storage without sacrificing style.

Choosing the Right Lighting


To decorate your rental, proper lighting can help transform the ambiance of your space. Follow these effective tips to choose the right lighting for your renta

  • Opt for floor or table lamps: Floor and table lamps are excellent alternatives to permanent overhead lighting fixtures. They can provide task lighting or create a cozy atmosphere in any room.
  • Use LED strip lights: LED strip lights are versatile and easy to install. You can use them to add accent lighting under cabinets, along shelves, or even behind furniture for a dramatic effect.
  • Consider battery-operated or plug-in wall sconces: Wall sconces are a great way to add lighting without the need for electrical wiring. Battery-operated or plug-in options can be easily installed and removed when needed.
  • Choose adjustable lighting: Look for lighting fixtures with adjustable heads or dimming capabilities. This allows you to customize the lighting level according to your needs and create different moods in the space.
  • Decorate with string lights: String lights are not just for outdoor use. They can add a whimsical touch to any room, whether hung along the walls, draped over a mirror, or wrapped around a bed frame.

Revamping the Laundry Room


The laundry room may not be the most glamorous space in your rental, but with a few simple tweaks, you can transform it into a functional and organized area. Follow these tips to decorate your rental’s laundry room without making permanent changes:

  • Add storage solutions: Install shelves or hanging organizers on the walls to provide storage for laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and other laundry essentials. This helps keep the space clutter-free and makes it easier to access everything you need.
  • Use decorative baskets: Place decorative baskets or bins on shelves or countertops to hold items like dryer sheets, clothespins, or lost socks. Opt for stylish designs that complement the overall aesthetic of the room.
  • Create a folding station: If you have limited space, consider using a folding table or a sturdy countertop as a designated folding station. This makes it convenient to sort and fold laundry right in the laundry room.
  • Hang a drying rack: Install a retractable or wall-mounted drying rack to air dry delicate clothing items or items that are not suitable for the dryer. This saves space and prevents clothes from cluttering other areas of your home.
  • Add a splash of color: Use removable wallpaper, peel-and-stick tiles, or a fresh coat of paint to add a pop of color to the laundry room. Choose colors that energize the space and make the chore of doing laundry more enjoyable.
  • Upgrade lighting fixtures: If the laundry room lacks proper lighting, consider replacing the existing fixtures with brighter and more efficient options. Good lighting makes it easier to spot stains, sort clothes, and perform other laundry tasks effectively.

Remember, when decorating the laundry room, it’s important to prioritize functionality and organization. By incorporating these pro tips, you can create a laundry room that not only looks visually appealing but also enhances your overall laundry experience.

Do’s and Don’ts of Decorating Your Rental

When it comes to decorating a rental without making permanent changes, there are some important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a successful and hassle-free decorating experience:


  • Seek permission: Always check with your landlord or property management before making any modifications or changes to the rental space. Get written consent for any alterations that may not be explicitly allowed in your lease agreement.
  • Opt for temporary solutions: Look for temporary decor options that can be easily removed or reversed without causing damage to the walls, floors, or other surfaces. This includes using removable wallpaper, adhesive hooks, and non-permanent fixtures.
  • Embrace non-destructive methods: Use alternative methods for hanging artwork or mirrors, such as picture-hanging strips, removable hooks, or lean them against the walls. This prevents the need for nails or screws that can leave behind holes.
  • Focus on portable furniture: Invest in furniture pieces that are easy to move and versatile. This allows you to rearrange the space without making permanent changes. Consider items like bookcases, freestanding shelves, or modular furniture.
  • Add personal touches: Infuse your personality into the space through decor items, artwork, and accessories. Use rugs, throw pillows, and curtains to add color, texture, and warmth to the rooms. These personal touches can make the rental feel like home.


  • Avoid painting walls: Unless explicitly allowed by your lease agreement, refrain from painting the walls of your rental. Painting requires repainting or restoration when moving out, which can be costly and time-consuming.
  • Don’t make irreversible changes: Steer clear of any modifications that are difficult or impossible to reverse, such as removing built-in fixtures, tearing down walls, or permanently altering the layout of the space.
  • Avoid drilling unnecessary holes: Minimize the number of holes you create in the walls. If possible, use alternative hanging methods like adhesive hooks, removable strips, or leaning items against furniture or walls.
  • Don’t neglect maintenance: While decorating your rental, ensure that you are still maintaining the property in good condition. Regularly clean, dust, and care for the decor items and furniture to prevent any damage or excessive wear and tear.
  • Refrain from violating lease terms: Respect the rules and guidelines outlined in your lease agreement. Avoid any changes that explicitly go against the terms, such as installing permanent fixtures, removing existing features, or violating any restrictions.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you can strike a balance between personalizing your rental space and adhering to the guidelines set by your landlord or property management. Remember, it’s essential to maintain a positive relationship with your landlord and leave the rental in the same condition as when you moved in.

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To decorate your rental without making permanent changes is not only possible but also allows you to infuse your personal style and make the space feel like home. With the pro tips mentioned above, you can transform each area of your rental into a stylish and functional space that reflects your personality.

Remember, temporary solutions such as removable wallpaper, adhesive hooks, and versatile furniture are your best friends in creating a personalized and non-permanent living environment.

So, go ahead and unleash your creativity to decorate your rental without the fear of losing your security deposit. With these effective tips, you can turn your rental into a place you’ll be proud to call home.

Tips to Decorate Your Rental-FAQ

FAQ 1: Can I hang artwork without damaging the walls?

Yes, you can hang artwork in your rental without damaging the walls. Use removable adhesive hooks or picture hanging strips to securely hang your artwork. These options can support different weights and are easy to remove without leaving any residue or marks.

FAQ 2: How can I add storage to a small rental bathroom?

To add storage to a small rental bathroom, consider utilizing vertical space. Install floating shelves or wall-mounted cabinets above the toilet or sink. You can also use over-the-door organizers or adhesive hooks on the back of the bathroom door for towels or accessories.

FAQ 3: Are there any temporary options for changing the color of the walls?

Yes, there are temporary options for changing the color of the walls in your rental. Removable wallpaper is a popular choice that allows you to add color and pattern without permanent changes. Another option is peel-and-stick wall decals, which can be easily applied and removed as desired.

FAQ 4: Can I install temporary lighting fixtures?

Yes, you can install temporary lighting fixtures in your rental. Battery-operated or plug-in options, such as wall sconces or LED strip lights, can be easily installed and removed without the need for electrical wiring or making permanent changes to the property.

FAQ 5: What are some creative ways to divide a room without permanent changes?

If you need to divide a room without making permanent changes, consider using temporary room dividers. Portable screens, bookshelves, or curtains can be used to create separate zones within a larger space. These options are flexible and can be adjusted or removed when needed.

FAQ 6: How can I make my rental space feel more like home?

To make your rental space feel more like home, focus on adding personal touches and creating a cozy atmosphere. Use decorative items, such as artwork, rugs, and throw pillows, that reflect your personal style. Incorporate soft lighting, scented candles, and plants to create a warm and inviting ambiance.



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