How to Decorate Blank Walls for Renters

When renting a home or apartment, decorating can be challenging due to restrictions on changes to the space. Blank walls can feel uninspiring, leaving you craving a touch of personality and style. However, with creativity and strategic decor choices, you can transform those blank walls into captivating focal points that reflect your unique taste and make your rental space truly feel like home.

In this article, we’ll explore a variety of creative and renter-friendly ideas on how to decorate blank walls. Whether you’re looking to add color, texture, or functionality, we have you covered. From removable wallpaper to wall decals, floating shelves to dangle shelves, we’ll dive into different techniques and solutions that will bring life and character to your walls without causing damage.


I understand the importance of expressing your personality through your living space, even as a renter. That’s why we’ve curated a collection of wall decor ideas that are not only temporary but also easy to install and remove. I’ll guide you through the process of personalizing your walls, incorporating your favorite artwork and photographs, and maximizing the visual impact of your space. Alongside creative suggestions, practical tips on respecting your rental agreement and ensuring compliance with guidelines set by your landlord will be provided. Creating a stylish and inviting atmosphere shouldn’t come at the expense of your security deposit or a potential breach of your lease agreement.

Table of Contents

How to Decorate Blank Walls for Renters?


When it comes to decorating blank walls for renters, there are several key considerations to keep in mind. Follow these tips to transform your rented space:

Seek Permission:

Before making any major changes to your walls, consult your landlord or property manager to ensure you are allowed to decorate. They may have specific guidelines or restrictions in place.

Temporary Solutions:

Opt for temporary decor options that can be easily removed without causing damage to the walls. This includes removable wallpaper, adhesive hooks, or hanging systems that don’t require drilling.

Personalize with Accessories:

Use wall decor accessories such as artwork, mirrors, or textiles to add your personal touch to the space. These items can be easily taken down and moved to your next rental.

Embrace Wall-Friendly Techniques:

Explore alternative hanging techniques such as adhesive strips, hooks, or removable wall hooks. These allow you to hang artwork, shelves, or other decor items without damaging the walls.

Consider Portable Furniture:

If you have large blank walls, consider incorporating portable furniture such as bookcases or room dividers. These not only fill the empty space but also provide functional storage.

Take Advantage of Vertical Space:

Maximize vertical space by hanging shelves, artwork, or plants. This draws the eye upward and creates the illusion of a larger and more visually appealing space.

How to Hang Artwork Without Damaging the Wall

Home & Garden

Creating a gallery wall is a fantastic way to add visual interest and showcase your favorite artwork. To ensure that you don’t damage the wall while hanging your artwork, follow these helpful tips:

Adhesive Hooks:

Instead of using nails or screws, opt for adhesive hooks specifically designed for hanging artwork. These hooks are easy to install and can be removed without leaving any residue or marks on the wall.

Weight Limit:

Pay attention to the weight limit specified by the adhesive hooks. Make sure that the hooks you choose can support the weight of the artwork you intend to hang. If you have heavier pieces, consider using multiple hooks for added stability.

Clean the Wall:

Before applying the adhesive hooks, clean the wall surface thoroughly. Remove any dust, dirt, or grease that may affect the adhesive’s effectiveness. Use a mild cleaner and a soft cloth to ensure a clean and smooth surface for better adhesion.

Proper Application:

Follow the instructions provided by the adhesive hook manufacturer for proper application. Most adhesive hooks require you to peel off the backing and press the hook firmly against the wall for a few seconds to ensure a secure bond.

Consider Command Strips:

Command Strips are another excellent option for hanging artwork without damaging the walls. They use a combination of adhesive strips and hooks to securely hold the artwork in place. Just make sure to choose the appropriate strip size based on the weight of your artwork.

Test First:

Before hanging all your artwork, it’s a good idea to test the adhesive hooks or Command Strips with a lightweight item or a piece of paper to ensure they are securely attached and won’t damage the wall.

Remove with Care:

When it’s time to remove the artwork, do it carefully. Slowly and gently pull the adhesive hook or Command Strip downward, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help minimize any potential damage to the wall.

“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

Making a Statement with Wall Art


When it comes to decorating blank walls, wall art is a fantastic way to make a bold statement. Whether you prefer paintings, prints, or posters, there are endless options available to suit your style and taste. Consider the following ideas:

Large Canvas Paintings:

Opt for oversized canvas paintings that capture attention and fill up empty wall space. Choose artwork that reflects your personality or complements your existing color scheme.

Framed Prints:

Frame your favorite prints, photographs, or illustrations to add a personal touch to your walls. Mix and match different sizes and styles for an eclectic look.

Wall Tapestries:

Explore the world of tapestries to add texture, color, and pattern to your walls. These versatile pieces can be easily hung and removed without causing any damage.

Metal Wall Art:

Experiment with metal wall art to introduce an industrial or modern vibe to your living space. Metal sculptures and intricate designs can serve as captivating focal points.

Showcasing Memories with Photo Displays


One of the best ways to add a personal touch to your rented space is by showcasing cherished memories through photo displays. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Gallery Frames:

Arrange a collection of photo frames in various sizes and shapes to create a gallery wall filled with memories. Mix family photos, travel snapshots, and candid shots to tell your unique story.

Photo Collages:

Create visually stunning photo collages by printing your favorite pictures in different sizes and arranging them in a creative pattern on your wall.

String and Clips:

Hang a string or wire across a wall and use clips to attach photos, postcards, or polaroids. This flexible display allows you to easily switch out images whenever you desire.

Shadow Boxes:

Display three-dimensional objects, such as trinkets, seashells, or small mementos, in shadow boxes that can be mounted on the wall. These boxes add depth and intrigue to your decor.

Adding Dimension with Mirrors


Mirrors not only serve a practical purpose but also have the ability to make a space feel larger and brighter. Consider these ideas when incorporating mirrors into your wall decor:

Statement Mirror:

Choose a large, ornate mirror as a focal point for your room. Hang it on a blank wall to create a sense of grandeur and elegance.

Mirrored Wall Panels:

Install mirrored wall panels to visually expand your living space. These panels can be easily affixed to the wall and provide a sleek and modern aesthetic.

Mirror Gallery:

Create an eye-catching display by hanging a collection of mirrors in different shapes and sizes. Experiment with various arrangements to find the perfect composition.

Mirrored Backsplash:

Transform your kitchen or bathroom by adding a mirrored backsplash. This not only adds a stylish touch but also reflects light and creates an illusion of a larger space.

Creating a Gallery Wall


A gallery wall is a curated display of artwork, photographs, and other decorative elements that adds visual interest and personality to your space. Follow these steps to create your own gallery wall:

Choose a Theme:

Decide on a theme or color scheme that will tie your gallery wall together. This could be based on a particular style, subject matter, or even a color palette.

Select the Artwork:

Gather a collection of artwork, prints, photographs, or other items that align with your chosen theme. Mix and match different sizes and shapes for a dynamic composition.

Plan the Layout:

Lay out your artwork on the floor or a large table to experiment with different arrangements. Consider the spacing, balance, and overall visual flow of the gallery wall.

Hang the Artwork:

Start by hanging the central piece of your gallery wall and work your way outwards. Use a level and measuring tape to ensure straight and evenly spaced placement.

Add Other Elements:

Incorporate other decorative elements such as wall sconces, shelves, or small mirrors to enhance the visual appeal of your gallery wall.

Embracing Nature with Plants and Greenery


Bringing nature indoors not only adds a touch of freshness to your living space but also helps create a calming and inviting atmosphere. Consider these ideas for incorporating plants and greenery into your wall decor:

Vertical Gardens:

Install a vertical garden on a blank wall to create a stunning display of living plants. Vertical gardens can be achieved using modular planters, hanging pots, or even repurposed materials.

Hanging Planters:

Hang macrame plant hangers or wall-mounted planters to showcase your favorite trailing or cascading plants. This adds visual interest and a touch of natural beauty to your walls.

Floating Shelves with Plants:

Install floating shelves on your walls and adorn them with potted plants and succulents. Mix and match different plant varieties to create an intriguing display.

Botanical Prints:

If you don’t have a green thumb or prefer low-maintenance options, consider incorporating botanical prints or paintings of plants and flowers. These can add a pop of color and nature-inspired visuals to your walls.

Using Temporary Wallpaper

LA Designer Affair

Temporary wallpaper is a game-changer for renters who want to add pattern and color to their walls without causing any damage. Here’s how you can use temporary wallpaper effectively:

Accent Wall:

Choose one wall in your room to serve as an accent wall. Apply temporary wallpaper with a bold pattern or vibrant color to create a focal point.

Alcoves and Nooks:

If your rental space has alcoves, nooks, or built-in shelves, consider applying temporary wallpaper to these areas. This adds depth and visual interest to otherwise plain spaces.

Removable Panels:

Create removable wallpaper panels by cutting and framing sections of temporary wallpaper. Hang these panels on your walls using adhesive strips for a unique and customizable look.

Stair Risers:

Add personality to your staircase by applying temporary wallpaper to the stair risers. This unexpected detail adds visual impact and serves as a conversation starter.

Incorporating Functional Wall Decor

 Katarzyna Bialasiewicz / Getty Image

Wall decor can be both beautiful and functional. Consider these ideas for incorporating functional elements into your wall decorations:

Wall-Mounted Storage:

Install wall-mounted storage solutions such as floating shelves, cubbies, or hanging baskets. These provide practical storage space while adding visual interest to your walls.

Hooks and Pegboards:

Hang hooks or install a pegboard on a blank wall to create a functional and versatile storage system. Use it to hang keys, hats, bags, or even small plants.

Magnetic Wall:

Apply magnetic paint or panels to a wall to create a magnetic surface. Use magnets to hang notes, pictures, or even kitchen utensils.

Corkboard or Chalkboard:

Hang a corkboard or chalkboard on your wall for a functional and customizable display. Pin important notes or create chalk art to add a personal touch.

Integrating Shelving and Storage Solutions

Ashley Montgomery Design

Shelves not only provide practical storage but also offer an opportunity to showcase your personality and style. Here are some ways to integrate shelves into your wall decor:

Floating Shelves:

Install floating shelves on a blank wall to display decorative items, books, or small potted plants. Mix and match different shelf lengths and heights for an eclectic look.

Cubby Shelves:

Incorporate cubby shelves to create storage compartments for various items. Decorate the cubbies with books, colorful baskets, or decorative objects to add visual interest.

Ladder Shelves:

Opt for a ladder shelf unit that leans against the wall. These shelves provide a rustic and trendy aesthetic while offering ample space for displaying items.

Built-in Shelves:

If your rental space allows, consider investing in built-in shelves. These customized shelves blend seamlessly with the architecture of your space and provide a polished look.

Enhancing with Textile Hangings


Textile hangings are a fantastic way to add texture, color, and visual interest to your blank walls. Consider these ideas for incorporating textile hangings into your wall decor:

Tapestry Wall Hangings:

Choose a tapestry that complements your style and color scheme. Hang it as a centerpiece on a blank wall or use multiple tapestries to create a unique arrangement.

Macrame Wall Hangings:

Embrace the bohemian trend by incorporating macrame wall hangings into your decor. These intricate and handmade pieces add a touch of warmth and texture to your walls.

Woven Wall Art:

Explore woven wall art options such as woven baskets, rattan discs, or seagrass wall hangings. These natural materials bring a coastal and organic vibe to your living space.

Fabric Panels:

Use fabric panels to create a soft and cozy backdrop on your walls. Choose fabrics with patterns, textures, or vibrant colors to enhance the overall aesthetic of your space.

Experimenting with Wall Decals

Jessica Antola

Wall decals are an excellent option for renters as they can be easily applied and removed without causing any damage to the walls. Here’s how you can experiment with wall decals:

Nature-Inspired Decals:

Choose wall decals featuring trees, birds, flowers, or other natural elements. These decals can create a serene and calming atmosphere in your space.

Quotes and Typography:

Opt for wall decals with inspirational quotes, motivational phrases, or typography designs. These decals serve as daily reminders and add a personalized touch to your walls.

Geometric Patterns:

Experiment with geometric wall decals to add a modern and artistic flair to your decor. Mix and match different shapes and colors for a visually dynamic effect.

Children’s Wall Decals:

If you have children or want to create a playful space, consider using wall decals with cartoon characters, animals, or interactive elements. These decals are easily removable and can be replaced as your child grows.

Highlighting with Accent Lighting

Kimberly Graydon

Accent lighting not only illuminates your space but also adds a dramatic and inviting ambiance. Consider these ideas for incorporating accent lighting into your wall decor:

Wall Sconces:

Install wall sconces on either side of a blank wall to create a warm and inviting glow. Choose sconces with adjustable arms or shades to direct the light as desired.

String Lights:

Hang string lights along the perimeter of a wall or create a captivating display by draping them in a cascading pattern. These twinkling lights add a whimsical and cozy atmosphere to your space.

Picture Lights:

Highlight artwork or wall displays with picture lights. These fixtures are designed to provide focused lighting and draw attention to specific elements.

Backlit Shelves:

Install LED strips or lighting fixtures behind floating shelves or built-in shelves to create a subtle and inviting glow. This adds depth and visual interest to your wall decor.

Playing with Geometric Patterns


Geometric patterns are a trendy and visually appealing way to decorate your blank walls. Consider these ideas for incorporating geometric patterns into your wall decor:

Geometric Wallpaper:

Choose wallpaper with geometric patterns to create a bold and modern statement. Opt for contrasting colors or subtle neutrals, depending on your desired aesthetic.

DIY Geometric Paint:

Create your own geometric patterns by using painter’s tape and different colors of paint. Experiment with triangles, hexagons, or chevron designs to add visual interest to your walls.

Geometric Wall Stencils:

Use wall stencils to achieve precise and intricate geometric patterns. Paint the stenciled design in a contrasting color to create a striking and eye-catching effect.

Geometric Wall Tiles:

Incorporate geometric wall tiles to add texture and dimension to your walls. These tiles are available in various shapes, colors, and materials, allowing you to create a custom look.

Utilizing Floating Shelves

Lauren Turner

Floating shelves are versatile and practical additions to any wall. Here are some creative ways to utilize floating shelves in your wall decor:

Styled Display:

Arrange decorative objects, books, plants, and artwork on floating shelves to create a visually appealing display. Play with different heights, textures, and colors for an eclectic look.

Functional Storage:

Use floating shelves in your kitchen, bathroom, or home office to provide additional storage space. Organize jars, containers, towels, or office supplies on these shelves for easy access.

Mini Gallery:

Create a mini gallery on your floating shelves by displaying small framed photos or artwork. Mix in other decorative elements like small sculptures or trinkets for added interest.

Plant Shelfie:

Transform a blank wall into a lush green display by using floating shelves as plant shelves. Arrange potted plants of varying sizes and species for a refreshing and vibrant wall decor.

Incorporating Dangle Shelves


Dangle shelves, also known as hanging shelves, are a unique and stylish way to decorate your blank walls. Consider these ideas for incorporating dangle shelves into your wall decor:

Minimalist Display:

Hang a single dangle shelf on your wall and showcase a few carefully selected items. This minimalist approach adds a touch of elegance and simplicity to your space.

Layered Arrangement:

Install multiple dangle shelves at different heights and create a layered arrangement. Decorate each shelf with plants, books, candles, or small decorative objects for a visually dynamic look.

Corner Installation:

Utilize the corners of your room by installing corner dangle shelves. These shelves maximize space and provide a unique opportunity to display items that might not fit on regular shelves.

Mixed Materials:

Explore dangle shelves made from different materials such as wood, metal, or glass. Mix and match these materials to add texture and visual interest to your wall decor.

Lean It

Coco Lapine Design

If you prefer to avoid hanging artwork or mirrors on the wall altogether, leaning them against the wall can be a stylish and practical alternative. Leaning artwork and mirrors not only adds a relaxed and contemporary touch to your space but also eliminates the need for drilling or using adhesive hooks.  When it comes to leaning artwork or mirrors against the wall instead of hanging them, here are the key points to consider:

Stylish and practical alternative:

Leaning artwork and mirrors offers a relaxed and contemporary touch to your space while avoiding the need for drilling or adhesive hooks.

Select the right location:

Choose a solid and stable surface like a console table, dresser, or even the floor to lean your pieces against.

Position at a slight angle:

Ensure stability by positioning the artwork or mirror at a slight angle, securely resting it against the wall.

Experiment with sizes and orientations:

Get creative with different sizes and orientations to create an artistic arrangement that suits your style and space.

Secure taller or larger pieces:

Use furniture bumpers or adhesive putty to secure taller or larger pieces and prevent them from accidentally toppling over.

Versatile and flexible solution:

Leaning artwork and mirrors allows for easy rearrangement whenever you want to refresh your decor, adding a touch of casual elegance to your space.

Leaning your artwork and mirrors against the wall provides a unique and practical way to showcase your pieces while maintaining the integrity of your rental walls. It’s an excellent option for those who prefer not to make permanent changes or for adding a laid-back aesthetic to your interior design.

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Decorating blank walls in a rental can be a fun and creative endeavor. By utilizing temporary solutions, incorporating functional elements, and adding your personal touch, you can transform your space into a cozy and stylish home.

Remember to seek permission from your landlord and consider wall-friendly techniques to ensure a hassle-free experience. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can turn those blank walls into a reflection of your style and personality.

How to Decorate Blank Walls for Renters-FAQs

Can I hang artwork on rental walls without damaging them?

Yes, there are several wall-friendly options available for hanging artwork in a rental. You can use adhesive hooks, removable picture hanging strips, or even lean large pieces against the wall instead of hanging them.

What are some temporary alternatives to wallpaper for adding pattern to my walls?

If you don’t want to use wallpaper, you can consider using temporary wall decals, fabric panels, or even create your own patterns with painter’s tape and paint.

How can I incorporate my personal style into wall decor as a renter?

You can personalize your wall decor with items such as artwork, photographs, textiles, or even temporary wallpaper in your preferred colors and patterns. These can be easily removed when you move out.

Are there any options for adding storage to rental walls?

Yes, you can incorporate wall-mounted storage solutions such as floating shelves, cubbies, or hooks. These provide practical storage space while adding visual interest to your walls.

Can I use plants as wall decor in a rental?

Absolutely! You can hang plants using macrame plant hangers, wall-mounted planters, or even create a living wall with vertical planters. Just ensure you have appropriate light and water access for the plants.

What if my landlord doesn’t allow any changes to the walls?

In such cases, you can focus on other aspects of your decor, such as furniture placement, rugs, curtains, and accessories like mirrors or textiles. These elements can still transform the look and feel of your space without altering the walls.



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