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How to Decorate a Rental Home

How to Decorate a Rental Home



Iowa fixer-upper living room

 If you’re renting your home, the design and layout may not fit with your dream design vision. But the task to decorate a rental doesn’t have to be impossible. Homeowner Annette Maldonado’s tips can help you get creative.

Northern California farmhouse living room
In the living room of Jessica Jelly’s house, she focused on furniture, decor and a rug. She even spiced up the wall with part of her basket collection. Photograph by Stan Fadyukhin.

Focus on Decor

Signs, wreaths, wall art and bookshelves decor are great ways to dress up any room, and especially to decorate a rental home. “Don’t be afraid to make holes in the walls—you can patch them,” Annette says. Adhesive strips and hooks are also great alternatives to a hammer and nails.

Fancy Farmgirls dining table
In her dining room, Elizabeth Olsen uses washable slipcovers to protect chairs from unavoidable spills and dining mishaps. The table and chair set catches the eye and is the main focus of the room. Photograph by David Fish.

Pick the Right Furniture

While you may not be able to change the shape of a room structurally, you can use furniture to create the look and feel you want. Find pieces that allow you to express your design style. For example, “I brought in a faux fireplace in to make the room cozier,” Annette says.

Besides faux fireplaces, try wall art, rugs to hide carpet, and big cushy sofas that will help set the tone of the room.

Iowa fixer-upper living room
Unique vintage furniture finds, welcoming natural light and pops of green create a warm and inviting living room. “We kept everything light and bright in here,” says Erica. “We wanted to keep it nice and open.”

Use Pillows and Throw Blankets

Especially if you have a neutral background, changing out pillows, throw blankets and other cozy touches is an easy way to decorate a rental home. This is especially true if you’re not allowed to paint the walls, and you want to add color. “It makes the space more inviting and allows you to bring your own style into the home,” Annette says. Look for pillows and throw blankets that will add texture, color and pattern.

A black bench rests under an antique map on the wall
The home of Deb Foglia has an entryway that’s subtle. Using elements like hanging wall art can help cover up any unsightly areas you can’t change to your rental home. Photograph by Ryan Liu.

Creative Cover Ups

It’s almost inevitable that you’ll find a feature in your rental you don’t like. Instead of seeing this as a negative, see it as an opportunity to use some creativity. “You can use rugs to cover up flooring you don’t like, which also allows you to add your own taste and style to the space,” Annette says. Get creative to find ways to decorate a rental in ways you love.

See Also
Living room with old fireplace

home office desk with open shelves and farmhouse decor
The home office of Ana Ochoa has peel and stick wallpaper, which she can change out if she ever needs to. This is a great option to decorate a rental home. Photograph by Chad Mellon.

Get Removable Wallpaper

There are many easy and fun ways to add texture and character to a space that don’t involve demolition or construction. Annette uses removable wallpaper for a quick and beautiful farmhouse touch to decorate a rental home. “I used faux shiplap wallpaper in the entryway and faux wood wallpaper on the fireplace,” she says.


Find more wall decor ideas in Flea Market Wall Decor. Of course, don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest for your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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