Rented Property: 5 easy ways to decorate without losing your deposit

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When you live in a rented property, it can be tricky to make changes to the decoration or décor. After all, you don’t want to do anything that’s likely to cause any damage that will be taken out of your deposit. As a result, it’s tempting to leave the place exactly as you found it and live in a property that doesn’t feel quite yours.

However, there are several things – from a quick lick of paint to buying new accessories – that you can do to personalise and make your rented property a lot homelier.

Remember though – if you’re going to do anything that involves making permanent changes to the property, it’s always best to check with your landlord first.

Tip 1: Give your rented property a quick lick of paint

If you’re looking around your property at magnolia or faded white walls, why not give it a lick of paint? Giving the property a quick once over with bright white paint not only makes the place look a lot tidier, but also gives any room a clean, spacious and modern feel. Plus, it wipes the slate clean, giving you free reign to add your personality to the room with accessories and décor.

Although you should check with the landlord before whipping out the paintbrushes, don’t be afraid to ask though. As long as you’re not in the mood for lime green or fluorescent orange walls, you’re doing them a favour, sprucing up the property at no expense to them. Nine times out of ten, the landlord will be completely fine with it.

Tip 2: Use paintings, frames and vinyls to break up the walls

If there’s already paintings hanging on the wall of your rented property, but they’re not particularly to your taste, feel free to take them down and replace them with things more to your taste. (Make sure you store them safely so you don’t lose any deposit, though.)

You can pick up nice frames that don’t cost very much almost everywhere now – from the home section at the supermarket to B&Q. On top of that, there are 1,000s of free prints online to put in the frames. Simply find a design you like, print it off and put it in the frame. Because there’s so much choice, it’s easy to find something that you really like. Not sure where to start? Why not check out these free printables.

And if you don’t want to (or can’t) put nails or screws into the wall, don’t be put off. These easy fittings comfortably hold the weight of a frame without damaging the paintwork or the plaster beneath it. When it comes to moving out, simply peal them away and the wall will be as good as new!

If frames aren’t really your thing, why not look for a vinyl decal for the walls? You can find everything from quotes to patterns that can add a really stylish and personal touch to a featureless wall. You can even have them personalised into something truly unique. The best part? They peel off effortlessly and without any damage, making them perfect for rented walls.

rented property decor
Source: Buzzfeed

Tip 3: Use rugs to break up a plain carpet

The chances are, if you’re renting a property, that you’ve got a fairly plain, muted-colour carpet. This is a great way for landlords to make the properties easy to rent, but it’s not so great for tenants looking to make the space their own.

A good rug can break up the room and add a pop of personality – anything from a splash of colour to a pattern can inject a dose of character into a previously forgettable room.

Plus – as an added incentive – any spillages will stain the rug and not the carpet, protecting your deposit!

Tip 4: Introduce new furniture

Just because your property came with a coffee table, sofa or bed – it doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with them. As long as you store them safely and in a place where they won’t get damp and damaged, feel free to add your own furniture to a room.

You’d be surprised at what a difference furniture can make to a room. Even with plain walls, a stylish sofa, bed or sideboard can make a room seem more personal and stylish.

And, if your property is a little cosy, you can use the new furniture as a way of creating more open space, making a room look bigger. As well as sideboards, beds and sofas with storage space are a great idea – not only can you create a lot of extra storage space (something that rental properties are often lacking) but it’s keeps things out of sight and the room tidy!

Tip 5: Use accessories to transform a room

For tenants in rented properties, IKEA is a godsend. IKEA’s accessories are stylish, practical and – most importantly – affordable.

A few IKEA accessories – a coffee table, a freestanding mirror, a coat stand, plants or a new sofa – can instantly turn a plain forgettable room into a cool, Scandinavian paradise, a Boho chill-out space or a homely English cottage.

It’s a good idea to set aside a bit of money when you move in to a new property to go on an IKEA splurge. Even if you only pick up a few throw cushions and plants, it can make a massive difference to the feel of the room, and to how comfortable and at home you feel in it. Plus, the meatballs. You can’t visit IKEA without treating yourself to a plate of Swedish meatballs.

And don’t feel like you have to take the IKEA furniture as it comes – IKEA Hackers has hundreds of tutorials on how to transform and personalise standard IKEA furniture into something more personal, more stylish or something else entirely.

However, you needn’t be restricted to just IKEA. As people start to pay even more attention to their home décor, everywhere seems to selling on-trend home accessories. You can pick up little bits like candles and cushions from supermarkets like Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s from just a few pound that – when slowly built up over time – can make a rented property feel a lot more like a home.

Looking for a bit more inspiration?

If you’re considering a DIY project in your rented home or are looking for some ideas at how to change things up, there’s one website that you have to visit: Pinterest.

It’s full to the brim with brilliant ideas on how to decorate your rented property – from using old beer bottles with fairy lights in to repurposing wine racks as towel rails – that have all been designed to keep your deposit completely intact.

Why not check out this board to start with?

 Follow Ideas for a Small Flat on Pinterest 


It’s full of pictures, ideas and articles to help you create the home of your dreams, even in a rented property.

Beware though: it’s impossible to leave Pinterest with only one idea on how to redecorate your place. What started as needing a new coffee table might lead to a full-scale redecoration!

Have you got any other quick tips to decorate your rented property without risking your deposit? Let us know in the comments below.

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