5 Tips To Make A Rental Feel Like Home


Today, I’m excited to share some tips and tricks to decorating an apartment or rental home to make it feel like home. We have lived in three different rental homes and our landlords have always been supportive of various updates and changes that improve the overall value of the home.


Whether you live in a rental space or if you own your home, these tips are sure to  inspire you to make your space feel more like home!

5 Tips To Make A Rental Feel Like Home

1. Let Your Style Shine

It’s really easy to  feel like an older home or a brand new apartment restricts you from decorating for you. Don’t let it have that power. While you’re living in a space, it is yours. If you like modern decor, decorate that way. If you prefer eclectic design  or cottage-style, go for it. Find small ways to integrate “your style” into your home. By letting your style shine, you will enjoy living in your space so much more!

2. Paint Walls and Furniture

One of the easiest and most frugal ways to personalize a rental space is to paint the walls.  Depending on your contract, you may or may not be able to paint. Oftentimes, if you can paint, the landlord may want you to repaint before moving.  If you enjoy bold and daring colors consider painting a small space like a half-bath.  Neutral painted walls are also a wonderful “upgrade” to any living space because they allow your furnishings to shine.

Besides painting walls, don’t be afraid to give furniture that you find at a yard sale or thrift shop a bold coat of paint. I love my yellow pedestal table and my apple green desk. They are pieces that give my living room plenty of “pop” and I can take them with me when we move!


3. Decorate With Timeless Accessories

Some of my favorite pieces to decorate with are old architectural elements that I’ve found for next to nothing at yard sales or on the side of the road. Ahem. Old windows, printer trays, aqua insulators and an old barn door are just a few examples of accessories with character. Decorating with timeless accessories is an excellent way to give your rental space a classic, lived-in ambiance.

Don’t forget to decorate the walls, if you can. Hang mirrors, a collage of frames or various other artwork on the wall.  If you’re unable to put holes in the wall {per your contract}, consider using vinyl wall decals for wall decor!

4. Use Lamplight Generously

Speaking of ambiance…it’s one of the most amazing things in the world. When I was a child, I always went around turning off overhead lights and turning on lamps. Lamplight is romantic, easy-on-the-eyes and it instantly “cozies up” a room. Obviously, there are times that overhead lighting is necessary, but when entertaining or enjoying family time after dinner, turn the lamps on and the overhead light off.

I love finding lamps at yard sales, thrift shops and estate sales.  They often just need a new shade and coat of spray paint…check out my thrifty lamp makeover!

5. Decorate Your Entry Way

Few things are happier than coming home to a nicely decorated entry way. It is also an important element to “first-impressions” when friends stop by.  Decorating with a nice doormat is an extremely simple and frugal “upgrade.” Y’all know that I’m crazy about pretty wreaths that are ridiculously easy to d-i-y, so hang a seasonal wreath on your front door. Your neighbors will probably covet it.

An inside doormat is also a nice touch as well as an umbrella stand and a surface to drop keys and mail.  The possibilities are truly endless and completely depend on your space and your style.

I hope that you’re inspired to tweak a few things here and there to make your home feel a bit more cozy!

5 Decorating Tips To Make A Rental Feel Like Home

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Have you lived in a rental space? How did you make it feel like home?

I have partnered with Apartment Guide as an Official Apartment Guide Decor Blogger! As an official blogger, I am sharing articles filled with decorating tips for living on a budget.

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  1. I love your ideas. We can’t paint our walls and they are a drab white. 🙁 I need to get more bold with the furniture, but since we are in an apartment I’m not sure where I would paint.

    I have a question. Do you have much experience with covering furniture? Everything we have has been given to us and is old and worn out, and nothing coordinates!

    I always get so many ideas from you, Myra. Now to implement. 🙂
    Johanna´s last blog post ..How I Organize My Kids’ Clothes

  2. Thanks for the tips. We are going to be renting a house by this summer. It has left me feeling so depressed as we have been homeowners for the last 11 years but with lost jobs and the economy the way it is, among other things, we find ourselves having to go back to renting for a while. Crossing my fingers we will at least find a place that will allow us to paint and hang a few things on the walls.

  3. We’ve lived in a rental for the past 9 years. We have pretty good landlords in that they do let us paint, but my husband doesn’t like the vibrant colors I like. So, we still have those “renter white” walls. I’ve found a great company that has helped bring my personality to my home AND it SPEAKS! 😉 It’s called Uppercase Living. It sells high quality vinyl lettering and designs that come ready to apply to your walls. They have something for every room, every style and many colors. Plus, you can make your own design. We’ve got something from U.L. in every room of our house except the kitchen. It ends up working pretty well with the white walls in the end.

  4. A good way to deal with white walls is fabric, but yardage can get pretty expensive but just a ceiling to floor panel or two adds some color.

  5. It’s good to know that we can paint our walls depending on what is stated in the contract I signed with the landlord. I’ve always wanted to have a pastel-colored apartment but the problem is I haven’t found a space that I can rent near Metro Alexandria, VA. It might be better for me to start looking for rental properties first before planning how I can possibly decorate it.

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