Clever & Creative Ways To Spruce Your Rented Home

With property prices out of control, many of us choose (i.e. are forced) to rent. Unfortunately, renting comes with a number of setbacks that can restrict creativity and individualisation.

With a little clever thinking and some of the following tips, you can personalise your rental property to feel cozy without risking an angry landlord or lost bond.

Temporary Storage

tableOlder rental properties tend to forgo built-in closets and other custom cabinetry, so you’ll have to get creative with storage like bookcases, chests of drawers and shelving. Old suitcases and trunks offer a stylish way to store blankets and pillows or gaming devices and DVDs. Plus they can double as a coffee table.

Overhaul Outdated Hardware

handlesTake a look inside most rental kitchens and bathrooms and you’ll be underwhelmed with the handles and knobs used. Luckily, this is a simple thing to change and takes little more than a trip to Bunnings and a couple of hours with the screwdriver to complete. Remove old handles or doorknobs (keep them together in a box or bag so you can re-install them when moving out) and install fixtures that match your personal style and furniture.

Ditch The Ugly Blinds & Curtains

blindsRemove those ugly, old, stained or daggy curtains that came with your rental property and banish them to a garbage bag, store them in a dark corner and replace them post-haste! New blinds, venetians and curtains can be expensive, but remember you can take them with you to your next abode, so the investment is worthwhile when considering the overall look of your home.

Rug Up

rugsRugs are a renters’ best friend. Capable or hiding hideous carpet or protecting floorboards (and your bond), rugs instantly transform the look, feel and texture of a room. Choose a design that appeals to you and matches your décor.

Art Attack

artBrings rental walls to life by mounting art and photos. You could hammer nails into the wall (just remember you’ll have to fill them in come moving time) or stick with removable sticky hooks for ease of removal. Less is more, so don’t overdo it and consider one statement piece hung in the living room, or one piece per room.

Lighting & Fixtures

flyteAre your rental light fixtures too ugly to look at? Lightbulbs too dim or too bight? The solution is simple: change them. Opt for energy saving bulbs to lower electricity costs and replace old fixtures with ones that suit your style.

Again, be sure to store the old fixtures somewhere safe so they can be reinstalled before you move out.   Interesting floor and table lamps can also add a splash of character to a dreary rental property while eliminating harsh overhead lighting for a warmer, more homely, atmosphere.

Create A Green Oasis

garden-wallGet your green thumb at the ready and add life and colour to a rental home with indoor plants (and outdoor ones if you have a balcony or backyard). Vertical gardens are becoming increasingly popular and are fairly simple to construct while adding maximum impact. If that seems like too much hard work, stick with simple succulents and potted plants.

Tip: if you are unsure about the validity of your temporary renovations check with the landlord. By doing so you’ll avoid headaches down the track and ensure a harmonious relationship – nobody wants an angry landlord!                 

Mirror Image

mirrorsMirrors are essential for all renters, but particularly for those renting small spaces. Strategically placed mirrors add space and dimension to a room and it is recommended to have at least one positioned opposite a window for amplification of light. Full-length mirrors leaning up against a wall or starburst options are some of our favourites because they instantly inject style and sophistication into a room.


wallWallpaper might sound like a pain in the a*#, but it’s easier than you think thanks to the introduction of temporary wallpaper. Incredibly easy to remove, temporary wallpaper will give you the opportunity to add pattern and colour to blank walls without leaving behind any permanent damage.

Soft Furnishings

bedA temporary home doesn’t need to be filled with temporary furnishings, so decorate your home with furniture you love and don’t be shy with blankets, throw rugs and cushions. Experiment with colour and texture because these small and inexpensive additions are phenomenal at giving a bland room character and charm.

What are your rental decorating tips? How do you add character without compromising your bond and rental history?