There tends to be a ‘why bother' attitude when it comes to rentals and home decor. Due to the temporary nature of renting, many people think it's just not worth investing money into interior decor. Fair enough if you know you'll be leaving at the end of your year-long lease or if you're saving up for your own home. But for many renters, it may be worthwhile to spend some time and money, making your place feel a bit homier.
Lucky renters have great relationships with their landlords and end up calling their rentals home for years. And there's no shame in this. Some people don't want to be tied down to the same property forever, and that's more than ok in the era of digital nomads and international housing crises.
If you're worried about stepping on your landlord's toes, think of yourself as the interior decorator they didn't know they needed. Your decor upgrades may end up benefiting your landlord in the long run! Here are some easy ways to spruce up your rental without losing your deposit (or your relationship with your landlord).
Replace what you can.
No, you won't be able to smash down walls or replace counters and cabinets. But furniture and other decor pieces are entirely in your control, and those items add a lot to the room. Larger furniture items tend to be expensive.
So, if you're on a budget, look for cheaper items that still make an impact like fresh curtains (shower and regular), lampshades, rugs, mats, throws, and cushions.
Use your walls.
Artwork will bring a room to life. Splurge on paintings if you can; if not, there are many affordable print options out there. You don't even have to worry about damaging the walls - look for adhesive tapes like command strips instead of hooks and nails.
Your wall art doesn't have to be limited to paper, either. Fabric maps or flags can look cool, and decorative lights are also a great option!
Improve your lighting.
Is the lighting situation not completely to your liking? No problem! You can add in floor and table lamps until you make your rental as bright as you like.
Also, consider swapping out the window coverings (if it's ok with your landlord). Maybe curtains would work better than blinds, and vice versa.
Add a touch of nature.
Plants and flowers are also great additions to any home. Add as many or as little as you want. Plants and flowers will add to the environment of any room you place them in.
Just make sure you do a bit of research before you place your greens, especially plants. Every type of plant has its unique requirements for light and humidity.
Talk to your landlord.
Context applies to this suggestion. You may have a strict no decorating clause in your rental contract, or you may know your landlord well enough to know how they would feel about it. But some landlords are more relaxed about redecorating and might be ok with you repainting or adding wallpaper.
Maybe your rental isn't officially yours, but it's still your home, and you deserve to make it feel that way. And if you end up buying your own home in the future, you'll have a bunch of dream home furniture and decor ready to go!