Itching to add some life to your home?
There’s something about staring at our blank white walls day-in-day-out that makes us want to tear it all up and start again, in a bid to create something pretty to look at. And while it may seem like something we’d all prefer to put off, it doesn’t have to be a difficult or expensive project, with a number of cheap and cheerful ways to ‘jazz up’ your rented home. If a splash of colour is something you’re craving right now, check out our top decor tips for making a rented house a home.
1. Use vinyl to change it up a bit
Where painting and potentially damaging the walls of a rented property is often a big no-no (unless your landlord is heaven-sent), there are easy ways of adding a bit of personality to an otherwise bland, blank canvas. Products such as damage-free, adhesive-backed vinyl are now available on the market, and are perfect for making boring furniture a little bit to your taste. Not only that, but it can also be used on pretty much anything.
Businesses such as Manchester’s Jes Rose Vinyl have absolutely nailed accessible vinyl in hundreds of designs, ideal for covering worn-looking bath panels, plain flat-pack furniture and even your kitchen cupboards – without having to worry about ruining surfaces. When you move out, simply peel it all off.
2. Use damage-free hooks to splash a bit of colour on the walls
If there’s one thing that’s absolutely essential when living in a rented property, it’s Command strips. Artwork is one of the simplest ways to add your own personality to a place, and these days, you don’t need nails to do it. The handy little suckers come in both hook and velcro form, meaning you can go nuts with all the prints you could dream of, without ripping off the paint when you’re finished.
3. Cover carpets with rugs
Plagued with ugly, worn carpets that scream 1980s murder hotel? Go bohemian and invest in some cheap and cheerful rugs that you can use to layer over the carpet, distracting both yourself and guests from what’s underneath. Or, if getting creative isn’t quite your style, just pick up a sizeable rug that will cover the majority of the surface area. Easy peasy.
4. Accessorise, and go wild with it
Accessories are the finishing touch to any room, whether you’re at university or you’re a fully-fledged homeowner. You can pick up inexpensive items from budget stores such as Wilko’s and IKEA, making this an easy fix for any bare-looking spaces. Go wild with candlesticks, vases, fairy lights, neon signs and quirky pieces that reflect your style, and utilise your favourite books and magazines to fill bare shelves. If you really want to get experimental, you can even pick up new cupboard handles for dated kitchens at low prices, which can be easily swapped out before you move.
5. Add mirrors
If you’re currently living life on the tiny side, investing in mirrors can be a quick fix to creating the illusion of a bigger home. Create a mirror wall with some quirky pieces as a design feature, or invest in a large mirror that can hang as a hero piece on your living room wall. The trick can be used in all rooms and is perfect for adding the effect of light and space, particularly in rented or north-facing homes.
6. Update your soft furnishings
Updating or adding soft furnishings is one of the simplest ways to jazz up your home, whether it’s just a change in colour of your cushion covers, or a complete overhaul with blankets, mismatched decorative cushions and new bedding. Contrast colours and brighten up the room with bold choices and prints, or co-ordinate with existing furniture using accent colours that tie the place together a little more.
7. Utilise plants
Not only can plants help to purify the air within your home, but they also make for the perfect decorative items. Inject some colour with low-maintenance choices such as Snake plants, peace lilies, succulents and Dracaena plants. If you’re the kind who can’t keep a plant alive to save your own life (i.e. me), then there are some pretty good artificial options available at low prices from stores such as IKEA. Switch it up with small plants, tall plants and even hanging plants – which can be hung with special Command hooks for the ceiling.
8. Use everyday kitchen items as decorative pieces
Sometimes, decor pieces can actually be hiding in plain sight – particularly when it comes to making your kitchen look less worn and more wow. Inexpensive clear jars can be picked up in most stores, including your local ASDA, and are great for filling up with items such as spices, grains and pasta that can easily add a pop of colour and livelihood to your otherwise dreary kitchen. Elsewhere, fruits can be used on display in bowls and baskets for added colour – such as pineapples, oranges, lemons and limes.
9. Invest in something nice that will incorporate a hint of your style into the space
If you fancy something that’s your own in your rented property, there’s a number of pieces that are ideal for moving around with – for example, drinks trolleys, small bookcases, rugs, and side tables. Not only can each of them be incredibly Instagrammable, but they’re also ideal for adding a bit of you into the property. Fill out a wide stretch of bare wall with a bookcase of your own, or benefit from the luxury of having a quirky drinks trolley jam-packed with booze. It’ll add more of a nod to the look you’re going for, and make the place feel more of your own.
10. Create your own lighting
A key factor of great decor is lighting. If you’re living in a rented property, more often than not, lighting isn’t one of the place’s strongest qualities – but it’s a simple fix. Diminishing yellow-toned lights by replacing bulbs with daylight bulbs is one of the most inexpensive ways of improving your home’s light, but you can also add different levels of ambience by using lamps. Use a tall lamp to fill your living room with cosy lighting in the evenings, and bedside table lamps for low-light before going to sleep. If you’re not-so-blessed with grubby lampshades, you can pick up super cheap ones from Wilkos that are easy to swap.