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HomeLatest NewsLatest newsDecorating in a rental

Decorating in a rental

A rental property is still your home for the time that you are living there. I often hear ‘I’m only renting for the time being and once I have my own home I’ll decorate and design it to my taste then’ why wait a rental doesn’t need to feel like a temporary home and you can bring in design features that you can take with you.
It does present a challenge it involves merging styles, knowing the rules of rentals and artfully filling blank spaces with design to suit you.


Don’t make holes in the walls without checking with the landlord first – drilling a hole isn’t always the best design decision. There are good alternatives out there, such as adhesive hooks and picture hanging systems. In older homes you may have a picture rail that you can use in the living room and hall.

Painting & Decorating

Don’t paint the walls before checking with the landlord. They will want to approve in advance any colour change to the walls in the property. Rental properties tend to be neutral in tones in order to be easy to maintain. An alternative would be to use wall stickers that can be easily removed when vacating the property. Perfect for adding character to kid’s rooms or downstairs WC. For the more creative try using copper tape (found in all good garden centres) and apply a linear matrix to bedroom wall or hallway.

Make the most of your garden space

If you do have an outdoor space make the most of it – think of it as an extra room somewhere to sit or dine in summer months. Keeping it tidy and adding in potted trees or plants will add to your enjoyment of the space and make your rental feel more homely.

Changing fixtures

Key items that date a room are the light fittings and window treatments generally walls are neutral enough and if the flooring is worn in places a large rug can easily take care of this. You can take down old blinds or curtains and outdated light fittings but don’t throw these away. Store them in a safe place and reinstall when you move out. Decorate with blinds or curtains and pendant lights of your choice. You can take these with you when you leave and it will make a big difference to your home’s style while you live there.

There are other smaller opportunities around a house where you can add style without making changes that add character to a home. Interesting corners and structural surfaces offer plenty of potential to create vignettes that allow your personality and style to be displayed. These individual touches can be the difference between a place that feels transient and a home that feels permanent and loved.

Making an entrance

The entrance of any home is the hardest working part of the house. It is a high traffic area that fields bags, jackets, shoes, training gear, post, keys and in some cases scooters or even a bike. A small console table to house keys, place a bag when you arrive home, will help to organise the area, as will baskets to take shoes, and hooks or trays to keep keys and post. If there is no space to store bikes outside invest in a bike hook for the wall.

To add that welcoming feeling to the hallway include a lamp, or scented candle or a vase of greenery – less expensive than flowers and more on trend. You can also define the space with a rug or wall standing mirror. Above all make sure to make the most of this area.

Framing the inside

Windowsills provide the ideal location to grow indoor potted plants. They love the sunlight and you will love the green view. Try an array of low maintenance succulents, or a variety of fragrant herbs. A mist spray left to the side will help remind you to water every so often. And for those of us time strapped there are very forgiving artificial options you can avail of.

Creating a centre piece

If you have a fireplace and not keen to use or it is no longer in use rather than leave it blank you can stack the old hearth with books, logs or candles. A mantlepiece is also a great opportunity to display family photos, collected items or a piece of art. It can also become the centre piece for family celebrations like birthdays, Christmas, Easter etc. Be creative with foraged foliage, pine cones, dried moss and collected items.

If you would like to book a consultation with an interior designer from House + Garden simply email, we would love to hear from you.

Selection of home accessories and garden furniture available from House + Garden on request

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