How To Decorate A Rental and Find Your Happy Place
Living in a rental shouldn’t keep you from making your home your own.
Could simply hanging a picture or two bring some much needed happiness into your life? Decorating a Rental helped me to love where I live, even if it’s temporary!
We knew we were only puddle jumping from selling our home into a rental for a year or two before making our big move back to Tennessee, so I didn’t want to make too many changes knowing that our time there was temporary.
The Nester is the queen of finding joy in where you are at the moment you are in and shares wonderful ideas of transforming a rental into a home. Whatever your circumstances are that brought you to your rental shouldn’t keep you from bringing your home to life with a reflection of you.
I didn’t decorate for a while thinking that it wasn’t worth it and it hurt me.
We sold our home to make the move to be closer to family and to get back to our roots, but living out of boxes was making my life miserable.
I found myself more emotional, angering quickly.
My patience was lost and I wasn’t the best mom to my kids.
I had lost the desire to care for myself, so exercise and diet went away for a while. It was true depression mode and no one in my house was happy.
Disorganization and cacophony are two things that cause me much distress. I lived in boxes for 18 months and it put me in a dark place.
I know it sounds silly, but I’m being honest. Setting my career aside and losing my creative outlet did more detriment to my soul than I realized.
So I chose to live in the moment and make my space my own. That meant decorating a rental – even though it was temporary.
First and foremost, talk with your landlord about the changes you want to do. Can you paint, hang pictures or curtains, make improvements, etc? We were extremely blessed to find an excellent landlord who allowed us to make the house ours while we were there.
Let me show you our starting point.
Family Room Before:
Family Room After:
By hanging our own curtains and artwork, it transformed the dark room into a brighter space.
We were downsizing in house (from 3800 to 2000) so fitting our furniture was a challenge. To make it work, we arranged our sets, selling furniture and creating the room based on needs and function.
We had to be creative with the dining area since the Formal Dining room was housing our homeschool classroom.
We were short on counter space, so we DIYed a kitchen island on the cheap. Here’s a link to how we made the pallet island.
Another touch we added to the kitchen was a backsplash. In our old house, I built a craft table for our loft which didn’t survive the move to this rental. I hated to lose all of it, so I kept the beadboard that originally backed the shelves (pictured below).
We trimmed the headboard to fit behind the stove and tacked it into place with small finishing nails.
It was quick, easy, CHEAP and added my own personality to our rental.
Master Bedroom Before:
Master Bedroom After:
We have a HUGE king bed that was a beast to put together, so we stored that and used our guest bed and frame from our home we had just sold.
Our headboard was our very first DIY project from 2002. It still lives with us today – I don’t know if I’ll ever get rid of it!
I hung dollar store frames in the half bath similar to our previous half bath.
Using smaller nails or command strips makes for easier repairs when you move out.
Another trick: Get a swatch of the existing paint. I went behind a door and carefully peeled off a paint chip the size of a quarter. Take it to your big box store and they can match it. I got a cheap $5 can of paint. When we moved out, I filled the holes and touched up with the paint.
I kept the boys room simple. I used cling and peel stick ons to add character to their rooms. Using bright bedspreads helped add color to their space.
Utilize unique spaces in your rental as a place to decorate. I had an odd laundry room that was in the center of the home. I made it a showpiece by making it stand out.
Don’t let living in a rental take joy away from allowing you to be you. Decorating a Rental doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. I hope these tips encourage you to create a space that you love!
Love love love your home. It looks way nicer than any of our rentals ever did. Great job!