Can you decorate a rented flat? 5 ways you can

There’s nothing better than walking into a warm, cosy apartment after a long day at work. Those staying in rental properties don’t have to miss out on this satisfying feeling, despite the assumption that you can’t decorate the space. Most landlords understand that putting your own spin on the place is an essential part of turning a house into a home, with many now taking a more relaxed approach when it comes to tenants decorating their rental property. If you’re looking for damage-free ways to jazz up your home, you’ve come to the right place.

Can you decorate a rented flat?

Don’t jump feet first into giving your rented property a makeover, there are a few things you should check first. Always read over your tenancy agreement before changing anything in the house, especially if you’re planning on changing the bigger things such as kitchen cabinets. Most of these contracts have a section regarding decorating which will detail the basics, at the very least.

Regardless, it is wise to have a chat with your landlord to get their permission when doing any painting or permanent changes. Many landlords request that you leave the property the same as it was when you first moved in, especially if you have a short term contract. However, others are happy for you to make changes if it improves the property or can be changed back before you leave.

Cheap ways to decorate a rented property

There are plenty of ways to decorate a rental house and still get your deposit back. After checking exactly what your landlord is okay with you to do, try implementing a couple of these changes around the home for a makeover on a budget:

Plants

With a multitude of different types to choose from, plants can really brighten up and add vibrant personality to a room. They’re cheap to buy from a local garden centre and you’ll be able to find species that suit the level of commitment you’re willing to give. Plants look beautiful when dotted around the home, especially on windowsills and in empty corners to fill space. Don’t worry about having to keep on top of watering them as there are a number of types that require little care, such as spider plants and succulents.

Rugs

It’s incredible just how much a rug can really change up the atmosphere of the place, no matter the size of it. Try incorporating your favourite patterns and colours into the colour scheme to show off some of your personality. Adding a rug can really jazz up a room, especially if you have plain flooring or can’t put anything on the walls.

Rugs and plants are perfect decorative elements for a rented apartment
Both rugs and plants make your place instantly come alive

Feature wall

Got the okay to give the place a lick of paint from your landlord? Rather than going for a basic white shade all over, get creative with a feature wall. Also known as an accent, a feature wall is where one wall is a different colour or pattern from the others. So, for example, you could have three white walls and one pale blue colour to add some vibrancy.  

Whether you’re an artist in the making or relying on stencils, making your own feature wall is really fun and will instantly upgrade the room. Consider using different textures, colours and patterns to create an eye-catching contrast.

Fairy lights

Giving off an adorable yet romantic glow, fairy lights are great at brightening up dark corners or for wrapping around bedposts to create a magical sleeping space. Make sure they’re turned off when you aren’t in the room and that you use non-stain white-tac to stick them up on walls. Not allowed any sort of tac or adhesive on the wall? You can place them around the bed as mentioned, but also around mirrors, cupboards and shoe racks to instantly upgrade these typically plain features.

Fairly lights serve as a simple decoration technique
Nothing says "home" like warm fairy lights and soft furnishings

Soft furnishings

Easy to change up at a moment’s notice, soft furnishings help you put your own twist on each room without changing it permanently. From sofa cushions to curtains, you can give your home a splash of colour or that sleek monochrome look in an instant. You can change them whenever you please, allowing you to follow trends and give your home a new look with ease.

Change up your light fixtures

Simple changes make all the difference, especially if you’re restricted on what you can do. Rather than leaving your bulbs bare, choose a funky lampshade to add some extra flare. This is something not many people think about, but the eye is automatically attracted to light so a lampshade can add a much-needed piece of personality to the room. If you have a lack of natural light, consider putting some lamps in the corner of the room. Choose one that stands out to make it more of a feature piece, rather than just an accessory.

Invest in key pieces

Rather than choosing any old piece of furniture, invest in key pieces that represent your style perfectly. If you like vibrant colours and want to brighten up the room, for example, choose a soft mustard sofa. On the other hand, a dark emerald velvet sofa gives off an air of mystery. Whatever your design preferences, furniture alone can change the atmosphere of your home entirely.

Decorating rented flats
Choosing the right pieces will decide the overall character of the room

Shelves

Ask your landlord if you can put up a few shelves; not only are they great for preventing clutter, but you can add artwork, vases and other knick-knacks that will turn your rental into a home. They’re easy to take down once you leave and cause no permanent damage to the property, all you have to do is fill the holes leftover from the brackets.

Make a rental property your own with our tips and tricks. Thinking about moving? Whether you’re looking for a long term home or a spot to stay in while jet setting, you can find it on Badi. Our functions and filters make it easier than ever to find the perfect solution to your rental woes.