Moving into a new place is a thrilling venture, whether it’s a permanent or temporary move. The prospect of having a space to yourself, however big or small, gives you a sense of anticipation and excitement. But you can quickly become overwhelmed – “What should I put over there?” and “What would look good over here?” turns to “How will I choose the right furniture?” or “What if this turns out ugly?”. Questions like these shouldn’t take away from the joy that is Decorating because expressing yourself through interior design is one of the most fun things to do. Read on to discover some tips to make the right decorating choices for your first rental home using a service like Cirtru.
Photo by Alexandra Gorn
Getting approval from the landlord
This is not a decorating tip, per se, but probably the most crucial step before you start decorating your rental home. Some rental owners might allow paint changes and even structural modifications, but others may not be so encouraging in bringing any changes to the rental property. So before you begin any work on your rental, communicate with the owner to make sure that all your decorating ideas are approved by the latter.
Generally, most Outdoor decorations that do not involve drilling or digging are fine by most landlords, but for indoor decorating, you may find your landlord to be more strict.
It all starts with the walls
The key to any good room design lies first in the walls. A good color will make a world of difference when decorating your room. For example, bright and happy colors would not do well with dark block-out curtains. So, keeping in mind the tone and theme you would like to go for, choose a color that will complement all of the elements you have in mind. If all the alternatives you thought of fail, you can always go for these alternatives:
Photo by Theme Photos
- White walls – You can never go wrong with a white wall. Boring? Maybe! But definitely safe and versatile. With the wall painted white, it gives a soothing vibe. The “white wall” equivalent for an outdoor space? Natural wood, finished with an all-weather sealer.
- Removable wallpaper – These are perfect for the indecisive decorator in you. This option will also be more budget-friendly since removable wallpapers can easily be swapped out for another one once it becomes boring.
- Wall decor – Practicality aside, there is no limit to what you can hang on a wall as decoration. Some of the best things to use to decorate your wall (apart from the usual art frame-mirror-shelf trio), are tapestries, lights, craftwork, plates, grass walls, or even your favorite accessories (such as hats, jewelry). Hanging plants and planters are great too!
If you have a covered patio or a patio fence, instead of paint, opt for vertical gardens, hanging plants, and other lively and vibrant outdoor decorations. Paint on outdoor walls tends to weather very quickly and can be difficult to fix or paint over, and most landlords accordingly don’t allow these kinds of modifications in any outdoor area.
Photo by Bernard Hermant
It’s not just photographers, artists, or filmmakers that rely on lighting. Picking the right kind of lights for your rental home will go a long way, indoors and out. The lighting of a room sets the tone (literally!). Be it neon light strips or warm standing lamps, perfect lighting in a room will accentuate its personality. While you may not be able to choose the position of the light fixtures, you can always choose what kind of light you wish to use. Beyond that, you can also opt for standalone battery or socket-operated lighting options.
For outdoor spaces, patio string lights do a lot of heavy lifting. They are easy to install, have massive curb appeal, and look really charming when you’re relaxing on your balcony or patio. You may also opt for free standing outdoor-grade lamps, solar-powered garden lights, LED light tubes wrapped around fencing, or a fire pit or table for all-natural outdoor lighting and ambiance.
Photo by Fábio Hanashiro
Mirrors are some of the most simple decorating items that you can use. These pieces can make small areas look bigger, bring in more light, and even save you a trip to the dressing room for a quick look before you head out. Large mirrors bring sophistication to any room, but small mirrors in various shapes can also light up a dull wall. But make sure to fasten the mirrors to the wall properly to ensure safety. Mirrors are primarily an indoor decorative item, as they don’t do much for your typical patio or terrace; but sometimes the heart wants what it wants, and rest assured, few landlords would tell you “no” if you wanted to add a mirror to your outdoor space.
Another great way to decorate and save space is to have furniture that serves multiple purposes. For example, you can add ottoman-storage boxes to your patio that serve as both seating and storage; indoors, a wooden crate side table can also be used as a bookshelf. If you have a green thumb, consider an indoor hydroponic garden-nightstand hybrid. For seating, outdoor sofa sectionals are all-weather rated, but that actually makes them perfect for indoor use as well! Same goes for outdoor-rated dining sets. Basically, if furniture is built to handle weather all year round, it can handle indoor spills and stains just fine.
The multifunctional ideas here are limitless, and once you start, you may never look at a piece of furniture as a one-purpose item again, ESPECIALLY patio furniture! Versatility also solves the problem of having multiple furniture pieces that don’t go well together – because when everything is versatile, everything goes together!
Go Green – Buy Plants
If you find yourself reluctant or unsure of what statement pieces to buy and decorate with, a good option is to buy plants and flowers. There are numerous options for low-maintenance greenery filling those empty corners or shelves. Even the dullest rooms can look more lively with colorful hanging pots or decorative planters placed around the room or on the balcony.
Photo by Annie Spratt
When you are buying plants, make sure you pick ones with the right lighting requirements for your room! For outdoor spaces, choose plants that need lots of sunlight. For indoor spaces, low-light or indirect light plants are easiest to manage.
Rugs and Carpets
Beyond keeping your feet safe from cold floors in winter, rugs and carpets are a great decorative element. They are incredibly versatile and can be used in multiple house areas, indoors and out. Different types and textures of carpets and rugs can be used in different areas, not just for practical purposes but also for aesthetics. Consider practicality and beauty while shopping for this decorative piece for your rental home.
Outdoor rugs are more stain resistant and fade resistant, which makes them great for indoor or outdoor use; however, they are also more expensive, as the material is more durable. If you purchase an indoor rug, it won’t be as stain resistant and you will not be able to use it outdoors, but you will spend less.
Assuming your rental house has enough space to allow for this tip, consider using room dividers. Room dividers can be anything – folding screens, bookshelves, curtains, or even stacked-up items. Whatever it may be, room dividers are a good option for creating space, adding flair, and even modifying the room’s layout. Bonus points if you live with roommates since these dividers, while they may not provide for complete privacy, can create an illusion of it.
An easy and simple decorating method would be to purchase matching organizing containers and storage pieces, either as a set or according to a theme, particularly for the kitchen. The uniform and symmetric look is a classic decorating trick used to perk up a room immediately.
Photo by Jason Leung
These decorating tips are just the tip of the iceberg for decorating your rental home. There are unlimited ways to turn your rental house into a home, and regardless of how long or short you are going to stay there, make it a place that deserves to be decorated. Remember to make home decoration choices based on the house structure and texture of the walls. There are unlimited options for decorating a house; choose the one that gives you a great vibe!