Making a home from a rented property

Property prices are continuing to rise, and we live increasingly transient and often international existences, moving from place to place and country to country. Which means that more of us are living in rented accommodation and for longer periods of time. This has many benefits, including not having to worry about any repairs or building costs, but also has its downside, such as not being able to decorate it exactly to your taste. Plus any alterations you do make, you have to be careful that you don’t lose your deposit when you do move on. But there is no need to fret, there are actually lots of things you can do to make a rented property feel more like home. We have compiled this quick guide for changes to make which are easy, cost-effective and won’t put your deposit at risk.


  • Some landlords will allow you to paint, as long as you restore the room to the original colours before you leave, so it’s always worth asking the question.
  • If painting is a definite no, then you can easily brighten up the walls with framed art. This doesn’t need to be expensive, you can easily buy a poster and a ready-made frame to add some character to the walls.
  • Adding statement mirrors is another way to personalise your property. This has the added bonus of making a room look bigger if you live in a small flat or house, especially when you place it opposite a window.
  • You could also consider getting a large piece of plywood and covering it in a beautiful wallpaper design. The effect of leaning this against a wall can be very striking, and you can alter the design whenever you feel like a change.
  • Wall decals are also a wonderful way to add a design flourish to a room.


  • Flooring in rental properties is notoriously dodgy, but here’s where rugs can work their magic! You can buy large rugs which cover a multitude of bad flooring, and you can roll them up and take them with you when you go.


  • If you are in an unfurnished property, you can really put your own stamp on it with furniture. If you can’t paint the walls you can consider injecting some colour in with statement pieces such as a brightly coloured armchair.
  • If you are not going to be in a place for very long or you are relocating from abroad, it makes sense to hire furniture.
  • Freestanding shelving is the best friend of people in rented properties. They not only solve the problem of lack of storage, but they make a place feel homely when loaded up with your books, trinkets and photos. And, of course, you can take them with you when you go.


  • Invest in some lovely bedsheets to make the bedroom cosy and welcoming and add your personality.
  • Add some colour to sofas and chairs with blankets and throws.
  • Use statement lighting (just remember to keep the old lampshades and fittings to replace them when you leave).
  • Add some houseplants to bring some greenery and life into your home.

Whatever you decide to do, remember that the most important factor in creating a home is the people and the love inside it. Nurture this and cultivate the space for laughter and memories that you will always treasure.