How to Style a Rental Property (without upsetting the Landlord)

Renting a property can offer a lot of freedom and flexibility but a common bugbear of tenants is that it can be hard to decorate and make the space feel more like their home.

A tenant is required to leave the property in the same condition as when they moved in, so additions, alterations or renovations generally can’t be carried out even if you feel they’ll add value to the property. Property Managers can seek the owner’s approval for these types of works, however, they are under no obligation to agree to them.

Alternatively, there are things that Tenants can do to update a space or add their own personality to it.

Inject Colour with Textiles – Clever use of rugs can transform the flooring of your rental home and brighten up its entire atmosphere. Using the right texture can warm or cool an area significantly. Adding cushions or throws or new curtains can also give a property more homely personality and provide you with a better sense of belonging and comfort.

Lighting and Mirrors – Sort of like a magic show, you can make a statement with the right lighting and mirrors. New light shades can bring a room into the 21st century, and strategically placed free-standing or wall-hung mirrors can bounce light through darker areas of a home, making it feel larger and brighter. Floor or desk lamps can also look great and add needed light.

Make an Artistic Statement – Even if you’re not allowed to use picture hooks, there are plenty of places you can place artwork. Use shelves and bookcases or place items against a wall. Self-adhesive hooks may work well for small items as long as they don’t leave a mark – try using light coloured felt on the back of frames to avoid damage to walls from frames rubbing on paintwork.

Furniture with Storage – Functional furniture that serves the double duty of style and storage can change a room’s look and feel dramatically. A bed with hidden drawers, stools with lift-up seats and tables with cupboards or drawers will help minimise clutter and unsightly items being in view.

Greenery – If you like nature but don’t have a yard, adding plants can bring life to a room. Some properties don’t allow indoor plants, but there are realistic fake plants that can add just as much atmosphere. Research suitable plants first and check your lease before adding pot plants in your rental property.

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