Making your space feel like home when you’re renting can be a real challenge. Check out these genius apartment decorating ideas made just for renters. They’re great for college life, too!
What does the decor of your dream space look like? Does it have wispy curtains that just add that perfect soft touch? Maybe it has beautiful splashes of your favorite color throughout a room.
Or, perhaps your dream decor means having your favorite wall hangings in place so you can see them each day.
Decorating rented space is a real challenge because most landlords don’t allow any permanent changes to the apartment (or house, etc). To prevent damage to the rental, they have rules about painting, putting holes in the wall, and usually a bunch of other rules that can create design challenges.
A dwelling doesn’t feel like “home” until you put your own personal touches on it, and let’s face it: most rental units look and feel very sterile.
Despite the limitations that landlords instill, there are lots of things you can do to make your rented space really feel like home.
19 Genius Temporary Apartment Decorating Ideas For Renters
You CAN have a truly fabulous space as a renter! These 19 clever ideas will show you some clever apartment decor ideas to make yours feel like it’s really your own.
Create A Welcoming Entryway | Jenna Sue Design
First impressions matter. Take the time to cultivate an appealing and welcoming entryway like this one!
All it takes are a few (small) items like a place to put your keys and a wreath on the back of the door to make it feel homey.
Use Command Hooks | A Bowl Full of Lemons
Add heavy-duty command hooks to the front entry for guests to hang their coats and bags.
Tip: Command Hooks can be easily removed, so they are great for anywhere you need hooks!
Use Furniture That Has Dual Purpose | FrugElegance
Choose beautiful furniture that doubles as extra storage, like this big ottoman. Having furniture that can serve two purposes helps save space AND provides functions that you might otherwise not be able to have in a rental.
Renter-Friendly Window Treatments | The Happier Homemaker
Remove those ugly blinds and hang curtains using command hooks so you don’t add new holes to the walls. You can even cut them down if the hooks are too tall or spray paint them to match your wall paint. Lovely!
Use Plants to Add Color | The Spruce
A lot of renters get frustrated with not being able to add their own decor and style. Try adding splashes of color with potted plants.
Succulents are easy to grow, but if you have a green thumb, try your hand at some other gorgeous flowers too – they will breathe life into any bland space.
How do you decorate an apartment bedroom without a headboard? If you’re lacking a headboard, a headboard decal offers the perfect solution!
Enjoy a pretty design on the wall that’s easily removable and repositionable.
Standing Screen as a Headboard | Sanity Fair
Another apartment decorating hack for a headboard is to use a decorative bi-fold or tri-fold screen. It’s also SUPER easy to transport when you do eventually move.
DIY Removable Wallpaper | Fun Cheap or Free
Create your own temporary wallpaper with fabric and starch. This is a great idea for an accent wall as part of your apartment decor!
Temporary Wallpaper | Aunt Peaches
Or, purchase temporary wallpaper to add some color and pattern to your fridge. A wallpapered fridge? Yes! This isn’t your grandma’s wallpaper, though.
It has a satin finish and is 100% wipeable, oh and it looks fabulous.
Add Pops of Color Through Furniture | Honey Bear Lane
If you can’t decorate your apartment by painting the walls, paint your furniture instead to add pops of color wherever it’s needed. Aren’t these gold-dipped raspberry pink bar stools gorgeous?
Frame Out an Unframed Mirror | CoopCrafts
Add a bit of character to an unframed mirror… Use velcro strips and pretty trim to create your own frame that you can remove when you move to another place.
I think this is a genius apartment decoration idea!
Hang A Divider | BuzzFeed
Hang a curtain anywhere you’d like to divide the room. It offers privacy without a permanent change to the room design.
Hang Pictures on Ribbon | Her Campus
Use clothespins to hang pictures on ribbon or string. It minimizes the number of holes in the wall and will save you lots of filling in when you move.
DIY Fake Floating Wood Shelves | Today’s Creative Ideas
Hate the shelving that’s a part of your apartment decor? Rental shelving is usually basic (utilitarian) wire shelving that takes a beating.
Hide those ugly wire shelves wit this easy DIY that will fool everyone (including you!) into thinking they are gorgeous floating wood shelves.
Cover Up Unsightly Floors | A Beautiful Mess
The floors in a rental are often not kept up very well. They may have stains or wear and tear that make them terrible to look at.
Throw a fun rug down on the floor to cover up what you don’t want to see and add some personalization to your space at the same time.
DIY Floor Cloth | Design Share
When an expensive rug isn’t in the budget, make your own out of a much more affordable tablecloth and polyurethane.
It won’t have padding (unless you add a pad underneath), but it’ll look terrific.
Change Hardware | Apartment Therapy
Apartments often have outdated or builder-grade hardware. Awesome apartment decoration ideas can be small but impactful.
Show your taste with a very easy switch out: changing out the hardware. This can be on the kitchen cabinets or door handles.
It a small and fairly inexpensive swap that will have a huge impact on the space.
Adhesive Tiles | Polished Habitat
Did you know that you can buy peel and stick tiles? I didn’t for the longest time! Add a few pops of personality in your apartment bathroom or kitchen with some adhesive tiles.
When used sparingly, they will look like an expensive designer touch!
Wall Decals | Apartment Guide
Wow, have wall decals come a long way! Now they are chic and affordable – and don’t damage the wall when you remove them.
Whether you choose to go with a phrase or some type of image, decals are a great apartment decorating idea.
Apartment Decorating for Renters: Final Thoughts
Apartment decorating can be tricky when you’re limited to making non-permanent changes to your apartment decor. Be rest assured that with just a little creativity and some small personal touches, you can truly make your rented space feel like home.
If you liked these apartment decorating ideas, we think you’ll love these too!