5 Ways to Redecorate If You Live in a Rental

We were renters for many years, and I know how challenging it can be, especially if you’re a serial DIYer like me.  If you live in a rental but you have a passion for interior design, you might be worried that your creativity will be limited in this space, but this isn’t necessarily true - with the right approach, you can spruce up your rental without violating any clauses in your lease! Here are a few ways to overhaul your rental, to make it work for you.

1 - Consider Finding a New Space

Before you dive into any major interior design projects for your rental, it’s important to determine whether or not your lease will allow you to make the changes you have in mind. If your landlord prohibits certain renovations (for example changing the curtains), you may need to find a new place to live so that you can design your dream home. To find available rentals quickly and easily, you can use an online platform and set your price range so that your results only show properties within your budget. You can also add other specifications, like preferred amenities or the number of bathrooms and bedrooms you’d like.

Rental Family Room Makeover

2 - Home Office

Have you recently started working from home? If so, you need an organized home office space in order to stay productive. You can start designing this space by investing in comfortable furniture that provides plenty of support. Furthermore, painting your walls in bright hues or adding colourful accents can actually help to boost your concentration and focus! Make sure to bring in some storage solutions, too, like floating shelves, a filing cabinet, or cubbies.

If your lease doesn’t allow you to paint walls, you can always add some gorgeous artwork to your walls.  There are lots of places that you can find free artwork to get printed in larger scale for you to frame.

Here are some of my tips for working from home.

3 - Design With Kids in Mind

If you have children, you’ll want to make some careful design choices. For example, you might not want to invest in expensive, fragile decor, buy white furniture, or purchase items made with fabrics that are difficult to clean. To design a kid-friendly rental that still looks aesthetically pleasing, HGTV recommends choosing vintage decor made from sturdy, resilient materials - it’s more likely to survive mishaps. Don’t shy away from colour, either! Neutral tones tend to show stains more easily, so colourful decor is often a better fit for family homes.

You can always repaint a vintage piece if you don’t like the colour. Painted furniture can be very hardy and kid friendly.

Blue Cabinet Makeover

4 Decorating for Entertainment

Maybe you want to host guests more often, but you’re worried that your rental isn’t really suited for entertaining. Thankfully, there are some easy fixes that will transform your rental into a space where your friends and family love to visit!

To cultivate a home that is ideal for entertaining, Fratantoni Design recommends fully utilizing any outdoor or balcony space you have access to, creating an open floor plan by leaving plenty of room to move between your furniture and decor, and beautifying your kitchen, as this is where people tend to congregate during gatherings.

If you’re looking for inspiration on creating a beautiful outdoor space, check out what Leslie from My 100 Year Old Home did.

My 100 Year Old Home

5 Design for Relaxation

If you love meditation and yoga, you might find yourself wishing that you had a space dedicated to relaxation and mindfulness practices. You can turn a room in your rental into your very own zen studio! Choose a space to decorate with tapestries, house plants, and artsy accents. You may even want to add incense or an essential oil diffuser for ambiance.


If yoga isn’t your thing, think about what activities you do to relax and create the perfect space. Perhaps you like to read a book, or perhaps watching movies is your thing. Whatever it is, make a space to do this.

It’s also a really lovely idea, if you have the room, to make a dedicated space, just for you.  Somewhere you can kick back and relax without the family interrupting.

Adding small touches to your bathroom is always a great way to add a relaxation factor – why not make that your own personal space (at least while others aren’t using it).

Kristine in Between

Keep it Simple

Your makeover doesn't have to be a great undertaking to make a huge amount of difference to your space.

In this quick and easy makeover I did for my (then) tweenage son, I didn't paint the walls, I didn't even put up new curtains (although I did do a little hack to the roman blinds). It didn't take me long but the results were huge. This took his bedroom from blah to brilliant without breaking the bank or doing anything major.

Tweenage Boy Bedroom Makeover

In conclusion, living in a rental does not have to constrain your creativity when it comes to design. You may need to search for the right rental to suit your tastes, but by thinking outside the box, you can design a space you truly love. Whether you want to cultivate a space for hosting or relaxation, these tips have got you covered!



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April 13, 2023