There are dozens of home design shows on television and one thing that I have always noticed is that they are always geared towards people who own their own homes. While I understand the logic behind this, there are a large number of people who rent their own apartment or home, while the number of shows geared towards that is very limited.
It isn’t that people who rent don’t want to have a space to call their own, or even that they don’t have the budget to decorate; it is that they don’t know what they can do to decorate. For one thing, many renters feel that they don’t have the permission to decorate with paint and other things. For another, many renters don’t want to put the money in that decorating takes.
While both are very valid reasons not to decorate, don’t feel that renting should inhibit your desire to have a beautifully decorated space. Trust me, your landlord will be happy that you are taking care of the place and you will be overjoyed with living in a stylish and beautifully decorated home.
Work with the landlord:
When it comes to landlords, you will have a wide range of them but before you decide on what type of landlord you have, talk to them first. Ask them how they feel about updating some of the design elements in the home. If the floor is decades old, then ask your landlord if he would be willing to replace it. Every upgrade your landlord makes will not only make it a much better home for you but it will also increase his rental home’s worth.
Another way to approach home renovations is to offer to do the work for him. Work out a deal where he supplies the materials, such as paint, and you will do the manual labor. Keep in mind what you are able to do and the amount of time that you have to do it and remind him that some jobs, such as plumbing, is something that he needs to hire a professional to do.
If you would prefer to paint and decorate on your own, make sure you receive permission before you do. Many rentals will allow you to paint as long as you restore the home back to its original color. This isn’t a bad thing if you are planning to stay a while but if you aren’t that is a huge and unnecessary expense so I would avoid it.
Talk about the floors:
Unless you are very lucky, you are probably going to have a rental house with some pretty dingy flooring. If it doesn’t date back to the 50’s, then it is probably so full of stains and dings that it looks awful. Flooring can be an expensive investment for landlords and that is why they tend to be overlooked when they fix up a rental for a new tenant.
If your landlord is happy with updating the flooring, then you won’t have too much of a problem but if you aren’t getting new flooring, I would strongly recommend purchasing a few area rugs to cover up the floors where you can. The great thing about area rugs is that you can take it with you when you move and usually, you can always find a new area to lay it down when you do move. Make sure that when you choose an area rug that it matches the decor that you want to go with.
Take me with you pieces:
Obviously when you are renting, you will be bringing along your own furniture when you move but you can take more than furniture. Basically, when you are planning to decorate your own rental space, think about things that you can take with you.
Indoors, you can take electrical fixtures that you purchase, just make sure you keep the ones that were there so you can reattach them when you leave. You can also purchase shower heads for your bathroom shower. Both of those can be taken down easily when you move and they can add so many personal elements to your rental home. Just think how nice your dining room will look with your own light fixture. Absolutely perfect.
For outdoors, you can add a lot of statement by creating a container garden and you can even bring those plants in to the house to add elements to your home decor.
Every design idea has a statement piece, whether it is a picture, a piece of furniture or a cushion that you are pulling colors from. Decorating for a rental home is no different than decorating for one you own. You will have a statement piece and you will also draw out much of your inspiration from it.
One recommendation that I would make with a rental piece is to make sure that it is a versatile piece, whether it is a picture or a sofa, that can fit a variety of spaces. This way, when you move to a new rental, you will be able to recreate your decor without too much effort or too many new items to purchase.
The last point that I am going to make about decorating a rental space is to use fabrics. It is amazing how often fabrics are overlooked when it comes to a design and decor and with a rental property, there is so much that you can do to take your space from boring to exceptional.
Using fabrics can create some wonderful design effects and they are fairly inexpensive depending on the type of fabric that you are using and the way that you are using it. Another bonus for fabrics is the fact that they can be picked up easily and taken to a new home when you move.
In the end, with the cooperation of your landlord, anyone who rents can have a beautifully decorated home.