When renting your home, restrictions set in place to keep the space in good shape for future tenants can limit your decorating options. How do you manage to make the apartment feel like your home while still following the rules of your lease?

Let’s take a look at some lease-friendly decorating tips you can use to turn a rental into a home:

Paint & Wallpaper

Check in with your landlord to know if painting walls or hanging wallpaper is allowed. If your lease states that you must leave everything as it was when you moved in, you may be able to add some color and repaint the original color before you move out.

Mounting Tape & Putty

Putting holes in the wall is something you’ll typically end up paying damages for if you leave them behind when you move out. To avoid that, try using mounting tape or putty for lighter things (test them first in a spot that isn’t very visible, in case they leave residue or tear off paint).

For heavier art and decor, using proper mounting equipment could save you from more damage when things fall off the wall. Yes, that means you should use those drywall anchors that make you do the work twice. When you remove that equipment from the wall, you can fill in any holes and paint over with the correct paint color (you can usually obtain the exact paint variety from your landlord).


Art can do two things for walls; it can add interest or blend into the surrounding furniture. If you want art that truly stands out, look for pieces at local galleries that artists are selling. If they aren’t selling their gallery pieces, try getting in touch with them to see if they do commissions or have other art for sale.

rental property design

Don’t forget that nick-nacks can also be art! Putting small to medium-sized things you like on floating shelves, end tables, plant stands, and ladder shelves can add dimension to your space. If you live in the Phoenix, Arizona area, you can find lots of great original works by local artists for sale at Practical Art.


Changing the floors isn’t an option when you’re renting a house or apartment, but there are removable solutions you can use to cover up an ugly floor. If you have carpet, hard floors that are in rough shape, or you need something to break up bigger spaces, rugs can significantly change the room’s appearance.

Large area rugs can cover good portions of a room and distract from what shows of any outdated or worn-out floors underneath. Small but bright accent rugs can add color to a space that lacks it, and they make a great first impression as entryway rugs.

Bonus: washable rugs are a lifesaver! Even if you don’t think you spill very much, you’re bound to end up with stains of unknown origin that are difficult to treat if you can’t put the rug in the washing machine. Not to mention, normal traffic alone can make your rugs fade, and some that should not go into the washer don’t come out in the same condition.

Other Floor Coverings

For patios, balconies, and other hard floors that you don’t want rugs on, you can use flooring tiles that clip together and sit on top of what’s already there (with no adhesive). These tiles work best on flat surfaces, so they won’t work the best on old wood surfaces that have warped over time.

Accent Furniture

It’s stunning the difference good furniture can make in creating a space that represents your style. If you already have basic models for bigger things like couches and tables, adding small items like lamps, cushions, and decorative shelves can turn those base pieces into a canvas for your interior design.

furniture for rentals

If you don’t already have a proper way to transport the bulkier pieces of furniture to your home, renting a shipping container for the move is a great way to get everything there and on your own time. Container rentals are also appropriate for storing things that don’t fit your current place and need a temporary home until your next move.

A rental home may not be your place forever, but you can still make it feel and look like home without breaking any conditions of your lease. Get creative and live in a space that feels like it’s yours!