9 Decorating Ideas to Make Your Rental Feel Like Home

Woods at Provinceton

Decorating your new apartment? Last year, WSJ reported that U.S. home ownership was at its lowest level since the ’60s. Here in NYC, renting is the norm, and we have decorating tips to share. Whether it’s through paint, clever art  or personal portraits, you can make any rental feel like home. Here are 9 tips and tricks, from Lofty’s friends at ImproveNet.

family photos


1. Transform Ordinary Walls with Personal Photos

The easiest way to make any rental feel like yours, no matter how rough a shape it is in, is to add plenty of personal photos. Most of the time, rentals are pretty bare; the walls are painted a dull white or ugly gray. Turn those blank walls into an art gallery. If you don’t have many family photos, create a memory wall of postcards from vacations or years abroad.

2. Install Temporary Wallpaper

Wallpaper may be a bit old fashioned, but in limited roles, it still works. Fortunately, newer forms of wallpaper are much easier to remove than the classic vinyl and can transform a rather dull living or dining room. In fact, some remodelers prefer to create an accent wall with wallpaper rather than paint. Even better is the fact that you can reuse most removable wallpaper, so don’t be scared to try it in different locations.

Luckily, removable wallpaper will not damage your walls, guaranteeing a full deposit when you move out. ImproveNet has a handy wallpaper calculator for figuring out how much you need, to ensure you purchase the correct amount.



3. Use Rugs to Cover Ugly Floors

Flooring can be expensive to repair and as such, many homeowners put it off until the repair becomes a necessity. Unfortunately, you have to live with those floors, but a very simple solution can save you and your guests from an eyesore.

Rugs not only add comfort and warm touches to all rooms, but they also take up a lot of square footage. They are ideal for renters living on old wooden floors that creak, tile that has cracked, or other future repairs.

Lofty has a selection of antique rugs from all over the world.

4. Update Your Cabinet Hardware

When it comes to remodeling, kitchens and bathrooms reign supreme. Nonetheless, you’re not going to pay for a kitchen remodel you won’t see in a few years when you move. The next best answer is updating the cabinet hardware.

Hardware is often referred to as the jewelry of cabinetry. It can make a big impact on the look and feel of the entire room. With so many styles and finishes available, it can be overwhelming to make a final selection. To simplify the entire process, see ImprovNet’s Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Guide.

cabinet hardware


5. Spend More on Furniture

Invest in furniture you’ll love forever. Cheap furniture generally produces cheap results. Whether it’s the dining room table, your living room couches or even your bed frame, it pays to heavily invest in furniture items you use on a daily basis.

Calling a rental property home doesn’t have to mean living with cheap and disposable furniture. Quality furniture should be a long-term investment you can take with you no matter where you live.

6. Bring in Life

Plants and flowers bring life into your rental and give you a sense of ownership. Fresh plants add natural colors and textures to your home. If your apartment feels cold or dull, vibrant, fresh flowers will not only liven up your space, but also improve your air quality.

If you are not used to caring for plants, start out with fresh flowers weekly and water as needed. Once that becomes routine, move on to bigger green initiatives.

bring in life


7. Ask Your Landlord for Functional Remodels

Is your landlord refusing to make an improvement because of the cost? What they might not know is that many remodels will increase the value of their investment.

If you think a wall should be removed, the front door needs to be replaced or a second bathroom needs to be added, ask and discuss the project with your landlord. In fact, thanks the 2016 Cost Vs. Value Report, you can even show the landlord their possible ROI. The worst they can say is no, right?

But be careful what you wish for. No matter the remodel, expect your rent to go up the following year.

8. Look Outside the Home

If you’re renting a stand-alone house, don’t forget that home begins not at the front door, but at first sight. The outside of the home should feel just as warm and homey as the inside.

To transform the outside, place a few plants around the exterior, add patio furniture or ask your landlord to install walkway or flood lights. There are plenty of inexpensive items you can buy to vastly alter the look and feel of your home’s exterior.

bring in life


9. Make It Yours

Your home is meant to feel cozy and to be your sanctuary. You have to incorporate elements that you love. Elements that scream your name. If you are unsure about adding them, ask the landlord. If they agree, go for it. After all, just because you are renting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call it home.

Written by Jacob Hurwith at ImproveNet