In a rental property, you're limited as to what you can and cannot change in the house. Adapting your personal style to the existing elements can be frustrating, and adding any style at all to bland properties can be a challenge. Here's how to make the most of what you can change, and how to work around the common restrictions landlords or frequent moving will put on your decorating ability.
While many contemporary designs will use simple and neutral furniture, this option just isn't for you. Furniture is one of the elements of a rental home that you have complete control over, and so its s great chance to add dramatic style to the space. Invest in some well-made couches with matching rugs. Think of a saturated colour that you can love for years, or consider colonial or Asian-inspired styles that have unusual shapes and plenty of flourishes. This couch and rug combination make a statement even on bland floors and white walls, and so can your furniture!
Bedroom walls are often painted very neutral colours. From the landlord's perspective this makes sense, because they want to attract people they need to make the home's colours as inoffensive as possible. For you, this presents a design challenge. In a comparatively smaller space like a bedroom the largest design element, next to the walls, is the bed. So take full advantage of this and get layered bedspreads that add multiple colours or textures to the room. Add throw pillows will all of the different styles, and other accessories in the room that replicate the colours or patterns. Don't be afraid to choose a wild bedroom style, we have plenty of contemporary designs here that you may want to consider.
Forget buying large or custom-fit pieces. If you're in a rental and especially if you move frequently, you'll want your pieces to be small and easily transportable. This collection of wooden decor for the front entry-way is a great example. The pieces match and can be reorganized easily depending on the shape and size of the entrance. They can fill up any available shelves, or sit on the floor if there are none. You can tuck unnecessary pieces into the bench, or hang hooks or art above it.
If the property manager is reluctant to let you hang art, offer to plug the holes and paint the gaps yourself before you leave. It's a simple process and hanging art can make a huge statement. If they still say no, or if you're not willing to put in the work, consider propping up your art instead. You can use fireplace mantles, shelves, window sills, or stands to support the art without having to nail into the wall. Consider getting themed art with two dramatically contrasting frame colours. These black and white frames make a great impact, and their butterfly theme adds unity to the space.
You can easily add character to dining spaces that are bland by throwing on a colourful table cloth. Unique plates and cutlery can also make a big impact. Consider bowls and plates that have unique textures and that come with matching serving plates and gravy cups. Even matching vases will add some extra dimension to your dining table. Of course, don't be afraid to mix-and-match styles to create unique statements.
Rental properties often keep their original light fixtures, because property owners would rather spend money on practical updates like durable flooring or properly sealed windows and doors. That doesn't mean you have to keep those dusty lights from a few decades ago! Substitute in your own stylish choices, and go for dramatic or contemporary looks. This dark wooden dining light is a great choice that matches the resident's furniture. Our gallery has plenty of unusual lighting choices for you to draw inspiration from. Just make sure you keep the old lights in storage, and put them back in place before you move, so that the stylish new lighting can move with you.
Sometimes what a rental property is missing most is a sense of life. There's no movement, no greenery, no character. There are three simple ways to add these elements yourself. Consider adding indoor plants to liven up the space. Aquariums can add movement and life to darker spaces, especially if you have a nautical theme. Lastly, sculptures create focal points of interest and add heaps of character. You can go with realistic animal sculptures like the jaguar in the centre, or for more abstract sculptures like the humanoid on the left.
Does your rental property have an outdoor space that you want to rejuvenate too? Contemplate these calming accessories that can add elegance to your yard.