4 Ways to Personalize Your Rental Home



When it comes to rentals, many tenants feel that the house (apartment, condo, what have you!) in question never quite feels like a home. Although there are without a doubt some creative restrictions when it comes to decorating rentals, there are still plenty of ways to personalize the space that won’t upset your landlord. For these sorts of projects, the main thing to think about is how easily your changes can be un-done when you decide to move out. Pretty much all landlords require that the home is restored to its original condition at the end of your lease so before you make any changes, consider how much work you’re prepared to do when it’s time to move! With that in mind, here are four easy ways to personalize your rental home…

Photo Courtesy of Elle Decor

1. Change the Light Fixtures & Hardware

It goes without saying that when you move into your rental home, you will bring your own furniture, accessories and personal belongings with you and that alone will do wonders for making the space feel more like your own. That said, when you go to do your makeup in the bathroom under miserable, dim, builder-grade lighting and go to close the door with a doorknob of similar quality, you will be reminded of the fact that you are in a rental. In most rentals, particularly in condos and apartments, we see  A LOT of builder-grade lighting and hardware. Although it’s understandable from a cost perspective why builders and landlords install these types of items, they are definitely lacking when it comes to ambience, style and quality. Thankfully, they are generally very easy to replace! So providing that you find a safe place to store the original lighting and hardware during your tenancy and are willing to reinstall them upon your departure, upgrading these items is a simple and effective. It will immediately improve the aesthetics of the home and tie everything together with your personal items and furniture.

Photo Courtesy of Elle Decor

2. Add in Some Window Treatments

Similar to light fixtures and hardware, window treatments tend to be another area where landlords skimp. Typically, there won’t be anything particularly wrong with the existing ones but they likely are in the form of plain venetian or white roller blinds that are lacking in personality. If this is the case, we recommend leaving them (they are often effective for blocking out light and providing privacy) but enhancing them with the addition of some curtains. By installing a decorative rod above the window frame, you can hang drapes that will enhance the space and add warmth during your tenancy but can easily be removed and come with you, when you move out. 

Photo Courtesy of Spoonflower

3. Consider Painting or Using Removable Wallpaper

If you’ve been reading along, you will know that we constantly preach the power of paint! If you feel that the best way to make your rental space look more like your own is to cover the white walls, we recommend chatting with your landlord first. Chances are, providing that you’re willing to repaint the space white prior to moving, your landlord will give you the green light. If it’s a pattern you’re after, wallpapering could be a great option too but DO NOT install traditional wallpaper. We repeat, do not install traditional wallpaper! To clarify, when we refer to traditional wallpaper, we are not referring to a traditional chinoiserie print papers but rather the method in which the paper is installed. If you go down the path of paper that requires the traditional glue and past method of installation, you will live to regret it, as removing this type of paper is a painstaking process. Thankfully, there are some wonderful peel and stick options that look fabulous and are relatively easy to remove. The one featured above is from Spoonflower. Need some help finding the right removable wallpaper for your home? Get in touch!

Photo Courtesy of Architectural Digest

4. Hang Some Art

This may seem like an obvious suggestion but hanging art is hands down the easiest method for making any space, be it rental or not, feel personal. Bare walls in any room make a space feel cold, uninviting and temporary so whether it’s abstract art, family photos or even your kids artwork, put them in nice frames and hang them all around. Although there may be an expectation for you to patch the holes at the end of your tenancy, this process is simple enough that we feel it’s well worth it. A  simple, colourful piece framed in a bathroom can bring it to life, while a gallery wall above your sofa will give your living room an attractive focal point. Hanging art is a trial and error process though so be patient and have some fun with it. If you need our help, we’re here!