Renter-friendly home décor ideas

✔ Rental and lease agreements usually make it clear what you can and can’t do when sprucing up your space.

✔ Talk to your landlord first and get written approval for any home improvement plans so that you don’t risk losing your security deposit.

✔ There are many temporary home décor ideas renters can use to update their space that don’t cost a lot - from bathroom décor improvements to wall décor.

Making your space feel like home isn’t just for homeowners. Whether you’re renting a house, a condo, or an apartment, there are many lease-friendly spruce-ups, touch-ups and do-it-yourself home décor upgrades that you can do to make your rental feel more like home without upsetting your landlord. With a vision, a little money, and some effort you’ll be investing in a more relaxing, personal, and comfortable place where you spend most of your time.

First off, know what is allowed

Most rental or lease agreements allow renters to make minor changes to the property, and many say that the renter is responsible for restoring things to their original condition when they move out. You could lose your security deposit if the landlord thinks that your improvement is not an improvement at all.  
Most landlords will allow for simple enhancements like installing curtains, replacing knobs or touching up paint. But when it comes to larger improvements like painting a room, or structural changes, it’s best to talk to your landlord and get permission before you risk paying for something that violates your lease agreement.

Landlord-friendly touch-ups
Most landlords appreciate little fixes that make the space look better and they may even increase the property’s value. These could be:

  • Re-caulking the tub or shower
  • Taking old paint off knobs or door hinges or on the floor
  • Changing out knobs
  • Rerouting cable lines to reduce clutter
  • Installing curtains or blinds that can be easily removed

“Ask first” fixes and improvements

Bigger, more intensive, and space-changing improvements will be seen by the landlord as outside of what’s allowed in your lease, and they may be outside the property’s building codes.  
If you want to make changes, ask first, in writing, and document your landlord’s agreement to the changes. Some landlords may even want to help by providing their tradespeople to ensure the work is done properly or they may offer to help cover some of the costs. The key is to ask before swinging the hammer.  The type of improvements that your landlord will see as big changes are:

  • Painting – walls, kitchen cabinets, and doors (if you don’t ask your landlord first, you’ll have to repaint with the original colour before moving out).
  • Replacing flooring, or carpeting.
  • Removing or adding shelving.

Design upgrades that look great but are temporary

There are plenty of online hacks and social media channels devoted to things you can do yourself to make your space feel like home. Here are a few temporary upgrades that won’t cost a lot but can make it feel like you hired an interior designer.
If part of your design vision is to update old or dated things in your space, be sure not to get rid of them as your landlord may not like what you’ve done and ask you to put stuff back. Here are a few things you can do to refresh your space:

Home décor:

  • Update the lighting. Replacing light fixtures is a great way to modernize your space.
  • Add plants.  They make your space look homier and they also help to purify the air.
  • Room dividers. They create a separate space within an open-concept rental for little investment and can make an instant home office.
  • Mirrors. They can be a good kitchen décor idea if you have a small space as they make it feel bigger and brighter.

Wall décor:

  • From peel and stick, removable wallpaper, to the latest trend washi tape, there are many products out there that let you change the look of your space temporarily.
  • Art on walls. Blow up your favourite, Instagram-worthy vacation pictures to create a gallery wall and use easy-to-remove hooks that won’t leave holes in the wall.

Bathroom décor:

  • Installing a new modern showerhead, replacing the shower curtain, and adding some art to the walls can give your bathroom a new look without costing a lot.

Space-saving ideas:

  • Look for compact, condo-friendly furniture if you have a small living space. It’s a good investment because it’s easy to move, and it will always make any space look bigger.  
  • Buy furniture that has a dual purpose, like beds with drawers underneath, or a coffee table that doubles as storage to free up space.  

No matter what your home décor ideas are, investing a little time and money into decorating and making small upgrades to your rental is a great way to personalize your space, and make it more liveable and enjoyable.

Borrowing to make improvements

If you’ve decided on some renter-friendly improvements to your space and your home décor budget isn’t stretching as far as you’d like it to, we can help. We offer personal loans for as little as $500, with terms that can be tailored to your needs and budget. If banks are not an option, apply online for a loan in minutes, get same-day approval, and start making your design vision a reality.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice on any subject matter.

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