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Damage Free Decorating Ideas For Rental Properties

couple walking into rental home

Turn Your Temporary House Into A Home

At some point, we've probably all rented a house & may even need to at some point in future .. who knows where life will take you?

But just because it's a rental doesn't mean it can't be a home.

I'm pretty fortunate in that I have a wonderful old house with a fantastic landlord & landlady.

Providing it's improving the property, I can pretty much decorate as I like.

But not every landlord or estate agent is going to be as accommodating.

But this doesn't mean you can't get creative & add your own personality to your rental.

Don't let the limitations of a rental property hold you back from creating beautiful décor. There's many damage free decorating ideas that will transform your rental house into a home.

You may be renting short term, so you don't want to be spending too much of your own dollars improving someone else's property.

But if you're a long term renter, some decorating ideas can be worth it in the long run to create a wonderful home environment.

Can You Paint A Rental Property?

My Mum used to say "if you don't ask, you don't get."

It's true, often if you approach your landlord or estate agent, they may be willing to allow you to apply a fresh coat of paint as it's improving the property.

Painting & adding some lovely colours to the walls would have to be one of the major ways to create a real difference to the look & feel of a house.

couple deciding paint colours for rental home

If you're only going to be in the property for a short while, it probably isn't worth the expense, time & labour involved.

But for long term tenants it's a wonderful option.

Usually subtle & neutral colours will be fine, as these make it easier for the owner to rent out the property at a later date.

If you're willing to do the job yourself, it needn't be overly expensive.

Good quality water-based paints are available nowadays which are low odour & super easy to clean up.

From my own experience, I found doing a room at a time is less overwhelming & the entire house isn't a mess for weeks on end.

When the landlord sees the results, this may help you get on his good side & he may be more open to other decorating suggestions you may have.

Add Some Life To Boring White Walls

Most newer rental homes, in my neck of the woods at least, seem to have white walls.

This can be a bit cold & uninviting, but the positive aspect is it's a neutral backdrop to which you can add any colour.

So if painting is out of the question, there are other means by which to add some life to those boring white walls.

Wall decals can be a great choice & removable ones are available that don't create marking or damage.


Related Articles:

Do Wall Decals Damage Walls?

10 Paint & Wallpaper Free Ideas For Boring Walls


There's also removable wallpaper & murals known as "peel & stick".

A fantastic way to create a feature wall & as they're available in many colours & designs, you can match to any existing décor.

wall mural for rental property

A similar product known as Washi Tape, is a high quality Japanese masking tape made from rice paper.

Available in many colours & designs as well as being low tack, means it's not only repositionable, but won't create damage when removed.

You can apply it to create your own designs on the walls, or use it to stick up posters, as unlike BluTack, it won't leave a residue.

decorative washi tape


The floors are another area, that if they're not that attractive they can really detract from a home's décor.

The usual culprits are dated carpet, tiles or old linoleum.


Replacing flooring can be quite an expense, & even if you're staying in the house long term, it can still hit hard on the hip pocket.

I was lucky in my house, that under the old & dated faux wood lino in the front room, were jarrah floorboards.

I couldn't rip that lino up fast enough!

You may be in a similar situation & provided the floorboards are in good enough condition, it may be something the landlord will agree to.

Perhaps a bit of sanding & staining may be required, but it needn't be a huge undertaking.

floorboards in rental home

Another easy way is to hide offensive carpet is under rugs, plus you'll own the rugs & can use them in your next rental.

Depending on the size of the room, one rug may cover the entire floor space.

floor rug for rental property

If you like the bohemian look, then multiple rugs can be used.

floor rugs for rental home

Of course, arranging the furniture in strategic ways will also help hide those areas that the rugs don't conceal.


Often bathrooms & even kitchens can have tiled floors.

If it's an old house, you may be lucky & have funky retro tiled floors.

But more often than not, they're old fashioned or just plain ugly.

Again, ask the owner or agent as you may get permission to paint over them.

Then with the use of rugs, you can create a pleasing décor.

If painting is out of the question, rubber & other water resistant floor coverings are available.

There are those click together rubber tiles, & although they may not be on the cutting edge of home décor, they'll do the job of hiding any offensive floor tiles.

rubber floor tiles

Gym floor tiles are also available through some home depot & hardware suppliers, as well as other styles of rubber flooring offering various textures.

A simple way to disguise the shower floor is to use a bamboo bath mat &