33 Ways to Decorate a Rental — On a Budget!


There have been times when I wanted to wait until the perfect time to start — or finish — decorating a room. Perfect time meaning living in my dream house AND tons of money to spend on what I want. Unfortunately I haven’t stumbled upon the perfect time OR that pile of money. So I just jumped right in and started decorating our rental using things we already had, a little creativity, and DIY-ing everything from art to tea towels. Part of making my home beautiful, purposeful and functional is being conscious of the fact that we rent.

Not everyone can knock down or paint walls.

So this is for you. 33 ideas to decorate your rental — on a budget.

Let’s get right to it.

1. Removable fabric wallpaper is pretty ingenious. And the options are endless – via The Pretty Life Anonymous

Why didn\'t I know this during all these years of renting Hang a curtain rod, on command strip hooks. MIND. BLOWN.

2. Hang a curtain rod with a command hook. Super easy and no holes! via Just Imagine

3. A great idea to fill up those giant blank walls — use wooden dowels and wallpaper to make wall hangings. via NinjaDiva

entry tape, great idea if you're living in an apartment and can't paint the walls.

4. Use washi (or duct!) tape to add interest to a boring wall. Try diamonds, diagonals or stripes. via “>photobucket – jkomenda 

Get any old plates at a thrift store, spray paint them in a rainbow of colors, and hang them with invisible hangers! You've made a rainbow inside your home! by marian

5. A good way to make an impact is using plates. I love these spray painted plates! Do all one color or taste the rainbow! via Indulgy

great idea for apartment rental doors. Habitually Chic®

6. Use inexpensive electrical tape to mimic arcitectural details on a plain door. via Habitually Chic

Ribbon and thumbtacks to decorate the wall...interesting idea.

7. Tape just not your thing? Try ribbon and thumbtacks for a feature wall. via Remodelaholic


8. Use a dresser as a media console. Not only can you customize the color — but you get a ton of storage. via Home for Now

Great storage idea for no pantry

9. No pantry? Get creative and use a bookshelf to store your goods. via Pinterest

10. Don’t want to invest a ton in a rug that may or may not fit your next home? Make your own floor covering using a tablecloth! — via Design Share

Noncommittal Bed Decor - The Bilk Decal Headboards

11. No headboard, no problem. Try these vinyl headboards that come off as easy as they go on. — via Trend Hunter

Love this thifty makeover for a scratched and dinged dishwasher. Saving 4 Six has the tutorial on how to apply beadboard to disguise an ugly front panel.

12. Looking for a way to disguise that ugly appliance? Try adding bead board. Use double sided carpet tape or velcro command strips — via Savings 4 Six

Great idea for dressing up a rental kitchen. Especially one that's looking on the vintage side...

13. A hung collection acts as an arrow and draws any attention away from the not so perfect details of your space — via Pinterest


14. Can’t get rid of those hideous vertical blinds? Use the track and add custom curtains — via berni and i

DIY Arched Bookshelves using $50 IKEA bookcases and MDF board. Love the dark background, especially if you cannot paint rental walls.

15. If you can’t paint your rental walls, try this DIY Arched Bookshelves using $50 IKEA bookcases and MDF board. Paint the back of the bookcase for a pop of color to your room — via Little Green Notebook

Love this! Take off those ugly cabinet doors! Just be sure to stash them somewhere that they won't get damaged until you have to move out. Check out the art on the backsplash! ~P

16. Take the doors off of the kitchen cabinets for a more open look. Also check out the framed prints as a back splash — via urbanedgeny

This faux log fireplace facade allows you to easily remove and replace the logs in a few seconds! Can you guess the trick?</p> <p> Source: Pepper Design Blog</p> <p>

Got an empty or non-working fireplace? Try a faux log insert. It’s cheap and super chic –via Pepper Design Blog

Painters tape, then double stick tape to hang posters and such without peeling paint off walls or putting thumbtack holes in walls. SUCH a clever idea!

17. Want to hang something without leaving any holes? Try using painters tape, then double stick paint to hang light weight posters and such without risking peeling paint — via Picnics Under the Moon

Hang a piece of fun fabric from the bottom of my shelf to behind the washer and dryer to cover up the outlets. Fun, pop of modern- check, hide ugly outlets- check. Genius!

18. Sometimes ugly laundry rooms can’t be helped, but try hanging a piece of fabric behind the washer and dryer to hide ugly outlets. Genius! — via Go Haus Go


19. Wallpaper can be quite the investment. Maybe more than you’d want to spend in a rental. So try wrapping paper and double sided tape! — via A Thoughtful Place

20. I melted from excitement with this one. Painted contact paper wall stripes. Temporary and MAGNIFICENT! — via City Farmhouse

Add decorative paper to the inside of a medicine cabinet. Love this idea!

21.Make over a blah medicine cabinet with a little decorative paper and creative repurposed storage containers — via BHG

Do you remember IKEA's colorful kitchen backsplashes from a few seasons ago? What looked at the time to be elaborate tile or mosaic patterns was actually just IKEA fabric hung behind plexiglass! Since then this idea has popped up around the internet as one DIY backsplash solution for rental kitchens.

22. Try a beautiful piece of fabric underneath a sheet of plexiglass for a gorgeous and temporary backsplash — via “>Apartment Therapy

23. This simple DIY oversized art is a great way to fill a large wall — via the handmade home

DIY framing

24. Make some amazing (and temporary) frames with washi tape to add some personality — via The House That Lars Built

Keep her favorite accessories within reach.

25. This is a great space saving solution that is also pretty stylish — via A Bulls Eye View

DIY: Turn rubber doormats into a beautiful headboard. Great for any bedroom in the house! From Kara Paslay Designs.

26. Sometimes a great low cost headboard is actually two rubber mats — via flikr/karapaslay

Hang kitchen baskets on a mounted wall trellis and fill with plants for an indoor vertical garden.

27. Sometimes rentals lack outside space. This is a perfect solution to plant those herbs inside — via A Bulls Eye View

the little things: floor to ceiling photo wall.. aka 'how to hide all of those switches and things'

28. Got a wall full of switches, thermostats and other eyesores? A floor to ceiling photo wall is the answer — via unknown source

No-sew faux roman shade. This is a simple and clever method. Perfect for our rental because it requires no drilling or making holes on the wall.

29. Window treatments can get pricey. That’s why this DIY faux roman shade is a winner — via Southern in the City

Fun DIY idea!

30. Boring walls plauge rentals everywhere. Try this easy washi tape deacal wall idea — via Maiko Nagao

love the color!

31. Got an old hand me down table waiting for new life? Paint it a bold color to inject some life into your space — via Impatiently Praying for Patience

Use picture frames and polished drawer knobs to hang light items that you use often.

32. Use picture frames and drawer knobs to hang light weight items that you use often — via A Bullseye View

How to Create a Temporary DIY Triangle Accent Wall for Less than $3! {UpcycledTreasures.com}

33. Another idea for those boring walls. DIY gold triangle accent wall — via Upcycled Treasures

So what do you think? Would you try any of these ideas? Got some ideas of your own? Let me hear them!

Looking for more rental decorating inspiration?

Check out my Rental Decorating Pinterest Board

Need to catch up on my 31 Days to a more Beautiful, Purposeful and Functional Home Series?

Follow along here.

And as always

stay connected


Find me on Etsy!!

Looking for even more inspiration? You may like:

paintedwatchbox (1)          fauxnailheadtabletitle          modelmastercover         How to overcome discontent


24 thoughts on “33 Ways to Decorate a Rental — On a Budget!

  1. Pingback: 31 Days to a Beautiful, Purposeful and Functional Home | Home For Now

  2. Lots of great ideas. I blogged about using wrapping paper as wall paper also. I’ve also done the fabric wallpaper. You chose well, there are some ideas here that I will definitely try.

  3. I think these are brilliant! I will use #3 in the shop. I have been using fabric stapled to 2 x 4s for splashes of color. This makes a lot more sense. I’ve got the wallpaper, too. Thank you!

  4. There are so many cheap lists out there on how to decorate a rental/apartment… but they really do feel CHEAP (and repetitive)! This is an AMAZING list – thank you so much for taking the time to put it together! I’m prepping for a long-distance move and stressing about how to decorate. You’ve solved my problem. Hands down.

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