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Rental Home Decorating Basics

When you move into a rental, it tends to look pretty neutral. You'll want to give it a new look that resembles your style. But where do you start? Here are some home decorating basics to help make your rental really feel like home.

Learn what your style is

Whether your personal style is common or an eclectic mix of different things, figuring it out is the first step. This gives you a starting point for what decor to choose as you move further along in your decorating journey.

Have a budget

Knowing how much money you have to work with will put some limits on what you can or can’t buy. You can easily spend all your money on a single piece of decor before realizing that you’re over budget. Determine what you can spend and plan around that amount before you purchase anything.

Know what you can and can’t do

Check with your landlord or property management company to see what you’re allowed to do. Whether or not you can put nails in the wall, paint the walls or make minor modifications around your home will affect how you decorate your home. This either gives you the freedom to make big changes or find ways to be creative within your constraints.

Quality over quantity

It’s easy to buy a lot of cheap decorations, but there’s the risk that they end up feeling and looking cheap. It’s better to buy fewer, high quality decorations than to buy so many low-cost ones that your space ends up looking like a dump.

Focus on pieces you can build a room around

A good couch, bed or table can act as the center of a room to build the rest of your decor around. Spend the money to get a good centerpiece for the room and design the rest of the room around it.

Related: How to Furnish and Decorate a Small Home

Fix the lighting

A lot of badly decorated rooms start with poor lighting. Use more than just the typical overhead light. Even without many decorations, changing the lighting really gives life to a room.

Look to unusual rooms

Everyone starts with the living room or bedroom, but those aren't the only rooms you can decorate. What about a bedroom closet or hallway? You can do much more with your home by also decorating these areas.

Change window treatments

Similar to lighting, window treatments can make a room look much better. Curtains can change the lighting and add some color to the walls, giving it more personality than the standard blinds that probably came with the rental.

Highlight the best parts of the home

Is there something that stands out about your place? Choose the best focal point in your home, like a large window or fireplace. Then, build things around it. This is one of the home decorating basics that will give you a great starting point for how to decorate the room.

Related: Rules for Arranging Your Furniture

There’s power in accessories

Little decorations on tables or other surfaces can make a big difference. What about the books on your bookshelf, figurines that go in random places or other little decorations around your home? These help show your personality and style.

Embrace thrift

We don’t just mean shopping at thrift stores, but that’s a good option to help you save money. Look for sales and other deals to make your limited budget stretch further. This isn’t about being cheap, but looking for places where you receive good value for your money.

Rugs really tie the room together

Don’t underestimate the effect a good rug can have on a room. Get one that matches the rest of the space and maked the room feel complete.

Remember, these are just the basics — there’s so much more you can do to decorate your home. Do you have any additional rental home decorating tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

Categories: Renters

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About the Author
Steffi Cook

Steffi Cook is the head of content for Rentals.com. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her on the tennis court, hiking in the mountains or trying a new restaurant.