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Do’s and Don’ts of design for Rental Properties

You signed the lease and have your keys in hand to your new rental apartment. You’re excited about showing off your personality with your innovative decorating and design ideas!

However, before you make any severe changes to your new pad, it’s vital that you carefully go over the details of your rental agreement. Rental apartment decorating can be tricky because you might be restricted in what you are and are not allowed to do concerning DIY upgrades.

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So, before you jump into renovating your new apartment, continue reading to learn about the dos and don’ts of design for rental properties. You’ll feel good knowing that you’re not infringing on your rental agreement while expressing your unique flair for decorating and design.

Rental Apartment Decorating Ideas

When planning your new rental interior design scheme, it’s important not to take on any major renovations – like ripping out a wall to make more space in a room, replacing the countertops, or changing the flooring. Likewise, do not remove a tree, pull up the shrubs, or otherwise majorly disrupt the landscaping. You should not do any significant projects without first discussing them with your landlord.

Check about painting

On that note, you should also not do any painting without checking your lease first. Painting is always a simple way to upgrade any space, but before you go and grab your brushes and buckets, check with your leasing agent about the allowable painting policy.

Checking is easy, and your landlord will appreciate it. Many times, knowing that a renter is willing to do the labor, the landlord will provide the necessary painting materials.

The power of area rugs

One thing that you can always do to make a major transformation quickly in a rental apartment is to add beauty and comfort to your flooring. You can do this affordably and within an hour with area rugs. So, if you don’t like the old wood floors in your rental unit, just throw down some cozy, padded, warm rugs!

Decorating Rental Apartment Buildings

DIY rental apartment decorating can be fun, but it can also be a strain on limited finances. When decorating a rental apartment on a budget, it’s wise to remember the hidden future costs of your current actions.

For instance, don’t assume that you can quickly patch up the walls from heavy television mounts – or even from taping pictures and posters to the walls. Instead, opt for lightweight and removable wall hangers – and removable adhesives that don’t peel the paint away when taken down.

While there is a bit of initial expense for the products, they can save you money down the road when you are moving out and have to pay for drywall repairs or new paint. These are items that often result in security deposits not being refunded.

Rental Apartment Kitchen Decorating Ideas

Decorating kitchens is a core consideration of rental apartment interior design. Lighting is an essential element of any kitchen, and it’s smart to include both natural lighting and innovative, modern lighting fixtures. The natural light keeps the environment lively and cheerful while the strategically located fixtures provide accent lighting where it’s needed most.

If you do switch out your lighting fixtures, be sure to keep the old ones stored away safely. That way, you can take the ones you bought and put the originals back in place when you move out.

And of course, natural plants, including windowsill herb gardens, make excellent kitchen additions. Allow the natural sunlight to shine through your window and fuel the growth of nutrient-rich plants that add flavor and health to your recipes!

Rental Apartment Living Room Decorating Ideas

While it’s wise to ask your landlord first about changing the colors of your walls with fresh paint, you can always elevate your walls otherwise – like by adding shelving, mirrors, artwork, and renter-friendly wallpaper and tiles. Again, use removable hangers on your walls so that they can be quickly removed when you’re ready to relocate. And it just takes a dab of spackle to cover the small nail holes that they leave behind. This will help ensure you receive 100% of your security deposit back.

Beautify your window coverings

Upgrading your window coverings is another intelligent and economical way to boost the appearance of your entire interior space. You can exchange ugly curtains and broken window blinds with new, modern products – like bamboo window blinds, mood-setting curtains, or lightproof privacy shades.

As with the lighting fixtures, be sure to store the existing window coverings away so that you can put them back up before moving. It’s a good idea to label each of the window coverings that you take down, which will make it a lot easier to reinstall them a year later, or longer when you decide to move.

Rental House Design Ideas

One of the smartest rental apartment design ideas is to keep small spaces simple. You don’t have to place something everywhere there’s a bare spot. It’s good to break up your spaces and not try to overwhelm confined areas with too many decorations. Also, it’s important to leave enough room to navigate around furniture when you’re walking. Remember that your spaces are there to accommodate living, not just lock you in one location because you don’t have room to move!


Transforming your space into a home where you feel complete is very possible, even with stringent lease conditions. And it’s always good to cover your bases and maintain a clear understanding with your leasing agent. Consider the advantages of a professional and binding Furnished Rental Unit Addendum. Professional rental documentation helps both leasers and renters stay clear about expectations.

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