Decorating A Rented House: The Do’s And Don’ts

Making a rented house feel like a cosy and loved home can be tricky. There are rules on what you can and can’t do to a rented house, making decorating more challenging. 

However, there are both simple and creative things you can do to turn an empty shell of a rented house into your very own haven.

In this blog, we’re going to share our tips on the dos and don’ts of decorating a rented house. 

Do – Check The Lease

Whether you are renting from a housing association, local council or private landlord, there will always be a lease outlining what you can and cannot do. 

Before you sign a lease, ensure you read it carefully and are familiar with the rules set out. Once you have signed the lease and moved in, you are bound by a written contract and must adhere to the rules. 

If you’re unsure about anything when decorating, always check the lease before making changes. If the answer you’re looking for isn’t in the lease, contact your landlord. 

In many circumstances, landlords will permit some changes when it comes to decorating. For example, a landlord may be okay with you wallpapering or laying new carpets. However, they may ask that when you leave the property it is left in the same condition you found it in. 

Don’t – Go Into It Without A Plan

Whether you are decorating one room or the full house, you should always have a plan. Without a plan, you may end up spending money on home décor items and furniture, only to find they don’t quite work well in the home.

For example, a decorating plan might include a priority list, a budget, colour schemes that you like, estimate costs and ideas of furniture, soft furnishings, wall art etc. Pinterest is great for home décor inspiration. 

Do – Use Adhesive Décor

Adhesive décor is a renter’s best friend. Adhesive wallpaper, although expensive, is a great way to totally transform a room. 

The best thing is, it is easily removable and doesn’t damage the wall. Similarly, adhesive hooks and wall strips are excellent for personalising your rented home with wall art, photographs and mirrors.

Peel and stick wall art and decals are also great, especially in bedrooms and children’s nurseries. If you get creative, you can turn a bland, neutral room into a fun, colourful space.

Don’t – Opt For Bold Paint

If you are allowed to paint your rented home, that’s great news! However, you will likely have to return the walls to the neutral colour they were painted when you first moved in. So, with that in mind, it is best to avoid bold coloured paint. 

Although it may look great, bold coloured paint can be challenging to cover and you may have to spend a lot of money to get rid of it when the time comes. Plus, bold colours are not as easy to pair with other colours. If you like to switch up the look and feel of your home regularly, stick to a neutral palette.

Do – Use Rugs

With a rented property, it isn’t always possible to change the floors. And even if you do get permission from the landlord, investing in a new carpet, tiles, hardwood floor or even laminate can be very expensive.

Using area rugs is a fantastic alternative. With a large area rug, you can add a splash of colour, cover a dull floor (or a floor that has seen better days) and add warmth to a room. There are plenty of shapes, sizes, colours and patterns to choose from. 

Don’t – Make Major Renovations Without Permission

If you plan on staying in your rented home for a long time, you may be more willing to spend money on larger renovations. But before you buy new kitchen worktops, or get a quote for a new front door, be sure to speak to the landlord beforehand. 

Your landlord may give you the go-ahead, although they may want to be kept informed on the decisions you make. In other circumstances, the landlord may pay for the renovation.

Do – Change The Window Dressings

One change you can usually make when living in a rented home is window dressings. And whether you opt for curtains or blinds, you can be confident that your new window dressings will completely alter the look of the room.

If a rooms colour palette is neutral, why not opt for a bold colour or pattern when choosing your window dressing. Aside from adding colour and personality to a room, curtains or blinds will also add warmth and privacy.

Don’t – Spend A Lot Of Money

Decorating can be extremely expensive if you don’t stick to your budget. That’s why we recommend having a plan before you start. It’s also worth remembering that the furniture you buy for your current house may not fit or work well in another house if you move. 

So, avoid investing money in new furniture. Instead, check out second-hand sites such as Facebook Marketplace or eBay, or stick to shopping in the sales.