7 Ways To Dress Up A Rental Like You Own It

7 Ways To Dress Up A Rental Like You Own It

A lease doesn't have to be the end of the world


We’ve all been there. You’re stuck in a rental house with a long list of décor restrictions—no painting the walls, no touching the outdated shag carpet, no covering the 80s wood paneling. Just because you’re stuck with a lease doesn’t mean you’re stuck with poor design choices. We’ve assembled some tips on how to transform your rental home from outdated to outstanding.

1. Window Treatments

Ah, mini blinds, a decorator’s nightmare. Consider swapping out the window treatments that your rental came with. Instead of mini blinds, consider roman shades or stylish drapes to tie your windows in with the rest of your décor.

2. Swap Out The Hardware

Changing out the hardware on your kitchen cabinets and interior doors can instantly add personality to your space. Stash your old hardware away and change it back to the basics when you move out.

3. Upgrade Your Light Fixtures

Don’t be intimidated by this step! Installing new overhead lighting can seem daunting at first, but you can always call in an electrician if you can’t wire it yourself. If this isn’t an option, hang an overhead fixture that plugs into an outlet or just avoid overhead lighting altogether by adding lamps.

Modern Day Moguls makes a statement with these wooden, geometric pendant lights.

Andrea Wilson of Wilhouse Designs adds some industrial style to her kitchen and dining room with these matte black fixtures.

4. Add An Area Rug

A good rug can cover almost all of your flooring sins, whether that’s buckled laminate, chipped tile, or stained carpet.

Interior Swag makes use of color and texture with these layered rugs.

Miniature Cowhides $48, Full Size Cowhide Rugs starting at $98

5. Cover Your Walls With Art

Even the strictest lease is no excuse for blank walls. Add a personal touch with a gallery wall full of your favorite pieces. Not allowed to put holes in the wall? No problem! Try adhesive wall hooks or leaning frames on top of a mantelpiece or table.

Framed art prints only $14 to $98.

Amber Ford of Native In Nashville displays a gallery wall above one of our tufted velvet sofas.

If you have wallpaper, here’s an easy way to hang art without damaging the paper.

When you take your frames down, simply remove your hardware and gently glue the tab of wallpaper back into place.

6. Maximize Your Outdoor Space

Not all of us renters have access to yards and patios, and if we do, they’re usually small. You can take simple measures to maximize the functionality and attractiveness of your space. Try adding a patio set to your porch and some decorative planters. If you have a yard, make it yours by adding some easy-care plants. Don’t have either? No worries, you can always bring the outside in with house plants and potted kitchen herbs.

Home Styled Nashville created a smashing arrangement with our rattan daybed.

Terra cotta planters only $7 to $19.

7. And Lastly... Ditch the Ancient Showerhead

Replace the ancient showerhead that came with the house and invest in a new one. A newer showerhead can remedy low water pressure, filter out minerals, and add some luxury to your hygiene routine.

What are your go-to tips for decorating a rental? Let us know on Instagram at @southeasternsalvage or on Twitter at @SESHomeEmporium

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