How to decorate a rental home, according to an interior stylist

Expert Lucy Gough shares her damage-free decorating ideas.

When you live in a rental property, there are some limitations to what you can and can’t change (you probably won’t be able to knock out any walls or retile the kitchen floors). But if you get creative, there are several, simple ways to elevate the appeal and character of a rental home

“A home is a home whether you own it or not,” says Lucy Gough, Home Beautiful interior stylist and author of The Home Style Handbook. “If you want to feel happy and connected to your home, you can add your own personality to it through colour, art, objects, curtains, cushions, or rugs.”

Below, the interior expert shares her top decorating ideas to transform any home.

1. Take advantage of blank walls

If you have blank walls in your rental property, you’re in luck. Empty spaces are the perfect place to demonstrate your style — with no nails required.  “It’s easy to decorate your property with Command Picture Hanging Strips, as you can hang them on any internal wall that you want and easily remove them at a later date,” Lucy says.

You can hang more than artwork, as the adhesive strips and picture hangers are available in a variety of weight capacities. Mirrors, for instance, are a great way to brighten a room. The stylist says: “Use heavy duty Command XL Picture Hanging strips to hang your mirrors. Try to hang them close to a light source like a window to maximise the light.”

Personal décor and an uplifting colour scheme can make your rental property feel like home. (Credit: Command)

2. Play with the colour scheme

“Don’t underestimate the power of colour psychology,” Lucy says. Different colour schemes can evoke emotional responses, impact the feeling of a room, and boost your mental health. While you might not be able to paint the walls in a rental property, there are several other ways to inject colour into a space.   

“Large format canvasses painted in the colour or pattern of your choice are an easy way to splash colour around, without actually painting the walls,” Lucy shares. “Blank canvasses can be expensive to buy new, but you can look for large paintings on Facebook Marketplace or charity shops, and paint over them with your own colour or design.”

Canvasses are easy to hang and rearrange in a rental property, as Command Picture Hanging Strips don’t leave wall residue or cracked plaster when removed.

3. Style with house plants

Besides the aesthetic appeal of lush greenery, indoor plants have been proven to improve your mood, reduce stress, and enhance your connection to nature.

“Plants all have their own personalities and I enjoy moving them around the house as the months go by, making sure they are happy where they are positioned,” Lucy says. “Hang plants down alongside your bookshelf, put a fiddle leaf fig in a corner of your room, a Strelitzia in a sunny spot, or a kumquat tree in a large pot near a window. The list is endless!”

For functional foliage, try growing herbs in your kitchen. “Herbs are a great source of colour and scent! Buy a Command Organising Caddy and place a few herb pots in it — then stick it to your tiled kitchen splashback or even a kitchen window,” the stylist suggests.

Renters can confidently create an indoor oasis by hanging a variety of plants with Command products.

4. Swap out existing pieces

Decorating with unique homewares and meaningful pieces can turn a rental home into your private oasis. Sometimes, you can even swap out pre-existing décor, hardware, or furnishings for pieces that better suit your style.     

You can start by “changing lampshades, swapping out old door handles for modern ones (and keeping the old ones in a cupboard until you move out) and adding decorative window film to your windows,” Lucy advises. “My personal favourite is the reeded glass effect window film.”

For damage-free decorating, picture hanging strips can be removed with no cracked plaster or residue. (Credit: Command)

2. Change your décor regularly

One way to make a rental home feel completely refreshed every season is to switch up your décor by repurposing and restyling what you already own.

 “I love using Command products in my home because they allow me to change up my positioning of pictures and objects regularly,” Lucy shares. “As a stylist I love pottering around my home changing things around in my spare time. It helps to keep my home feeling fresh and newly styled.”

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