10 Ways to Decorate when You’re Renting (and still get your deposit back!)

A little while ago Image.ie had an article about renting statistics in Ireland. So it seems more and more of us are renting and don’t intend on buying any time soon. It got me thinking. Dangerous I know! 😉 It can be difficult to make rented accommodation feel like your own. At the end of a long day, you want to walk through the door and feel like you’re home. So I’ve made a list of 10 things to help you put your stamp on it and still get your deposit back!

1. Grab a Paint Brush

If the walls are a little grubby or weren’t painted before you moved in, freshen them up with a new coat of paint. Choose a neutral colour similar to what’s already on the walls. Contact your landlord and they might even chip in with the costs.

It can be a blessing or a burden to have a furnished place. If you are using your own furniture give it a lick of paint to transform it. If it’s still a little rough around the edges, have it reupholstered. It’s a great investment as you will be taking it with you if you move. This is also a great option if your budget is small. Get rooting around charity shops etc. for that diamond in the rough!


2. Create a Gallery

Photos and art are a great way to show your personality and create a homely feel. To minimise damage to the walls, put up a couple of picture ledges. The ledges in the photo below is from Ikea and cost €5.90 for the small and €9 for the large. Bargain!

If you’d like to have your frames on the wall try picture hanging strips available from Woodies, for damage free hanging.


3. Layer Up

Chances are if your apartment is furnished it’s still fairly bland. Layer up the sofa with scatter cushions and throws like this interior featured over on Lovely Life. They’ll add warmth and texture. It’s also a great way to add lots of colour and pattern.


4. Switch the Lights

Changing the light shades is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective way to change the interior. Also invest in some  floor and table lamps. They allow you to create different atmospheres and will add interest and colour. If you’re feeling bold check out Abigail Ahern’s Pelican Lamp from Debenham’s.


5. Wallpaper

Yes, there are ways to use wallpaper that won’t affect your deposit. There’s some fantastic removable wallpaper available. I haven’t used it before but they are supposed to leave your walls perfect when removed.

If you can’t find a removable wallpaper you like, try using regular wallpaper on sheets of plywood and stand them against the wall. Or attach a length of wallpaper to wooden rods and hang them up. It’s a really easy DIY project for a Saturday afternoon.

Or if you just want to add a little something, try a wall decal. The one below is from Wall Decals for €16.95


6. Curtains

It seems you can’t rent anywhere without the seemingly mandatory beige, unlined curtains. Replacing the curtains will transform the entire room! Just remember to store the old curtains carefully! You’ll need to hang these again when you’re leaving.


7. Indoor Garden

Flowers and plants are the cheapest way to add colour and life to your interior. Have lots of herbs in your kitchen. They’ll add a splash of colour and an amazing smell. Have a look at my interior styling post here to see how to decorate with flowers. I love this teacup idea over on Creative Juice.


8. Candles

Candles make a fantastic ambience. Whether you’re decorating your table for dinner, throwing a party or having a bubble bath there should always be candles! They look more impressive when placed in groups of 3 or more.

I also love the idea of creating a signature scent. I am in love Max Benjamin Tahitian Vanilla. Having a signature scent will make you feel like you’re at home wherever your candles are 🙂


9. New Floors

If your rented spot has some old carpet or warped wooden flooring, hide it! Buy an extra-large rug. Go for a neutral or a pattern. Whatever floats your boat. Rugs can be expensive so don’t invest in something you won’t take with you when you move on.

For a more chilled, bohemian look layer lots of rugs. These are from Ikea.


10. Mirror Image

We all know that mirrors make a room appear larger. They can be really decorative and set the tone of the room. Again this is something to bring with you when you leave. So if you see something you love spend your few bob.

I love this collection of mirrors from The Forest & Co.


I really hope this helps you to put some personality into your rented home.

x Cíara x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s