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Homeowners shouldn’t be the only ones that get to decorate their homes in a way that perfectly matches their style; renters should get in on the action too. Just because you’re renting and have limited options on how you can make your home your own, doesn’t mean you have to settle for bland and boring. Here are five things to consider when decorating a rental that are both beautiful and temporary.

Before You Start

Before you make any changes to the home, be sure to get written permission from the landlord. Just because you think painting the walls yellow sounds warm and welcoming doesn’t mean the landlord will agree. Run your ideas by your landlord first to ensure everyone is on the same page. Also, if you can’t stand the sight of the blinds and need them replaced ASAP, prepare to do it on your own dime. Don’t bill the landlord; it could make things awkward.

Balancing Beauty And Budget

Just because you’re only here temporarily doesn’t mean you have to deal with a house you’re not crazy about. On the flip side, you shouldn’t shell out a lot of money to make it your dream home if it’s not your dream home. Finding the balance between making it a space you enjoy and sticking with a budget is important. See what unique second-hand items you can find at flea markets and estate sales to spruce up the place without sacrificing your rent money. Experts from turnkey real estate companies like High Return Real Estate urge renters to not to spend a lot of money on upgrades that they can’t take them with them to their next home.

Focus On Accessories and Accents

Pinterest is loaded with creative ideas to make your own accessories for the home. From picture frames made out of tree branches to coffee tables made out of old pallets, a quick online DIY search will turn up a million options to customize your space with things you already have or can get easily. If you’re going to spend money on new stuff, focus on rugs, lighting, plants, and hardware to add a pop to a “blah” space.

What To Avoid

Although wallpaper is a hot décor trend right now, it’s best to save that for your more permanent residence. It can be a hassle to take down if the landlord doesn’t like it. If you have dull walls that need a lift, try decals or paint stencils for a look that is easier to remove or paint over when it’s time to move. It’s also best not to paint over natural wood. Although it can be tempting to paint over baseboards, especially in kids’ rooms, save that for your next house. Getting painted baseboards back to their natural state turns into a huge time-consuming mess when you’re moving, so it’s smart to leave them alone. There are plenty of other ways to add color to the room without messing with the natural wood. 

Consider The Corners

Corner space is grossly underused in the home décor world and should be used to add depth and personality to a room. Add a corner wall unit or place a small table in the corner of the room to display your favorite pictures or knick-knacks. Traditionally, people stick plants in corners, but you can transform the corners of your living space into a small reading nook, or install one of those hanging chairs from the ceiling for a comfortable place to sit. Anything that you put in the corner should create little to no damage to the walls, and be easy to take down and move to your new place.

Think About Storage

Since its unlikely that you’ll have ample custom cabinet space in your rental, adding bookshelves or fun organizing solutions adds character to the room. It also gives you a place to put all of your trinkets. Getting stuff up and off the floor makes the room feel cleaner, bigger and more organized. Look into organizers that hang on the back of the door, or use a coat rack or shoe organizer to keep things neat and tidy. This is especially helpful if your rental is a lacking in the space department. Command hooks are useful when hanging things to avoid lots of teeny tiny holes that need to be fixed later.

For now, this is your home sweet home. It should reflect your personality and style, and be a place you enjoy coming home to. Make sure you run your decorating ideas by your landlord and keep in mind that the home will have to go back to its original state when you leave. You don’t have to break the bank to customize your living space, and by following these five simple guidelines, you can feel safe and at home in your rental, regardless of how long you’re staying.